How sep­a­rat­ing in the UAE af­fects ex­pats

7 Days in Dubai - - ASK THE EXPERT - Where can I get a di­vorce? My wife and I have agreed to get a di­vorce but we do not want to go through a time con­sum­ing court process. Is there a sim­pler way to get a di­vorce here in Dubai? I am a wife who is be­ing di­vorced by my hus­band in Dubai Courts.

he UAE court sys­tem can be a daunt­ing prospect for ex­pats - es­pe­cially those who are go­ing down the path of di­vorce. Nida Chaudhry, a so­lic­i­tor work­ing with TWS Le­gal Con­sul­tants in Dubai, an­swers some of the com­mon ques­tions.

This is the most com­mon ques­tion ex­pert fam­ily lawyers get asked. Le­gally, this is known as the con­cept of ju­ris­dic­tion - specif­i­cally, where can a di­vorce ac­tu­ally hap­pen.

In or­der for a court to ac­cept a di­vorce ap­pli­ca­tion, that court must have ju­ris­dic­tion.

The fac­tors that will de­ter­mine the pos­si­ble choices in­clude the coun­try where the hus­band and wife were mar­ried, where they were born, the place where they ha­bit­u­ally resided and/or the lo­cal UAE court.

Choos­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate ju­ris­dic­tion is crit­i­cal due to the dif­fer­ent out­comes that may arise in dif­fer­ent courts. For ex­am­ple, in the UAE, the gov­ern­ing law is Sharia law, which does not typ­i­cally grant spousal sup­port. It is im­por­tant to seek a lawyer’s ad­vice when choos­ing a ju­ris­dic­tion.

Yes, one of the av­enues through which cou­ples may ob­tain a di­vorce is through mu­tual con­sent. This means the cou­ple agrees to the

Even where a wife is spon­sored by her hus­band, she is not with­out a so­lu­tion af­ter di­vorce. First, her visa will not be au­to­mat­i­cally can­celled, her hus­band will have to take the step to ac­tu­ally go and can­cel it. Se­condly, an ex-wife main­tains the right to ob­tain her own visa au­tonomously.

She may ob­tain em­ploy­ment, or set up a com­pany, such as a free zone com­pany, which would grant her a visa.

Un­der UAE Law, the male is 100 per cent re­spon­si­ble for the sup­port of his chil­dren. As this would nat­u­rally in­clude ac­com­mo­da­tion, which is a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial obli­ga­tion, he would by de­fault also be pay­ing for the hous­ing of his ex-wife. Many ex-wives with chil­dren find this as­pect pro­vides a tremen­dous fi­nan­cial re­lief. Con­versely, this means that there is a great deal of weight on fa­thers go­ing through a di­vorce be­cause they are 100 per cent re­spon­si­ble for sup­port as soon as there are chil­dren in­volved. This cre­ates both a fi­nan­cial and men­tal bat­tle for the fa­ther, es­pe­cially for those who are not fa­mil­iar with the cul­tural in­tri­ca­cies of Sharia law in a fam­ily break­down.

A fa­ther has the op­tion of ob­tain­ing a travel ban to pre­vent the wife from trav­el­ling with the chil­dren. How­ever, this poses the sit­u­a­tion where the wife can­not travel at all with her chil­dren, elim­i­nat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of va­ca­tions. He will have to make a de­ci­sion to pos­si­bly risk los­ing his chil­dren per­ma­nently in an­other ju­ris­dic­tion or to forego the chil­dren’s op­por­tu­nity to travel with their mother on va­ca­tions.

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