Grounds for Divorce in UAE

A divorce is the cancelling of the valid agreement of marriage between the parties, and the provisions of this act are in Federal Law Number 28 of 2005 on Personal Status. A person of any nationality or religion can request a divorce, but the couple must be a UAE resident for at least six (6) months before filing the divorce. According to Sharia Law, there are two types of divorce:

i. The revocable divorce: the parties will have a waiting period of 3 months where the married will keep valid, and after this period, if they decide to reconcile, they can do it but entering a new marriage contract

ii. The irrevocable divorce: the divorce ends the marriage immediately.

iii. In UAE, we can find two methods of divorce:

– The husband or wife shall say or write “I divorce you” or “talaq” in the presence of a witness. This is considered a valid divorce method, but it will be necessary to register the Court’s divorce. According to article 106 of Personal Status Law, divorce is deemed valid when the judge authenticates it.

– The applicant will issue a divorce case, and the parties will be referred to the Family Guidance Committee. This method is called separation by way of a judgment.


Additionally, for the dissolution of the marriage

the personal status law provides the legal reasons to get the divorce in UAE:

    1. A known place: if the husband has funds, the alimony judgment must be enforced on these funds, but if he has no funds, the judge gives him one month to execute his duty, in case of not compliance, the judge must order the divorce.
    2. An unknown place: If his whereabouts are unknown and additional there is no evidence that he has funds, the judge must order the separation.


Effect of Divorce

It is essential to know what are the effects of divorce, such as:


The Process to File a Divorce in the UAE

These are the steps to follow to file a divorce in UAE:

1. To register the case at the Family Guidance Section in the respective judicial department in one of the emirates.

2. A conciliator will be chosen by the Court to try to reconcile the divorcing parties.

3. In the conciliatory procedure, an amicable divorce can be concluded at this step. The spouses will need to draft a settlement based on the parties’ mutual understanding and sign in before the conciliator.

4. If one or both parties fail to agree about the divorce or its terms, the conciliator will provide a referral letter to proceed before the Court.

5. They have three months to submit the letter to the Court, and the parties must provide the evidence to the Court.