Quick fire Questions and Answers on Divorce in Dubai by Dee Popat

Quick fire Questions and Answers on Divorce in Dubai by Dee Popat

29 May 2017
Quick fire Questions and Answers on Divorce in Dubai by Dee Popat

If I am living and working in Dubai, can I get divorced here ?

Yes, as you are seen to be habitually resident here.  You can divorce through the Dubai Courts under the Personal Status Law or you can choose to use your home country’s Laws here however if both parties are of different nationalities, the Law of the home Country of the husband would be used in Dubai. 

Is Dubai the only place I can divorce ?

No, you may be able to divorce in your home Country however, there may be various requirements such as one of the parties being domiciled or residing in that Jurisdiction.     

How do I decide where to divorce ?

Ensure that you seek legal advice as to the best jurisdiction so that you can make an informed decision as to where best all your interests will be protected. 

If I own a property in Dubai with my Spouse, who will get the property upon divorce ?

There are no laws in UAE that specifically deal with distribution of property upon divorce therefore if a claim is to be made by one of the spouses in respect of jointly owned property in Dubai, it will have to be dealt with under the general Civil Laws in UAE. There are no family laws in the UAE that deal with the allocation of property. On divorce, each party retains the assets and property held in their respective names. The division of jointly-owned property is dealt with under general civil laws. One party may apply to the court for an order for sale of a jointly-owned property, or for the other party to buy out their share. If one party is able to show that they made a greater financial contribution towards the property, they may retain a larger share of capital. However, the other party might claim it was a gift. Then, the court shall weight the facts and make a judgment accordingly. UAE courts only have jurisdiction over property owned within the UAE.

If I own a property jointly with my spouse in UK, who will get the property upon divorce ?

When considering the split of assets, the English Courts will always consider the best interest of any children.  If there are children, the wife and the children may be allowed to live in the property (until the children reach a certain age) with the husband being ordered to pay the mortgage and other costs with perhaps the wife paying some percentage if she is working or has the means. 

If there are no children, the property may be split equally or in certain percentages depending on the contribution and circumstances of each party. 

What will happen to my children upon divorce ?

The UAE Federal Law concerning Personal Status provides that the mother of the child is the custodian and the father is the guardian.  The mother’s custody of the child ends when a boy reaches the age of 11 and for a girl 13. The father can claim the custody of a boy when he reaches the age of 11 and a girl when she reaches the age of 13 however, the mother can request the Court to provide an extension of her custody period until the boy finishes his education and the girl gets married. The father as the guardian is obliged to pay for the upkeep of the children including accommodation, food, clothing, school fees etc.  The mother may also be able to claim a custodian allowance from the husband.  

Can I start children proceedings in another Country even whilst I reside in Dubai ?

Most Countries will not accept an application for a children issue if it is a stand alone application however, if a divorce is filed in the same jurisdiction, the Court may accept an application in relation to the children.

How long does a divorce take in UAE ?

Depending upon the agreement reached by the parties including, children issues, assets, finances (including maintenance), a divorce can be completed with 2-3 months.  If various issues require further negotiations, the process will take longer and if matters can not be resolved an application has to be made at Court and could take over to conclude.  

How much does a divorce in Dubai cost ?

Legal fees which can vary from AED 12,000 to AED 20,000 (depending on the circumstances and any agreement between the parties), plus the Court fee and any translation costs (to translate documents to Arabic)

Will Dubai Divorce be recognised in my home Country ?

As long as the divorce took place in compliance with the Laws of UAE, the divorce should be valid in your home Country. 

As the above is a very general overview, it is important to seek legal advice pertaining to your individual circumstance. At James Berry & Associates, we are here to guide and assist you through any of your matrimonial issues.  For any queries or to book a consultation, please contact us at family@jamesberrylaw.ae

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