Abu Dhabi Issues New Laws for Civil Marriage and Divorce

  • Publish date: Sunday، 06 February 2022
Abu Dhabi Issues New Laws for Civil Marriage and Divorce
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(WAM) H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), issued Decision No. 8 of 2022 approving the Regulations for the implementation of the Civil Marriage and Divorce Law No. 14 of 2020 in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The regulations encompass all the details about the organisation of legal proceedings under the Civil Marriage and Divorce Law in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for foreigners.

  1. The regulations span 52 articles dealing with the jurisdiction of the Civil Family Court, which has been established in the emirate, to decide on claims and disputes related to civil marriage and its effects, such as civil divorce, joint custody of children, financial rights arising out of divorce, wills, civil inheritance, proof of parentage, adoption, and other foreign nationals' personal status issues.
  2. The second chapter of the Decision deals with civil marriage procedures and the conditions for its conclusion, the most important of which is the absence of the requirement for a tutor or guardian for the wife and the absence of the provision of witnesses, in addition to the possibility of concluding civil marriage contracts for tourists and individuals residing outside the emirate or outside the country, a service that is provided by the emirate exclusively in the region.
  3. The third chapter covers civil divorce procedures or what is known as "no fault divorce", based on the equal right of both spouses to initiate a divorce without prejudice to the wife's financial rights in connection with the divorce, from the first hearing without the need to prove prejudice or justify the reasons for separation, thus making it possible to complete the procedures easily and swiftly to reduce quarrels and discord between the spouses, especially if the couple has children.
  4. The fourth chapter deals with the joint custody of children granted systematically on an equal basis to the father and mother. It details the method of alternating and dispatching joint custody between the parents, either weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, how to oppose it if there are grounds for doing so, or to request the relinquishment of custody or the exclusion of the partner from joint custody, whether it is legal or real custody or both.
  5. The fifth chapter details the special rules for the consideration of civil family matters as its procedures differ from those provided for in the Civil Procedure Law, and the case is brought directly before the court for determination at the first hearing without going through the Family Guidance procedure. The court proceedings have the particularity of being bilingual, both in court forms and in oral proceedings. The court has the discretion to conduct court proceedings in English if both parties to the proceedings are not familiar with Arabic, provided that the claim form and judgment are filed in Arabic and English.
  6. Finally, the sixth chapter, addresses appeal proceedings against judgments and enforcement proceedings, as the judgment rendered by the court is final and enforceable at once following its issuance if the amount adjudicated is less than AED500,000, in cases of alimony and post-divorce financial rights proceedings.