How to File a Family Case in UAE
In our day to day life, we witness many family disputes relating to divorce, maintenance, custody, guardianship, etc. In the UAE, there is a well dedicated mechanism to settle all these disputes. The personal status law of UAE is the chief legislation that governs all the family disputes.The aggrieved party, with the assistance of a lawyer, can initiate proceedings.
As per Article 58 of the Personal Status Law, the primary step in all family disputes is that the case is first submitted before a “Family Guidance Committee” before approaching the court. Since a family dispute involves deep social values, the committee always tries to settle their dispute amicably.
While approaching the committee, the claimant should take the following documents with him/her.
- Emirates ID
- Marriage certificate, if the case relates to divorce
- Birth certificate or other proof, in case the matter relates to custody or guardianship
- The original documents of the property, if the matter relates to inheritance or succession.
After the aforesaid documents are submitted, the committee gives a date of hearing to the parties. The parties need to appear in person before the committee and can’t be represented through their lawyers. If one party doesn’t appear on the given date, the committee may give another date for hearing. However, if the party still remains absent, the committee issues a no objection certificate and the case is transferred to the family court.
In the regular proceedings, the committee pronounces its judgement after hearing both the parties. It is important to note that the committee can’t force its judgement on the parties without their consent. The parties to the case can refuse the settlement offered by the committee. If this happens, the committee issues a transfer letter which can be submitted before the court within 3 months of the date of issue.
As per Article 5 of the law, the Personal Status Court of first instance is competent to adjudicate all the family cases which are transferred from the family division committee. In the court, both the parties submit their arguments along with supporting documents. The court, after having regard to all the factors, pronounced its judgements.
Laws concerning family disputes
Article 99 of the Personal status law states that a case for divorce can be filed on grounds of physical torture, mental harassment, leprosy, impotency etc. The divorce is based on the principles of Sharia Law.
Children Custody and Guardianship
As per Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, the father is the guardian and the mother is the custodian of the child. Article 156 of the same law states that the custody of the child under the mother ends when their son reaches the age of 11 and when their daughter reaches the age of 13. Thereafter, the father can ask for custody.
In such cases, the court decides the case with an objective of maximising the wellbeing of the child. It depends on various variables, including the psychological condition of the custodian, budgetary conditions, and the best interest of the child.
Thus, a family case has various facets, it is strongly advisable to contact a lawyer before initiating the case.