As we discussed last week, in accordance with the UAE’s Shariah law principles that regulate the arena of Family Law, certain procedures must be undertaken in order for a valid marriage contract to be terminated. For Muslims in the UAE, there are two pathways two divorce. This will cover the second pathway here:

  • The second method of obtaining divorce is by application to court, through a divorce case. The first step would then be a referral to the Family Guidance Committee, which forms a part of the court.
  • If the committee cannot encourage a reconciliation, the case will be referred to a judge who will decide where there is a valid reason for divorce. Grounds include:
    • Defects such as madness, leprosy, impotence or venereal disease. In this instance, the party must demonstrate they were not aware of this ‘defect’ at the time of marriage.
    • If a deceit is discovered that would have meant the marriage contract would never have been entered into, this is also grounds for divorce.
    • Non-payment of dowry.
    • Harm or disputes that make it impossible for the partie to live together.
    • Lack of financial support, if the husband has funds but fails to provide support.
    • Absence of one of the parties; but a year must pass from the time of application for such divorce to be granted.
    • A jail sentence of more than three years, if the jailed party has already been in prison for a year.
    • Desertion – if a husband leaves the family home and doesn’t return within four months of the wife’s request.