With the growth of the expat community in the United Arab Emirates the rate of divorce has in parrell increased due to reasons which comes along with a metropolitan town. Divorce in the UAE can be a complicated process for an expat mostly due to the lack of knowledge of the local UAE Law.

Divorce in the UAE is governed by local UAE laws, Sharia Law or the application of the individuals’’ home laws. If the spouses are from different countries, the law of the country in which the marriage was solemnised will be considered by the court.

Divorce for Muslim Couples

Islamic marriages are governed by Sharia Law. If both parties are resident in the UAE, then most likely the Sharia Law will be applicable to the divorce. The parties initially must file for divorce at the Moral and Family Guidance Section of the Dubai Court.

Failing for any reconciliation between the parties, the case will be forwarded to the courts.

Divorce for Non- Muslim Couples

Since UAE is governed by Islamic Law principles, Non-Muslims found this in the past burdensome in many ways, especially when the divorce involves the custody of children or distribution of assets.

However Non-Muslims nonetheless had the option to file divorce in their home country (domicile) or to file a divorce in the UAE and apply the laws of their home country.

In a progressive and groundbreaking move, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status. This law brings transformative changes to the divorce landscape for non-Muslim expatriates in the UAE. Notably, it introduces the concept of “no-fault divorce” and champions equality in divorce procedures, ensuring that both men and women have equal rights and opportunities when navigating this challenging life transition.

The UAE’s new Personal Status Law for Non-Muslims marks a significant legal reform aimed at ensuring inclusivity and legal protection for non-Muslim residents. It allows them to adhere to their personal beliefs in marriage, divorce, inheritance, and family matters. Key features include the provision for civil marriages, streamlined divorce processes including ‘divorce for no cause’, fair shared child custody guidelines, and regulations on alimony and compensation. The law also respects non-Muslims’ rights in inheritance and wills, allowing asset distribution according to personal beliefs, distinct from Sharia law principles. This reform highlights the UAE’s commitment to cultural diversity and legal fairness.

Things to look for in a during a divorce proceeding.

When the spouses have finally decided to divorce after a tough period of emotion and stress. Seeking a Family Law expert is crucial to obtain the necessary guidance and legal recourse.

Our ProConsult Family Lawyers will assist you throughout the entire process of divorce. Once we retain our clients divorce matter, we consider several factors which are crucial for an easy flowing divorce process.

It is vital for the UAE Family Lawyers to consider a large number of factors during  a divorce proceeding, especially in terms as to whether your client is seeking for custody of children, the distribution of assets entangled in the marriage, the cost involved for the divorce case and most vitally the expert knowledge of the court procedures and documentation which can majorly affect the smooth flow of the divorce process.