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Divorce for Expatriates Dubai

Divorce for Expatriates Dubai


Divorce Advice For Expatriates In Dubai and The U.A.E.

What is the Position of Expats in Dubai if the spectre of divorce looms?

London is often considered the ‘divorce capital of the world’ mainly because of its liberal treatment of applicant wives particularly with regards to maintenance in the event of divorce. Wives living in Dubai however do not benefit from the same opportunities; indeed if the divorce takes place in Dubai they are usually seriously disadvantaged. Husbands note therefore that divorcing in Dubai can often provide the best financial outcome [subject to compliance with local rules]. Even then though there is a possible lifeline to a disadvantaged wife. See comment on so called Part III applications below.

Using online divorce service was most beneficial to me. It allowed me to complete my divorce without having to take time off work which greatly reduced my costs, particularly as I live outside of the UK
– Mr T. H. (Ireland)

Any expatriate married couple contemplating divorce will need to consider the following:-

  • Are there sufficient assets or incomes to justify spending money on lawyers looking for the best options? If yes then,
  • Where could I divorce? And finally,
  • Where should I divorce?


English proceedings

Most expatriate wives will be advised to try to use English divorce laws because it is likely to benefit them. Where you actually live [habitual residence] is not the bar people think it is as most English couples can divorce in England because of their retained domicile. Please call for further information on this as it’s probably easier to explore your situation with a phone call or via Google Hangout/Skype. Husbands in some situations should also consider a divorce in England.

Dubai Local Divorce Law

If you are living in Dubai or indeed in the UAE generally and qualify on residence then you are most likely able to start divorce proceedings there. The financial remedies available are limited though. For instance if assets are not in joint names there can be no division of said assets. Also spousal maintenance is modest and limited in time. If there children of the marriage though the non-custodial parent will be required to support the children.

Remedies in England following a Dubai Divorce

If you have been divorced in in the UAE, an application can be made in England under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 [The Part III procedure] which permits the English Court to consider whether the foreign court made proper financial provision. This is by no means a guaranteed second bite of the cherry though as the court must consider carefully a number of factors to decide whether the applicant should be awarded anything using the Part III procedure. To apply you must establish habitual residence or domicile in the UK. Clearly there must be assets in the UK to merit an application/award. Schedule One of the Children Act 1989 may also provide a remedy if there are children living in England with a parent.

Enforcing an English Court Order in Dubai

Once considered impossible it is now possible for the courts in Dubai to consider enforcement pursuant to Art 235 of the UAE Civil Procedure Court Law No. 11 of 1992.

This requires careful consideration however as it is a relatively new procedure and success varies on a case by case basis. Traditional reciprocal enforcement measures tend not to work.

“I was dreading having to start my divorce in Spain. Thankfully I found and as soon as I had spoken to them I felt the weight lift off my shoulders”
– Bella (Spain)

Get in touch with us to arrange an informal chat about Dubai Divorce

For all the help you will need please call us now on 0333 456 4444 (International +44 1992 505 406) or complete our Online Enquiry Form and we will soon be in touch.

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