How to Get a Divorce in Dubai
How to Get a Divorce in Dubai
The dissolution of marriage in any country or culture is generally a painful process for both parties. The already daunting task of regaining psychological equilibrium when love goes wrong is only compounded when the legal matters of divorce are introduced. Divorce in Dubai is handled under Sharia Law unless the parties are expatriates. All emirates will be governed under Sharia Law.
Top Reasons for Divorce Among Islamic Couples
One of the main reasons that men in Dubai request divorce is due to their wives not being as modest as they demand. When their wives fail to be modest the husband can seek divorce and generally be granted it by the UAE. Some of the top reasons most wives seek divorce under Sharia Law in Dubai is because their spouse is treating them cruelly, or does not provide for them or their children although the husband is physically and mentally capable of doing so, or the husband does not sufficiently follow traditional laws and customs of Islam.
Desertion, failing to meet conjugal needs, and physical or mental defects not present or aware of before the marriage are reasons both sides have reported as reasons for requesting divorce as well.
Top Reasons for Divorce Among Dubai Xpats
Many marriages in Dubai end in divorce when one or both in the marriage are xpats. Dubai is a booming country filled with many xpats who have come to the country for work. When one spouse or the other is separated from their homeland, family, and friends they may suffer from depression and homesickness. This can lead to the xpat resenting their spouse and thus causing a strain on the marriage. It is also common that the xpat spouse will travel to their homeland for weeks or months at a time. These extended visits mean the couple is away from each other and during this period is when the chance of infidelity is high.
How to Get Divorced in Dubai
Sometimes a couple has become so estranged for various reasons that they feel the only option is to divorce. Under Sharia Law there are certain requirements before a couple can be divorced. If the couple is non-Muslim they can request a divorce under the rules and laws of their home country. In the case that the couple is Muslim the governing of the divorce will be under Sharia Law.
The first step in the process of seeking divorce is to register the divorce case at the Moral & Family Guidance Section at Dubai Courts. Once the registration is complete the couple will have to then meet with a counselor who will try to mediate with the husband and wife to reach reconciliation. If both parties insist on divorcing even after the counseling they will be forwarded to the courts. If one party still insists but the other is opposed, the matter will likely still be forwarded to the courts if further counseling still remains fruitless.
In the courts, the couple will state their reasons for wanting to dissolve the marriage. If the judge finds the reasons to be sufficient, the divorce will be granted. Some believe that a husband only has to request divorce three times (Talaq) to the wife and the divorce is finalized. This is merely a symbolic gesture and is not legally standing. However, the judge can grant the divorce on these grounds, but the divorce is not legal unless the courts grant it.
Dubai Divorce Facts and Statistics
The rate of divorce since 2009 has raised for both emirates and expatriates. Since 2009 the rate of divorce among emirates has risen by 7%, for expats the rate has gone up almost 30%.
The laws regarding dowry have changed since 2005. The woman is only entitled to Dh50,000 regardless of the original marriage contract. This only applies to emirates. If an xpat wife requests divorce under her home country’s law, then she will be entitled to whatever her original dowry contract stated. However, If the xpat was married in the UAE after 2005, then her dowry is not to exceed Dh50,000 because she made the contract under laws in Dubai.
After Talaq, the wife, under Sharia Law, must observe Iddat. Iddat lasts 3 months. In this process the husband is allowed to insist his wife return to the marriage. If after the three months the woman still wants the divorce, the judge will dissolve the marriage. The husband can request the process of Talaq on three separate occasions but can only insist she return two of the three times.
Dubai Divorce Rates
The rate of divorce is one of the highest in Dubai among other Arab countries. This is primarily due in part to the number of xpats in the region. The Dubai Statistics Center reported a 30% rise in the number of divorces among xpats from 2009 to 2011. Many blame the divorce rate uprising on the financial crisis. The divorce rates of many countries rose during this time frame as well.
To get a divorce in Dubai under Sharia Law, the couple needs to have a legitimate excuse. Divorce is very much frowned upon in Islam but couples do have the right to a divorce in Dubai. The courts have strict laws governing divorce, but divorces are possible. The law is made so that the couple explores ways to reconcile before making the final decision to dissolve the marriage completely.
Sharia law does make it more difficult for couples to divorce but still allows them to dissolve the marriage if there is no possibility of reconciliation. The UAE judge will make the final decision as to whether or not to grant the divorce to the couple. Sharia Law is a complex and often misunderstood law. Sharia Law scholars themselves often find themselves butting heads on what the law actually means in relation to some legal matters. Divorces in Dubai are governed by Sharia Law and sometimes one judge may rule differently than another on a very similar divorce reason.
Looking to get married in Dubai? Check out our article on How to get married in Dubai.