Family Laws for Non Muslims Expats Revealed

  • Publish date: Friday، 20 January 2023
Family Laws for Non Muslims Expats Revealed
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A non-Muslim family court for expatriates has been announced by the UAE and will start operating on February 1, 2023. The country's position as a destination for tolerance, stable families, and demographic diversity is set to be strengthened by the federal personal status law.

Family issues, including marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody, will be covered under the new law for non-Muslim expatriates.

Unilateral "no-fault divorces" will also be incorporated into the laws. In order for the non-Muslim provision to be applicable, the parties' marriage must have ended after the non-Sharia law was implemented; non-Muslim expats must have a resident visa and a passport from a nation where Sharia law is not applicable; or the marriage must have ended in a nation whose family law does not incorporate Sharia principles. In cases where a legal marriage ends, a child is based there, either party has a work or residential address in the UAE, or there are resident expats or former residents involved, the newly introduced law will have authority.

Along with divorces, the new law will also permit the registration of Wills at the time of the marriage, permitting non-Muslim spouses to decide how their money based in the UAE would be distributed after their death. More specifically, half of the assets will be divided equally among all children, regardless of gender, and the other half will go to the spouse.

The change will take effect starting February 1, 2023, and each Emirate will set up a family court to address conflicts involving expats.

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