Family Law for non-Muslims in the UAE

A new Law has been declared in the UAE for non-Muslims.

The new rules addressing important family matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody for non-Muslims expats, in the UAE, will go into force On February 1st, 2023.

The legal changes are consistent with the UAE’s attempts to modernize its legal framework, bring the Emirates up to date with international standards.

The new legislation would outline the steps to formalize marital agreements before courts and end divorces, whether they are started by one party or both. (It arranges shared custody of the children and the processes for resolving financial disputes following divorce).

The new law introduced the no- fault- divorce in which neither party is required to blame the other for the breakdown of the marriage. The family court will therefore grant a divorce in response to the no-fault divorce application without requiring evidence of the reasons behind the marriage breakdown.

Said divorce is different for the divorce under the sharia law whereby the reasons for divorce are not required unlike the provisions of the Sharia law and equal unilateral divorce is admitted whereby under sharia law only husband can file for divorce.

If the parties cannot reach an amicable financial settlement upon divorce, they can now apply for a financial order using the post-divorce application for a financial order.

  • This law accords equal rights to men and women in terms of witness evidence, inheritance, the ability to initiate divorce proceedings, and shared custody of children up until the age of 18. The children will thereafter have the freedom to select between their parents.
    Unless one parent asks the court to exclude the other on the grounds of the child’s best interests, custody is distributed equally to both parents. Both parents will be able to submit requests to the court in this situation, and the court will then determine what is best for the child.

  • This legislation regulates civil marriage contracts, which are subject to a number of requirements, including that both parties be at least 21 years old and fill out a declaration form in front of a court. And according to the new rule, one spouse must notify the court of their intention to dissolve their marriage without needing to defend, explain, or assign blame to the other spouse.

  • They don’t need to show that their marriage was harmed in order to file for divorce.
    Additionally, the law specifies how to handle any financial claims made during a divorce.

Many of the family law modifications introduced in Abu Dhabi in November 2021 are expanded to the rest of the nation by the decree.

Among the improvements announced last year were joint custody, equal legal rights for men and women, and accelerated divorce processes.

In accordance with the legal reforms, a special family court in the capital was established for non-Muslims.

All cases involving marriage, child custody, divorce, paternity, inheritance, and personal status are heard by the court.

Our company, Mouannes International Service, is here to assist you if you’d like to learn more about the new legislation or how they can be advantageous to you.

For more information, please get in touch with us.
Tel: 04 381 2021.

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