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Divorce for non-Muslims in UAE

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Gayatri Jayesh

Published on September 23, 2023, 15:49:37

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family law, divorce lawyer, family law update, personal status law

The United Arab Emirates is a diverse country, home to people from various nationalities, cultures, and religions. While the UAE predominantly follows Islamic law, it also respects the rights of non-Muslim residents and other expatriate.

Non-Muslim divorce proceedings in the UAE are primarily governed by Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, also known as the Personal Status Law. This law applies to non-Muslims, including expatriates and foreign residents, in matters related to marriage and divorce. This article aims to offer an extensive guide detailing the process by which non-Muslims can initiate divorce proceedings in the UAE.

Divorce Procedure for non-Muslims

The new UAE Federal Personal Status Law (Federal Law No. 41 of 2022), which went into force in February 2023, is adhering to this decision. This law gives non-Muslim expats the choice to ask a UAE court to use the laws of their native country in family-related cases like marriage, divorce, child custody, and similar concerns.

The divorce petition will be drafted by a lawyer and submitted to the Dubai court. Following the submission of the petition, the court will assess the case and may request supplementary documentation or proof. Both parties may be obligated to participate in court hearings.

 In certain instances, the court may propose mediation as an avenue for reconciliation before advancing with the divorce proceedings. If reconciliation proves unattainable, the court will issue a verdict, allowing the divorce if the divorce grounds are substantiated. Either party retains the option to challenge the court's decision within 30 days from the date of the judgment. Typically, the following documents are required when filing for divorce in the UAE; marriage certificate, passports and residence visas of both spouses, financial documents, and custody agreement if children are involved.

When the legal system of the parties' home country does not address a specific component of the divorce procedure, the UAE courts maintain the right to apply UAE law.


For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 43493428 

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