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January 28, 2016


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Family Matters Q&A: Clear and Impartial Picture Required from Witnesses

Question: What should I do if a judge has requested witnesses during my family case?

Answer: It is not recommended that witnesses seek any guidance or meeting with the representative lawyer of the party. This is so the court can get a clear and impartial picture of the statement of the witness without any external pressure. Witnesses are required to take their Emirates ID or passport along and should be 21 years of age. They are required to take an oath on their holy book before their statements. Translators can be arranged by the court since the proceedings of the Family Court are in Arabic only. English to Arabic legal translators are often available on the spot. Translators for other languages, however, might need to be requested in advance.

It is also recommended if the party on whose behalf the witness is appearing is Muslim, the witnesses should also be Muslim. If the party is non-Muslim then non-Muslim witnesses might be accepted by the court. There should be two male, or one male and two female witnesses. The female witnesses shall be heard together while the male witnesses shall be heard alone. There is no audience in the Family Court.

Question:I filed my family case and completed the Reconciliation Section procedures. The judge is now referring my case to the mediators. What should I do?

Answer: In the event that a claim is not easy to prove, the court may appoint mediators. The purpose of appointing mediators is to communicate with the parties to reach an amicable settlement and to explore any options they might have to reach a workable arrangement. This is done keeping in mind the social importance of the family unit in the society.

During these communications the mediators try to explore the reason for the claim and the requested divorce and to try to work out who is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage and how it can be resolved. The mediators seek to learn if a happy life is possible between the parties and if reconciliation is possible.

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