Following on from my previous article on potential issues you could face prior to your marriage, you should also be aware of the issues you could face following your marriage. Once married, if the marriage took place in, say a UAE Church, you will need to have your marriage certificate translated into Arabic for it to be recognised at some institutions i.e. if applying for a spouse visa.
If you married abroad, you should make sure that you have your marriage certificate legalised by the Foreign Office in the country of marriage and then attested by the UAE Embassy in that country. Then when you come to the UAE, you will need to have the certificate attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for it to be recognised here.
If you are marrying in another country and are then moving to the UAE, both of you will need a residency visa. If one of you has a job here, you can sponsor your spouse. As well as the marriage certificate, other documents may also be required, therefore it is always worth checking with the authorities as to what is required and whether any documents need to be legalised, attested or translated.
After the marriage, one of the spouses may wish to change their name, and depending on your nationality, you will need to check your home country’s requirements. A name change may be appropriate to do before you come to the UAE so that at the least, your passport is in your married name.
If you are already in the UAE, again, depending on your nationality, you may be able to prepare a Statutory Declaration for the change of name. Once this has been submitted to change your name on your passport, you can do the same for the other important documents i.e. Emirates ID, bank accounts, health insurance etc. You should be aware that you are likely to be charged for most of these documents.
When giving birth in the UAE, make sure you have your attested marriage certificate to hand as the hospital may ask for this when you attend for the first time in relation to your pregnancy. You will also require your marriage certificate to register the birth of your child.
If the husband is working and he sponsors the wife, the wife will need to obtain an NOC from her husband for various matters, including working, opening a bank account and registering the ownership of a vehicle. Depending on the passport that is held by the wife, she may also need to obtain an NOC from her husband when applying for a visa to travel to some countries.
If you have not made a Pre-Nuptial Agreement before your marriage, you may want to consider making a Post Nuptial Agreement. The Agreement will determine the financial terms of any separation, divorce or dissolution of the marriage. Although no one wants to think about this, if the marriage does not work, you would need to consider what will happen to the family assets, children and also future provisions for the children and the parties. Having an Agreement in place will save costly and lengthy litigation in the event of a divorce, as the parties would have already put provisions in place to deal with the breakdown of the marriage.
When purchasing a property, it may be worth doing so in joint names, as prima facie each of you would have 50% entitlement. If a property is purchased in the husband’s sole name in UAE, the wife would not be able to claim a legal title, and in the event of a dispute between the couple, the wife would need to present a civil claim with evidence of her contribution to the purchase price.
The above are just some of the points that you should be aware of, and as always, if you have any specific queries or require any legal assistance, please do contact me at email@example.com.
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