ما هي إجراءات الطلاق في الإمارات العربية المتحدة | How to Get Divorce in UAE

Getting a divorce in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates tops the list of Gulf countries in terms of divorce rates. This may be attributed to the high proportion of expatriates and visitors, among whom divorce rates constitute the majority of cases recorded in the country. Like anyone going through such an experience, residents in the UAE might find themselves pondering, “How to get divorce in UAE?”

Types of Divorce in the United Arab Emirates

Before answering how to get divorce in UAE, it’s essential first to differentiate among the various types of divorce and the individuals filing for divorce, as there are several forms of divorce.

Revocable Divorce

This type of divorce occurs with a single pronouncement. Article 104 of the UAE Personal Status Law defines revocable divorce as one where marriage cannot be contracted again until the waiting period (‘iddah) concludes. During the ‘iddah of a revocable divorce, the husband has the option to take his wife back, either verbally or by action. If the ‘iddah ends without the husband taking his wife back, the divorce becomes irrevocable (‘ba’in), with minor separation.

Irrevocable Divorce

There are also two kinds of irrevocable divorce: minor irrevocable divorce and major irrevocable divorce. A minor irrevocable divorce occurs if the husband pronounces divorce on his wife once or twice without taking her back during the ‘iddah. In this case, the husband can take his wife back if she agrees, according to legal procedures.

On the other hand, a major irrevocable divorce occurs when the husband says “you are divorced” to his wife three times, leading to a final separation. A condition for reunion after a major irrevocable divorce is that the woman marries another man, who then divorces her after consummation, and only then is it permissible for her first husband to remarry her following the completion of her ‘iddah.

This nuanced explanation aims to reflect a deep understanding of the legal intricacies involved, presented in an accessible manner for readers, ensuring clarity and adherence to legal accuracy throughout the article.

Absentee Divorce

Absentee divorce refers to the dissolution of marriage when the husband has been absent for more than a year without any legitimate justification for his abandonment. In such cases, the wife must undertake several procedures as stipulated in Article 129 of the Personal Status Law No. 28 in the United Arab Emirates. These procedures include:

  1. Filing a petition with the court, accompanied by evidence of the husband’s absence.
  2. Publishing a summons for the husband to appear, followed by his continued absence after a month.
  3. The court then issues a divorce decree.

The UAE Personal Status Law also outlines other situations where a divorce may occur, with the court’s decision based on its causes and circumstances. These include Khul’ (divorce initiated by the wife), judicial divorce (where the wife approaches the court to obtain a divorce), consensual divorce (agreed upon by both parties), and harm-based divorce, among others, influenced by societal, familial, and marital circumstances.

How to Get Divorce in UAE for Expats Residing in the UAE

For foreign expatriates who are non-Muslims, there are two options: either to apply the UAE Personal Status Law of 2005, which involves presenting the case to a conciliator followed by attempts at reconciliation and, if unsuccessful, proceeding to court for a resolution. These procedures apply to both Emirati citizens and expatriates opting for UAE law. The alternative is to adhere to the laws of the expatriate’s home country, necessitating a visit to their consulate to complete the procedures.

Muslim expatriates in the UAE undergo divorce proceedings according to Islamic Sharia law, with the duration varying based on the reasons for the divorce. Generally, divorces initiated by the husband take less time, whereas those intended to address harm take longer. Specifically, the procedure for Muslim expatriates involves:

  1. Registering the divorce request and opening a file in both parties’ names.
  2. Attending a guidance session where both spouses express their views, reasons, and concerns.
  3. Attempting reconciliation, and if that fails, referring the case to court.
  4. Presenting evidence and taking the appropriate legal actions in court.
  5. The UAE court evaluates and decides based on the couple’s testimonies and evidence presented.
  6. The divorce is finalized in front of a judge with the testimony of two witnesses.
  7. The divorce is dated as of the issuance date.

How to Get Divorce in UAE for UAE Nationality

To obtain a divorce, and before arriving to register it in court, the following procedures must be taken:

  • The divorce case is registered with the Guidance Department or the Correctional Department in one of the emirates of the country.
  • Take an appointment for both parties in the relationship.
  • The family mentor attempts to reconcile the two parties, and this attempt may be repeated more than once (especially with the increase in the causes of reconciliation).
  • Both parties agree according to a settlement based on mutual understanding.
  • Referral by the addressee to the court to provide evidence and initiate the separation process (when one or both parties adhere to the divorce decision).

Required Documents

Divorce requires legal papers that must be submitted to the court to register the case. The papers required for divorce in the UAE courts are:

  • Emirates ID for the couple or a clear copy of the ID.
  • The original copy of the marriage contract must be duly notarized.
  • A family statement that includes the number of children and the age of each.
  • Other documents may include reasons for divorce, such as a medical report on a specific health condition.

Divorce Certificate Attestation 

After following the previous procedures, Article No. (8) of the Personal Status Law answers the question, “How to get Divorce Certificate?”

  • Before going to court, the husband must divorce his wife with full will.
  • The husband’s presence before the documentation judge and his acknowledgment of the divorce.
  • Bring two witnesses to testify that the divorce occurred.
  • The wife must also be before the judge when the divorce is documented.
  • The husband and wife must be sane and mature.
  • In the event of absence, a representative for one or both spouses may be present.
  • If the wife is outside the country, the husband must visit the Residency Department to prove her absence.

After the previous conditions are met, the steps to confirm the divorce begin, which are now available electronically, by entering the website of the Ministry of Justice in the UAE and choosing “electronic services”, then entering the services guide, followed by requesting documentation from the Sharia judge, and submitting a request through the documentation system in addition to attaching the necessary documents and documents. Such as a personal identity card, marriage contract, and others that we mentioned previously, along with paying a fee of 500 dirhams, after which a divorce confirmation certificate can be obtained.

This was all you need to know about divorce procedures in the UAE. If you are about to file a divorce lawsuit, we advise you to learn about the wife’s rights after divorce in the UAE.

Our office is considered one of the most prestigious law firms in litigating divorce cases and the subsequent issues that result from them, such as alimony, custody, and so on. Do not hesitate to contact us to request legal advice.

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About Author

Humam Khalifa

A seasoned legal researcher with over 10 years of experience in legal research, article writing, precise legal analysis, and extensive legal research across various fields of law, including civil law, commercial law, criminal law, and international law.

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