How to File For Divorce in Dubai? A Procedure to Follow for any Nationality

UAE is a melting pot of culture, where people from different walks of life come together and call it their home. As it is an Islamic country, the culture there is way too different, and people from around the world need to respect it. So, when it comes to thinking of a divorce in Dubai, you may be wondering how the process is. Separations in the current time have become a trend, all around the world, and UAE isn’t an exception in this. 

Local laws and rules do reflect a lot when it comes to Divorce, as the tradition is based on Islamic Sharia Law. So, many expats ask whether they can have a divorce through a simple process, or does it require lots of rules and procedures. Well, family law matters are challenging, especially when it involves a house, kids, and other shared responsibilities. So, if you are wondering how to file for divorce in Dubai, let us figure this out for you in detail.

Understanding Divorce Type in Dubai 

The UAE Federal Law No. 28/2005 on Family law is the one that governs the divorce system of UAE! They have stated divorce to be of two types, namely: 

  • Talaq (when a husband pronounces divorce)
  • Khula (when a wife obtains a separation)

In UAE, Talaq is declared to be the most common form of separation, when the husband decides to part ways. Talaq can be mutually agreed too, but it is accepted only when a husband says it three times to her wife! The couple can decide if they want to take this matter to the court, or settle it out! 

For Khula, the wife needs to be clear on why she is seeking separation and prove it in court for their satisfaction.

Signs That You Might Need a Divorce 

Before you begin the process of filing for separation, you need to think through it. It is a decision of a lifetime, and you cannot change it, or remove it from your life, and it is something to carry for years. If you’re not sure whether separation is the right option for you, find out the signs for it.

  1. You and your spouse no longer communicate with each other and every time you do, there is nothing but arguments. 
  2. You no longer feel safe around your spouse, and there is a sense of vulnerability that you feel that you can’t avoid.
  3. You or your spouse have broken one of the promises during marriage and cheated on each other. 
  4. You have no feeling or connection with your spouse, be it emotional or physical and it is burdening you.
  5. Even though you are married, you live separately, and you’re happy when they are away.

How to File for Divorce in the UAE? 

Getting a divorce in UAE is not too challenging, but it depends on person to person. If you’re partying ways where both the parties are fully agreeing on the divorce, then it’s seamless. But if one of the parties has issues, it can be challenging. So, let’s find out how to file for divorce in Dubai for Indian, or any other nationality. 

If it is agreed by both the parties: 

  • First is to submit your divorce petition, it can be either one person in the relation that can register or both. This has to be done with the Family Guidance section, regardless of the emirates you’re in. 
  • Now, the couple will be required to submit the marriage proof, a copy of it will be acceptable too. You need to submit your Emirates ID as well as your passport for verification. 
  • After submitting the document, the counseling process will begin to asses and handle the separation. It will help to understand whether divorce is the right path for the couple or not. 
  • It can either be a counselor or a family lawyer who will take a session with both the parties, and ask about the matter of separation. The whole process can take up to a matter of three months!
  • Once the counselor has understood that divorce is mutual consent from both parties, then the process of child custody and asset distribution begins. 
  • The counselor also informs about the rights of both parties post-divorce, and there will be an agreement drafted by the counselor for the final date of hearing against the judge
  • The agreement that is prepared will then be submitted, as well as it will be filed in the Personal Status Court! This agreement will be translated into Arabic language as a solid record.

If one of the parties agrees: 

If you are wondering how to file divorce in Dubai for Filipino or any other nationality, if it’s not agreed upon by both parties, let’s find out. The couple will be requested to present before the judge on the appointed date. The judge will look at the agreement provided by the counselor, and then pass judgment based on that. Both the parties will provide offers and counter offer and it will be heard by the judgment to conclude. 

  • For a legal proceeding, you can always hire a lawyer who can help you make the best case for yourself. Arabic is the most preferred language in the court, but if needed you can have a translator who will help you through this. 
  • Once the divorce is accepted and issued by the judge, then the couple will receive a divorce certification. 
  • Both parties will be given at least 28 days to appeal the judgment
  • Further, this case will proved to the Enforcement Court, and they will ensure proper implementation and rules are followed and in order.
  • Divorce certification should then be submitted to the Department of Justice. If in case you’re a non-Emirati, you can submit it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and your respective consulate. 
  • Once the divorce certificate is received, you have no option for reconciliation.

Separation is a very serious matter and it requires a proper mindset and mutual agreement. Especially when you are living in a different country, you must learn their laws and rules towards it. Now that you are well aware of how to file for divorce in Dubai, you can go about the process all on your own. If you need, hire a lawyer, or a counselor to guide you through this challenging journey. 

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