United Arab Emirates U.A.E.
Matrimonial and family issues are on the rise in the UAE as the expatriate population expands. Long working hours and outside influences create disharmony in the family home which ultimately leads to an increasing number of marital breakdowns.

Likewise, Child Abduction and relocation cases have increased as a result of the Global recognition of the UAE, and particularly Dubai. Many parents will make decisions of relocation for children without realising the consequences and upset to the family at large, but more particularly to children who subsequently have no future contact with the left behind parent. Parents can often make such decisions deliberately to escape the automatic relief that Hague Convention Countries afford. The UAE is not a member state but contrary to popular belief, it is possible to obtain restitution and appropriate Rule of Law in the UAE. Each case must be reviewed on its’ own merits, initially and a fixed fee will be quoted by us on a case by case basis.

Women in the UAE tend to be less in control of the finances, even their own, to some degree, not least of which because it is usually the husband who opens bank accounts, etc., upon his arrival in the UAE and once he has obtained a Resident's visa. The husband then will obtain a visa for his wife and family.

There is often a greater excess of available cash within a tax free environment which can be invested in alternative real estate, pension funds and investments, generally. A wife, albeit sometimes unintentionally, can often be left in the dark and be left off the Title of ownership to same.

In the UAE Jurisdiction is always the first consideration and it is often necessary to weigh up the pros and cons of any Jurisdictions that may potentially be available. Consideration must be given to that of the home country, the spouse's home country or the UAE Courts. In both the UK and the UAE, procedures are often carried out on paper and it is not necessary for the Divorce to be conducted where the marriage occurred. In either Jurisdiction, the Certificates and language will follow the language of that Country, however and so in the UAE all documents are submitted in Arabic and in the UK, clearly in English.

In the UAE it does not necessarily follow that Shariaa Law will apply to a Divorce. The Civil Transactions Code 1982 permits 'Personal Affairs" (family and inheritance matters) to be conducted in the parties National Law but it is often advisable to reach an agreement on all matters before filing, as any change, thereafter will likely cause complications to the process. The Personal Status Federal Law 28 of 2005 has now largely superceded the Civil Code and gives clarity to all matters relating to family and Inheritance Issues.

As experts we have been called upon by several International Lawyers to give evidence in Courts as to the Law, practice and procedures of the UAE, particularly in such cases of Child Abduction, relocation and custody disputes. We have often guided foreign Lawyers with the drafting of Children Orders for maximum protection of both parents and childrens' rights.

Sharia Law may apply Orders made in the UK Courts are capable of being enforced in the UAE Courts under Affiliation proceedings and careful thought needs to be taken before starting such an action, where conflicting.

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Burj Al Arab, Dubai
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