Just as marriage is an important life decision, dissolving it is life-changing as well. Getting divorced means changing your entire lifestyle, moving out, and once again facing the world on your own. That is why it is important to thoroughly contemplate your situation before deciding to dissolve your marriage and file for a divorce. However, if you feel that there is no redeeming the damage that has been done to your relationship, or have grown tired of the same relationship problems day in, day out, here some of the legal aspects that you have to consider in filing for a divorce:
The first step in the divorce process is seeking the advice of a lawyer who specialises in divorce law, including the local Shariah law. To better understand the situation of the couple, a divorce questionnaire is given to the couple for completion. This will be used by the divorce lawyer to best determine where the divorce should take place, and the accompanying summary cost of the process.
It is important to note that where the divorce takes place has a significant impact on the extent of the divorce process, not to mention the financial settlements that will be accrued at the end. Judicial courts in the UAE apply features and properties of the Shariah law, which courts in other countries do not recognise. As such, a claimant may be entitled to maintenance in foreign courts, but may be granted none in Shariah courts.
Another aspect that must be considered is the cost. Professional fees for divorce can often amount to 8,000 to 12,000 AED, excluding financial settlements that must be agreed upon by both parties. Once a couple applies for divorce, they must establish the capacity to make sound, personal, independent decisions. Following this, the concern is filed at the Moral and Family Guidance Section at the Dubai Court.
The couple will be assigned a marriage counsellor, who will evaluate the situation and see if reconciliation is at all possible. If the marriage counsellor determines that there is no chance of reconciliation, then the divorce process is commenced.
The timeline of a divorce can take anywhere from three months to six months, on average. In some cases, it may take an even longer time to resolve. In the UAE, it can be particularly challenging for married couples to legally separate, as the judge must be absolutely convinced that the marriage cannot be saved before they grant approval for the divorce.