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March 10, 2019


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Can I stop my wife's affair without sending her to jail?

Question: My wife recently began having an affair with a man who lives in our neighborhood. Can I take legal action against her boyfriend but only to the extent of filing a police report so they may reprimand and discourage him from contacting my wife in future? We have two children together and I would like our marriage to work.

Answer: Adultery is a crime punishable by minimum one year in jail in the UAE. Accordingly, anyone accused of having consensual sex with someone they are not married to is likely to attract a jail sentence of one year, followed by deportation - should they be proven guilty.

Since the aforesaid crime is committed by both your wife and her boyfriend, the Prosecution shall not indict your wife's boyfriend alone.

Upon registering a complaint, prosecutors will investigate both your wife and her boyfriend and the aforesaid punishment will be inflicted upon both if they are found to be guilty.

The inquiry into the offence and the relative punishment is subject to the discretion of the criminal courts and will be based on the nature, admissibility and strength of evidence.

Question: I received a phone call from Dubai Courts Family Guidance Department who told me they have scheduled an appointment for me. Could you tell me more about the Family Guidance Department and what the purpose for their appointment with me might be?

The Family Guidance Department is located within the premises of the Personal Status Courts.

To register any family matter with the Personal Status Courts, you must first go through the Family Guidance Department. Only when this department provides the applicant with a court referral letter, can the applicant register a case before the Personal Status Courts.

The department aims to address family disputes amicably and endeavours to reach out of court settlements. All citizens and residents of the UAE can use the department's services.

It appears your spouse is the applicant and has registered a dispute with the Family Guidance Department. You may need to attend the hearing in person on the scheduled date. And you may be asked to produce your Emirates ID, or valid visit or residence visa and your legalised marriage contract.

The department will determine the issue between the two of you and pursue a possible agreement. Should you fail to reach an amicable agreement, the department will issue a No Objection Certificate to move to the court and register your court case.

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