HomeBusinessAn Overview Regarding the Divorce for Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates

An Overview Regarding the Divorce for Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates

Divorce is an overwhelming experience in anyone’s life. It is an unfortunate incident that leads to physical and mental pressures. As a result of divorce people may make wrong decisions or decisions under a certain pressure or influence. In recent times, the UAE has introduced leverage for the expatriates living in the country. It is done to facilitate the expats and liberate the UAE as a nation. Furthermore, the concept is relatively new so expatriates living in the country need to understand it to avail it. There are some critical facets of expatriate divorce in the Emirates that need to be understood. There is a comprehensive detail concerning the divorce laws along with the procedures, specifications, and considerations. Alongside this, we will also understand the process, requirements, and factors to consider tailoring them according to the expats. Dubai Family Lawyers are the best lawyers for family matters in United Arab Emirates.

Understanding the UAE Divorce Laws for Expatriates:

Divorce laws in the UAE are vivid and easy to guide. Divorce proceedings for any expats in the UAE can be pursued via a civil procedure according to the personal religious beliefs of an individual. On the other hand, with common beliefs, the expatriates can also opt for the court systems of the UAE for the process of divorce. It offers a greater level of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. In the country, individuals can settle their divorce cases within less time. Mutually agreed-upon divorces can be finalized within a one-month time. Still, the law is complicated due to its nature of matter. Therefore, the expats of the UAE may face serious challenges related to the jurisdictions.

UAE Introduced Different Divorce Laws for Diverse Religions, Ethnicities, and Nationalities:

Commonly, the majority of the divorce decrees for the Muslim marriages are regulated under Sharia law. On the contrary, Non-Muslim marriages and couples are governed under the Federal Law of 2008. It is known as the Personal Status Law. Here leverage is given to the Non-Muslim expats in the UAE. They have the option to opt for their home country’s laws to carry on with the divorce decree. You can also search Divorce Lawyers operating in UAE for a better understanding.  

For this, there is a requirement to submit a legal translation for all the relevant documents needed to process the divorce. They must be adequately approved according to the home country’s rules and certified by the relevant and concerned authorities. Therefore, Non-Muslim expats need to provide the papers to avail of this option.

Accordingly, the expats can select the filing of divorce either in their home country or in the UAE. Moreover, if you are choosing to divorce in the Emirates. For it, you should adhere to the Federal law no. 8 of 2005 named it Personal Status Law. The non-Muslims can easily request to apply for their home country’s laws but the laws must not contradict the moral values or public orders in the UAE.

Most Recent Amendments to the UAE Divorce Laws for Non-Muslim Expatriates:

According to the Federal Law introduced in 2020 has further leveraged the non-Muslims. The amendments were introduced to personal status matters. Furthermore, it clearly specifies the law applicable to the citizens of the UAE. Nevertheless, the non-Muslims have an option to select their home country’s laws or UAE laws. In addition, the husband’s nationality is a deciding factor. Therefore, at the time of marriage the husband’s nationality plays a major role. As a result, the applicable laws will determine the personal and property consequences of marriage in the UAE.

Steps To Process Divorce in the UAE for Expatriates:

Firstly, the person needs to initiate the divorce process in the UAE. The divorce case is procedure by submitting the marriage document along with other useful papers. All the paperwork is submitted to the UAE courts known as the Personal Status Court’s Family Guidance Section. Following this, the counselor in the Personal Status Court of UAE will attempt and try to reconcile the two parties. Efforts are made to clarify the misunderstanding and resolve the dispute between the husband and his wife.

If the attempt is unsuccessful, both parties are free to proceed to negotiate the terms of divorce. In cases of disputes and disagreements, any of the parties can file for a disputed divorce. It is submitted to the Personal Status Court of the UAE. This will lead to a definitive decision within the time of three months. Accordingly, if both spouses agree on the divorce, the court will issue the divorce certificates to each party. The certificate is an Arabic-translated divorce document. 

Marriages under the civil marriage law are treated differently. Civil marriages are normally based on mutual consent with the registered civil authorities of the UAE. The civil marriage Divorce cases are governed under the Laws of 2021. The law facilitates no-fault divorce in the UAE. Nonetheless, the couple can request for divorce without any need to justify the decisions made by them.

Seeking Legal Advice in Divorce

It is always advisable to take up the guidance of legal support. The prolific and professional family attorneys in the UAE can navigate the complexities of the divorce laws in the UAE for expats. Moreover, legal family lawyers can offer tailored guidance to clients based on their individual circumstances, considerations, and specifications. With the aid of a lawyer, expats can ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations. 

This will ultimately pave the way to secure a favorable and acceptable outcome. The assistance of a family lawyer in the UAE will result in an amicable settlement of a disputed matter.


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