When It’s Time to Move On: Divorce Lawyers in UAE


The United Arab Emirates ranks first in the number of divorces among the Arabian Peninsula countries. For every 100 marriages there are about 40 divorces. More than ten couples end their relationship legally in the UAE daily. In Dubai the number of divorces increased by 30% over the last several years. Among the main reasons are named the following: the wrong choice of a life partner, cultural and religious differences, adultery. Some people believe that nowadays wives do not properly provide moral and emotional support to husbands, whereas men are more interested in achieving financial goals and wealth than in marrying and supporting a family. Others explain the sad tendency of family break-ups by social changes in modern society where divorce is no longer seen as a disgrace. However, in religious families such thing is still very rare. Divorce in Islam is considered to be an extreme measure which is resorted to only after all attempts to reconcile the spouses have been made. Since almost all marriages in the UAE are registered with a prenuptial agreement that provides detailed information on financial matters in such a turn of events, divorce for the Emirate married couples is a termination of the marriage contract. Thus, it only makes sense to dive into the process prepared and with a professional backup of Divorce lawyers in Dubai

Interesting Facts

According to the rules native to the UAE divorcing is quite simple: if the husband says three times “I am divorcing you,” it is assumed that the marriage is finished. If a controversial case arises, disagreements are resolved in Sharia Court, but in other cases the ex-wife is ordered to leave the house without talking.

In practice, everything is not as simple as it seems at first glance. Signing a prenuptial agreement has long been a mandatory element of every Arab wedding, and it always guarantees compensation for the wife in the event of divorce on her husband’s initiative. And as a rule divorcement is not cheap, and having a new wife – even more so. These considerations force husbands to watch their tongue during family conflicts.

There are frequent cases when a man pronounces the words “I am divorcing you” during an argument in a fit of passion. After hearing the words for the third time the wife leaves the house with relief, receives her compensation, and the husband goes to court with a request to annul the divorce on the grounds of temporary insanity. It is easier to be granted annulment than to get divorced and marry the same woman again. The fact is that there is a serious obstacle to reconciliation of divorced spouses: the wife can return to her husband only after being married to another man and divorcing him. Obviously, this is too complicated and the second wedding is not cheap, so even angry and temperamental Arabs try not to rush with such serious words as ‘I’m divorcing you’. 

More Complicated Cases

When the couple has children, most often they remain with the father, but in some cases the court sides with the mother. Although If she is a foreigner and moreover not a Muslim, the woman’s chances of getting the custody go way down.

A Muslim can marry a non-Muslim though many avoid it: these women are considered too wayward and aware of their rights. If a Muslim woman wants to marry a non-Muslim, the only way to do it is if he accepts Islam.

By the way, a wife’s surname does not change either upon marriage or, accordingly, upon its dissolution.

Important to Know

Both spouses have the right to get divorced, and there is nothing wrong with this, although religion and the conservative social order do not encourage it. 

It is necessary to note that different Islamic schools look differently at the possibility of divorcement on the same day. For example, in Sunni Islam (which dominates in Saudi Arabia) you simply cannot say the phrase three times in a row. Between each time at least a month should pass so that the spouses have time to think things over and make up.

Secondly, a woman has the right to continue living in the same house with her husband until the final divorce, which is for at least three months. The husband is required to support her.

After the third uttered phrase the marriage is considered to be invalid.

The UAE does not have a family code, so Sharia law is applied when considering divorce disputes. In general, all matters of family law in the UAE are regulated by the UAE Civil Code and the Law on Personal Status, which is based on Sharia principles.

What Else Can Cause a Divorce? 

  • A sufficient reason for divorce can be the lack of financial support during the period of marriage. The wife has every right to demand a divorce if the court decides that the husband has the means to provide for the spouse but doesn’t do it. 
  • The divorce may be based on the serious condition of one of the spouses: insanity, leprosy, impotence, or a sexually transmitted disease. However, the court can postpone the case for up to one year to find out whether it is possible to eliminate this illness. 
  • One of the spouses has the right to demand a divorce if the other person suffered damage that made their cohabitation impossible. 
  • If the spouse left the family and did not return home within four months, the woman has the right to divorce him. 
  • The same right is granted to a woman if her husband is sentenced to three or more years in prison if at the time of filing the application he was in prison for longer than one year. 
  • Extra reasons may include ‘excessive sinning’, infertility, wastefulness, and gluttony.

Whatever the reasons are, getting divorced is never easy, it takes its toll on everyone involved. Being aware of this and dealing with the issue in a calm and prepared manner can save you lots of heartache and life in general.


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