New UAE Law Changes Regarding Marriage and Divorce in 2023
The UAE is making reforms to its family laws for non-Muslim expatriates, effective February 1, 2023. The Federal Personal Status Law, which was first announced in December 2022, will be introduced across the entire country.
The purpose of this law is to cover important family matters such as marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. Read this article till the end to know everything about these new reforms.
As per the new law, the conditions and procedures for non-Muslim couples to contract and document their marriage will be regulated by the competent courts. To get married, individuals must be at least 21 years old and must fill out a declaration form in front of a judge.
This law was initially only applicable in Abu Dhabi from February 2022, but starting from February 2023, it will be available throughout the UAE.
Divorce for UAE residents
The procedures for divorce, whether initiated jointly or unilaterally, will be organized under the new law. It’ll also settle the financial claims after divorce and arrange joint custody of children and either spouse can ask the court to end the marriage without proving fault or needing to justify the reason.
Divorces can be granted after a single hearing, without the need for family guidance counseling or meditation sessions that were previously mandatory. In cases of divorcing couples with children, joint and equal custody will automatically be granted until the children turn 18 years old.
In addition, financial alimony will be determined by several factors, including the length of the marriage, the wife’s age, and the financial status of both the husband and wife.
Inheritance for non-muslim in Dubai
Non-Muslims can now register their wills alongside their marriage certificate, which will allow them to pass their property to whomever they choose. If there is no will in place, 50% of a person’s estate will go to their spouse and the remaining 50% will be equally divided among any children. If the couple has no children, 50% will go to surviving parents or siblings.
UAE is making major strides in modernizing its family law system to provide better legal protection and security for non-Muslim expatriates in the country.
These reforms are part of a wider effort to create a more inclusive and progressive society, where all citizens and residents can enjoy equal rights and protections under the law.
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