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Looking to file for divorce in the UAE for marriage abroad? Check out some information on divorce in the UAE and how to find an attorney.

How to File for Divorce in UAE for Marriage Abroad

Filing for divorce in UAE starts with a petition, which is written by a petitioner, you, and then served on your spouse. With divorce in UAE, it doesn’t matter where your marriage occurred. This means it is possible to get divorced even when you got married overseas. There are, of course, specific steps to take for a successful endeavor, and they are as follows:

Step 1: Decide on whether you’re going to apply for divorce only or other issues as well. 

Prior to applying to a judicial department for divorce in UAE, you need to decide whether you want to ask only for divorce or divorce and other matters e.g., child support, child custody, division of property, and spousal support. 

You won’t have to go to a local court for a court order in dealing with the issues mentioned above. Family law issues in UAE can be dealt with by the creation of a separation agreement with the help of a divorce attorney in UAE or by getting the assistance of a mediator or family lawyer in Dubai. 

There are also citizens and residents in UAE that choose to ask local courts in dealing with family law issues as they file for a divorce. Common reasons for this are the following:

  • A spouse wants the court order that can be enforced 
  • There’s a history of domestic abuse, drug abuse, or mental illness
  • A spouse or both parties to a marriage think that an agreement can’t be made with the partner without the help of the judicial process 

There’s no time limit to getting a divorce in UAE. 

Step 2: Choose a relevant judicial department for divorce filing. 

With the help of a divorce attorney in UAE, select a judicial department or local court in any of the emirates in UAE. Then, let the legal expert register your case at the court’s Family Guidance Section. In order to file for divorce, you need to be a citizen or resident in UAE. 

In addition, your spouse must be in the country as a conciliatory procedure is mandatory for all UAE divorce proceedings. Both parties to a marriage seeking a divorce are allowed in raising their issues and concerns regarding the marriage without their respective legal representatives.

Step 3: Complete the divorce petition. 

If you and/or your spouse are determined in proceeding with the divorce filing in UAE, get the conciliator’s referral letter which permits you and your partner to proceed with the process in concluding the divorce case. 

The letter, together with the divorce petition duly completed with the assistance of a divorce attorney in Dubai, must be submitted within three months starting from the date the referral letter was issued by the conciliator. 

Through the petition for divorce, the local court is provided with information regarding yourself, your partner, and the marriage. A petition for divorce is a document that formally asks the local court in declaring a legal end to your marriage. In the event that you don’t know the current address of your spouse, it is advised to raise the issue with your chosen legal representative. 

Step 4: Gather the supporting documents. 

As the marriage was performed abroad and the marriage certificate was issued by a foreign government authority, the document has to undergo attestation with all regulatory bodies including UAE Ministry/Dept of Foreign Affairs. Other documents are to undergo attestation as well, such as the birth certificates of children you have with your spouse. 

Step 5: Pay the divorce filing fees. 

The fee for a divorce filing in UAE can differ, depending on the legal documentation that’s submitted to a judicial department. Charges for initiating divorce proceedings, as well as securing a certificate of divorce are AED 500 (subject to change as per the discretion of the authorities). 

Local courts accept money orders or check as payment for divorce filing fees. They accept cash as well, and major debit or credit cards. It is a great idea to have a divorce attorney in UAE help in-managing the fees and payment methods. 

If you’re applying for a waiver, then bring the details of your income and property you own with you before a judge. You will have to appear before a judge as you would have to present and discuss your application.

Divorce attorneys in UAE 

For non-Muslim residents or expatriates in UAE, they can choose to apply the divorce regulations of their home countries with the divorce proceedings. The provisions related to Personal Status Law of UAE apply to UAE citizens unless non-Muslim spouses have special provisions which are applicable to their confession or community. 

It is worth talking to an attorney in UAE that specializes in family and divorce legislation prior to taking any steps for divorce. Only trust reputable firms like HHS Lawyers for a better chance at protecting you and your family’s best interests.

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