Filing For Divorce In UAE

You may believe that getting divorced in the United Arab Emirates is unusual. The nation, however, has the highest divorce rate in the Gulf. In reality, over 1,000 divorces occurred in the UAE in 2018, with Emirati spouses accounting for just a third of the total. There might be a number of explanations behind the country's disproportionately high divorce rate.
Divorce in the UAE is quite simple. The Personal Status Court may issue a divorce certificate in as little as a month and works with both Emiratis and expats. Counseling, settlements, and court appearances are all common parts of the procedure.

Furthermore, there are a variety of reasons why couples may divorce. Infidelity, poor communication, financial hardship, and cultural differences are all common grounds for divorce.
Muslims and non-Muslims may experience different divorce procedures in the UAE. For the sake of simplicity, this tutorial focuses on how to get divorced in the UAE court system, which is most relevant to foreigners. It's vital to note that all divorces in the UAE are governed by Sharia Law.

In the United Arab Emirates, the legal reasons for divorce are as follows:

When it comes to getting divorced in the UAE, there are various factors to consider. One of the most significant reasons why the couple is divorcing in the first place. Whatever the case may be, you must satisfy certain conditions. While no separation time is necessary, the couple must have lived in the UAE for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. A divorce may also be requested by a person of any faith or ethnicity.

In the event that both parties are unable to reach an agreement, the divorce will be handled via the UAE's legal system. In this case, referred known as a disputed divorce, the side seeking the divorce must show and establish a cause.
A couple may opt to terminate their marriage for a variety of reasons. Religious and cultural issues, job loss, and a lack of communication are some of the most prominent causes in the UAE. These, however, do not constitute legal grounds for divorce in and of themselves. Despite this, there are various legal reasons for divorce, including mental incompetence, infirmity, and dowry non-payment.
It's crucial to keep in mind that the cause for your divorce might have unanticipated implications. Adultery, for example, is not only a legal basis for divorce in the UAE, but it is also a criminal violation. In this case, the suspected adulterer may face prosecution or deportation after the divorce. As a result, most attorneys advise their clients to negotiate an amicable agreement; when this occurs, the parties are relieved of the burden of naming and proving grounds for divorce.
More information on some of the most regularly utilized legal reasons for divorce in the United Arab Emirates may be found below.


Infidelity is to blame for the breakdown of many marriages across the globe, especially in the United Arab Emirates. When one of the partners seeks a sexual connection outside of the marriage, this is known as extramarital affairs. Adultery is tough to prove since it requires more than suspicions and circumstantial proof. More solid proof, such as eyewitness testimony, pictures, and phone records, may be required.


Cruelty in a marriage may take the form of either physical or mental abuse, but both are grounds for divorce. The petitioner will need to present medical records to substantiate an instance of abuse. Two male witnesses must also testify in support of the charges. Female witnesses may testify on the claimant's behalf, but they only count as half witnesses.


Desertion is defined as one partner leaving the marriage without the agreement of the other. However, the desertion must last for a specified amount of time in order to be considered a legal basis for divorce. This normally lasts a year or two.

If your visa is based on your marriage, what should you do?

One benefit of getting divorced in the UAE is that you may not have to leave the country immediately. If you have a marriage visa, it is virtually guaranteed that you will lose it if you divorce. The UAE, on the other hand, has implemented a new visa policy for female divorcees. This new visa permits a female divorcée and her children to remain in the UAE for up to a year after their divorce, with the option to extend for another two years. You'll need to provide your divorce certificate, proof of residence, proof of capacity to make a livable salary, and medical certifications for this. In addition, there is a fee of AED100.
If a woman supports her husband's residence permit, it will be revoked as part of the divorce proceedings. To stay in the nation, he'll need to apply for a work visa or start his own business.

In the United Arab Emirates, the divorce process is rather simple

Divorce in the United Arab Emirates is rather straightforward. In fact, if the partners can come to an agreement quickly, the procedure may be completed in as little as a month. This is known as a mutual consent divorce, and it does not need either party to show legal reasons for the divorce since they have reached an agreement. The first step is to petition for divorce in the emirate where you are currently residing.

Step-by-step instructions

Conciliation is the first stage in the divorce process. The pair will attempt to work out their differences or, at the very least, reach an agreement at this point. You'll need your marriage certificate and contracts, as well as passports for both spouses and any children, as well as birth certificates. Each paper should also be translated into Arabic. This stage is limited to three months by legislation. After then, there are two options for moving forward.
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the matter will be heard by the First Instance Court. Following the filing, the defense will respond, and the starting party will respond; this procedure will continue until the court makes a ruling on the matter. Although it isn't required, both parties may opt to have a lawyer represent them. Cases are also heard in Arabic, although a translation will be provided by the court. After the decision is rendered, any side has 28 days to file an appeal. Except that the case is heard by three judges, the Appeals Court follows the same process as the First Instance Court.
The matter will be transferred to the Court of Cessation after the final verdict is rendered. To ensure that due process is followed, the court will evaluate all papers related to the case. At this point, you won't be able to provide any additional evidence.
After then, the matter will be heard by the Enforcement Court. The court then executes the judgement and guarantees that all parties adhere to the judgment and settlement agreements. If the parties reach an agreement during the conciliation stage, the matter will be sent straight to the Enforcement Judicial, bypassing the court system

Divorce costs in the United Arab Emirates

Divorce in the UAE is quite simple, although it is not inexpensive. An amiable divorce will cost you between AED8,000 and AED25,000 on average. A divorce might cost up to AED50,000 if it includes a protracted legal procedure. You'll also need to get all of the essential documentation translated into Arabic. Normally, this costs AED80 per document.

When seeking a divorce in the UAE, there are a few things to think about

Children's custody and child support
The biological mother of a child is the custodian, while the father is the guardian, according to UAE law. Custody – which is often given to the mother – entails day-to-day care, such as education, medical assistance, religious counselling, and lodging. The guardian is responsible for financial assistance, and guardianship is normally given to the father. In the United Arab Emirates, custody and guardianship are two different things
A minor kid is often given to the mother. She must demonstrate that she is sensible, mature, honest, disease-free, and capable of raising a kid. She also can't remarry unless the court gives her permission. If a father is given custody of his child, he must have a woman at home to care for the child, such as a female relative.
In certain situations, a mother may be able to request that her son's custody be extended until he completes his studies or her daughter marries. A father, on the other hand, may demand custody of his kid at any time if he believes his mother is teaching him to be "too soft."
Visitation is also an essential factor to consider. Guardians have the freedom to spend time with their children in most cases. Unless the settlement says otherwise, a judge will usually award one or two days each week. As a result, the custodial parent cannot relocate to another country without the guardian's specific permission.

Division of property

Property split is another factor to consider during a divorce. This might apply to everything in the United Arab Emirates, from bank accounts and real estate to companies and automobiles. In general, each party will keep all property or assets that are registered in their name. Furthermore, shared assets – like as bank accounts in both names – are usually divided equally between the two parties by a court.
Of course, real estate, particularly the marital home, is a major concern. Judges prefer to award the marital residence to the custodian in order for the children to live as normally as possible while their parents go through the divorce process. For more guidance and support, visit

Taking care of your spouse

After the divorce is finalized, the husband is responsible for supporting his ex-wife financially. A man must provide food, clothes, and proper housing for his former wife and children. He'll also need to pay for his children's schooling and the salary of any household personnel, such as a maid and a driver. Spousal maintenance may be as much as 30% of the husband's salary, but he can pay more if he wants to.
Husbands are not required to pay spousal support to their wives. Similarly, in some instances, a woman loses her entitlement to maintenance. These include leaving the marital house, refusing to have a sexual contact with her spouse, and refusing to travel with him.

Divorce Alternatives in the United Arab Emirates

Mediation in divorce
In the United Arab Emirates, couples getting divorced are increasingly opting for mediation. This is due to the fact that mediation may result in cheaper expenses, less acrimony, more flexibility, and, most crucially, faster results. Traditionally, mediation involves both parties to attend multiple sessions – each lasting several hours – to debate and achieve agreements on important topics. Both parties have the option of having their own attorneys present, or they may choose to represent themselves. When both parties agree to a settlement, the divorce process may go rapidly through the courts.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offered an alternative to conventional divorce mediation in 2017. Couples getting divorced in the UAE will be able to attend mediation with a religious leader of their own religion under the new system. The expense of mediation is normally covered by the religious body. Following their agreement, the couple will proceed with their divorce via the courts and pay a nominal cost of a few hundred dirhams to finalize their divorce

Ending a civil partnership in the United Arab Emirates

Civil partnerships are legal in the UAE, but only under limited circumstances. Civil relationships between certain persons are not recognized in that country due to the existence of Sharia Law. Same-sex relationships and couples in which the lady is Muslim but the male is not are examples of this. As a consequence, the vast majority of civil unions must be dissolved in the nation where they were formed

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