Legal Disputes Procedure in Family Cases in the UAE
This article aims at walking everyone interested through the legal procedure that most family disputes follow in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Family Guidance Committee is the first step in the divorce legal procedure. The municipal courts cannot be accessed directly in family disputes. In such circumstances, the Family Guidance Committee must obtain a no-objection certificate or a transfer letter before approaching the courts. Due to the importance of family in the UAE societal setting, this is regarded as an important phase in which they attempt to address any disputes amicably between the husband and spouse.
The claimant must bring the following documentation with them while attending the family advice committee: Emirates ID Original and Marriage certificate. If the marriage was contracted outside of the UAE, the paperwork must be legalized by that country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attested by the UAE embassy there. After that, the document must be authenticated by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, translated into Arabic, and stamped by the UAE Ministry of Justice.
The Family Guidance Committee notifies the other party of the hearing date once the claimant has filed the above documents. The husband and wife must appear in person before the committee at this point in the procedure and cannot be represented by family members or lawyers.
If the opposite party fails to show up for the hearing, the Family Guidance Committee may grant another date before issuing a No Objection letter (NOC) or a Transfer Letter to file the family case.
When a respondent receives such a notice, it is strongly recommended that they obtain legal advice prior to the hearing date and schedule an appointment with a well-qualified attorney to assess the claim’s implications and how they should reply. It should be highlighted, however, that the family counseling committee is not authorized and does not have the authority to rule without both parties’ approval or to force the other party to accept any judgment rendered. The parties are within their rights to reject any solution presented by the committee at this point.
When approaching the family guidance committee or any court in the UAE, it is also important to keep in mind the UAE’s moral and cultural values. Both men and women should dress modestly and in accordance with UAE cultural norms. The family guidance committee and the courts have the right to deny entry to anyone who is inadequately dressed.
The Family Guidance Committee will issue an NOC or a Transfer Letter to the claimant if all parties present and no amicable solution is reached. This NOC enables the claimant to file the case in court and initiate the divorce legal process.
If the parties are able to achieve an acceptable arrangement and are willing to sign a settlement agreement to that effect, it is strongly recommended that they obtain legal advice at that time. The settlement agreement in this case is signed in front of a judge from the Family Guidance Department, and two copies are given to the parties for future reference. Both parties must adhere to the terms of this settlement agreement, thus any agreements reached between the parties should be evaluated by a competent attorney to ensure that they are in their best interests.
After studying the procedure related to family disputes in the UAE, it is important to emphasize on the importance of adequate legal representation. We at Fotis Law Firm provide comprehensive legal advice and supervision of the legal proceedings for clients looking for family lawyers and divorce lawyers in the UAE. Our family lawyers in the UAE are qualified to give more than just professional legal advice. Our goal is to deliver efficient services to our clients during their periods of emotional turmoil, assisting them in accelerating their cases quickly and achieving desired outcomes. Our expertise in family law matters has enabled our clients to avoid a number of mistakes, including but not limited to:
Legal custody for the children. For instance, some divorce settlement agreements provide that the custody of minor children is to be given to the father. Because of the children’s ages, the spouse accepts this clause assuming that the custody will go to the father until they reach adulthood. However, because of this clause the mother may have renounced her right to custody because the father’s custody has not been limited on the basis of the children’s age, it is expected that the children will remain with the father even when they reach adulthood. This will limit the father’s contact with the child because obtaining custody after such an arrangement is more difficult.
Extra financial obligation. In the situation where the mother keeps custody of the minor children until they reached adulthood, the father might be compelled to pay children maintenance until the children reach adulthood, which could be up to more than 10 years, without the mother’s thorough information on how the money is used.