Personal Status Law update UAE – December 2022

Personal Status Law update UAE – December 2022

Family Law – UAE and UK

Federal Law No (41) of 2022 on Civil Personal Status will come into effect on 1st February 2023 and regulates procedures in respect of marriage and divorce.  The new Law will regulate marriage conditions and also specify the procedures for divorce.  

By way of outline, the following are various provisions contained in the Decree relating to Family Law  : 

Article 3 provides an exception to attendance at family guidance whereby cases filed under the new Law shall no longer be presented to the Family Guidance Committee, which previously was a prerequisite.  Instead, the case will directly be referred to the Court for issuing of a judgment. 

Article 4 emphasises equality in rights and obligations by allowing the testimony of a woman in Court without any discrimination and providing the woman to a right to divorce her husband without prejudice to her rights in respect of the divorce.  More importantly, the woman shall have equal joint rights of custody with the man until the child reaches the age of 18.  

Article 5 stipulates that a civil marriage shall be conditional upon the following  : 

  1. Both parties must be at least 21 years of age.  
  2. The parties must not be related.
  3. The parties must each declare their consent to the marriage.
  4. The parties must sign a disclosure form.  

Article 6 further goes on to set out the procedure for a Civil marriage.  

Article 7 sets out the process for a unilateral Divorce whereby there is no need to justify the reason for the divorce therefore eliminating the need by either party to apportion blame or harm.  

Article 8 clarifies that in the event that 1 party wishes to divorce, they may express their desire to divorce without the need to justify any reason.  

Article 9 states that following the divorce, the wife may apply for alimony from her husband by using the Court prescribed form. In the event that financial provisions are not agreed, the Court will have wide discretionary powers to consider factors such as :

  1. The length of the marriage
  2. The age of the wife
  3. The financial situation of each party
  4. The extent of the husband’s contribution to the divorce 
  5. The financial damage caused to either party as a result of the divorce
  6. The extent of financial provisions made by the husband for the wife and the children 
  7. The extent of the care given to the children by the wife

Article 10 deals with the provisions for child custody to include the concept of shared parental responsibility. 

In the event of a dispute on matters relating to the children, either parent may approach the Court and make an application.  The Court will have wide discretionary powers to determine the best interest of the child.   

The above is a general overview and should not be construed as specific legal advice.  For further information or advice in relation to any family matters, please contact Dee Popat or our Family Department.

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