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Grounds For Filing Divorce in UAE

Grounds For Filing Divorce in UAE

The divorce cases are rising rapidly in the world, and the UAE is no exception to it. Divorce refers to the termination of a valid marriage agreement between the parties. In the UAE, the Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 (UAE Personal Status Law) governs all the provisions relating to divorce. One of the unique characteristics of the UAE divorce Law is that people from any nationality or religion can file for divorce in the country, but the couple must reside in UAE for a minimum period of 6 months, before filing the divorce.

The UAE Personal Status law enumerates certain grounds on which a divorce case can be filed. These grounds are as follows-

  • Adultery

This is one of the main grounds of Divorce in the UAE. In adultery, a person pursues a sexual relationship outside the marriage. It is also considered a criminal offense and attracts penal liabilities. For proving this offense, circumstantial evidence, statements of eyewitnesses, phone tapping, photographs, etc. are widely used.

  • Physical or Mental Abuse

The UAE personal status law considers both the physical and the mental abuse as valid grounds for divorce. To demonstrate abuse in a relationship, the petitioner needs to submit a medical certificate or other evidence supporting the claim. The statement of the petitioner must be corroborated with 2 male witnesses. Though a female witness can also be used, it is counted as a half witness.

  • Desertion

In legal terms, Desertion refers to that situation wherein one party leaves the marriage without the consent of the other party. It is imperative to note that this desertion must be for a certain period (1-2 years) to qualify as a valid ground for divorce.

  • Separation due to Defects:

If a party is suffering from leprosy, genital defects, or insanity, then the other party can ask for divorce. However, it is important to note that, if the other party is already aware of the aforesaid defects, she can’t claim divorce thereafter.

Article 114 of the UAE personal status Law states that if the marriage agreement is entered due to commission of deceit or any fraudulent conduct by one party, the other party can legally claim divorce on the aforesaid ground.

  • Non-payment of the Due Dowry:

As per Article 116 of the Personal Status law, In case of non-consummated marriage, the wife can claim divorce from her husband for non-payment of dowry. However, if the marriage is consummated, divorce will not be possible.

  • Divorce by Repudiation:

The provisions of “divorce by repudiation” are provided under Article 99-108 of the UAE Personal Status Law. The repudiation can be written, verbal, or in any other comprehensible form.

  • Abstention from Support:

Article 124 of the UAE Personal Law enables the wife to claim divorce from her husband, if he doesn’t have the fund/financial capacity to support her wife.

  • Separation for “ila” and “zihar”:

As per Article 132 of the Personal Law, if the husband swore not to have sexual relation with his wife for a period of 4 months or more, it qualifies as a valid ground for divorce, and wife can make an application on the basis of it.

  • imprisonment:

Article 131 of the law provides that the wife can claim divorce if the husband is in jail for a period of 3 years or more. It is important to note that the application of divorce can only be made after the completion of 1 year of imprisonment.

Some of the grounds of divorce also constitute criminal offense. So, before filing a divorce case, one should seek legal assistance to frame his/her case accordingly.

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