Court of Cassation Rules in Landmark Family Case Judgment

Our client, being a citizen of the United States of America, filed a personal status case in the UAE for obtaining divorce. The divorce proceedings encountered opposition from the defendant, who cited an ongoing case in Texas, United States of America, seeking assets and alimony, considering that our client is a high net worth individual. Our defense strongly asserted the UAE's jurisdiction as both parties were residents in the UAE, questioning the validity of the Texas case. Initially, the Court of First Instance favored the defendant, pausing proceedings in the UAE due to the Texas case. Aggrieved by this judgment, our Emirati lawyers filed an appeal, reinforcing the UAE's jurisdiction and contesting the legitimacy of the Texas case based on residency requirements. Despite our appeal, the Appellate Court upheld the previous decision, leading our Emirati lawyers to approach the Court of Cassation. We reiterated the jurisdictional claim, emphasizing the absence of Texas residency in both parties. Simultaneously, the courts in the United States confirmed the lack of Texas jurisdiction and upheld the UAE's jurisdictional authority in the matter. The Court of Cassation ruled in favor of UAE jurisdiction and instructed the Court of First Instance for a retrial on the matter. Subsequently, the Court of First Instance granted the divorce, emphasizing the Court of Cassation's jurisdictional verdict. This decision stood firm despite the defendant's attempt to halt proceedings, rejected by the Appellate Court. These legal actions affirmed the UAE's jurisdiction, culminating in a favorable judgment for our client. The defendant appealed the judgment, yet the Court of Appeal upheld the decision based on the authoritative ruling by the Court of Cassation.

This judgment by the Court of Cassation is a landmark judgment for expatriates residing in the UAE, as the courts in the place of marital home are construed as competent jurisdiction in family law matters.

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