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January 19, 2017

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UAE Family Matters Q&As: Can My Husband Divorce Me over a Petty Issue?

Question: I'm Muslim wife, my husband is planning to divorce me on a very petty issue. We are finding it difficult to live with his brother under the same roof. I told him to get me a separate apartment in Dubai but he has refused and has chosen to divorce me instead. Do you think Dubai Courts would allow a divorce on these grounds, even though it's a matter that could have been resolved between us?

Answer: Unfortunately, your husband has the right to claim for divorce regardless of the reasons or grounds. But you would still have the right to claim compensation, or Nafakkit Muttaa, per Article 140 of Federal Law No 28 of 2005 - the Personal Status Law. This article states that "if the husband divorced his wife who married him a correct marriage without any reason or demand on her side, she would deserve compensation after divorce, in addition to the period of waiting expenses according to the situation of the husband". You also have the right to claim other financial rights such as unpaid dowry and unpaid financial support backdated to 36 months.

Question: My husband was a victim of theft. His wallet was stolen and he referred the matter to the police. Does he have a right to claim compensation?

Answer: The law gives the right to all victims, in any crime, without exception, to claim compensation. This right is given during the criminal procedure and before a judgment is given from the court of first instance. The law does not cite minimum or maximum limits for compensation, leaving it to the discretion of the court. The criminal court can decide on a civil claim raised during criminal proceedings, with the following expected outcomes: (a) if the accused is guilty, the court will have the discretionary power to award the full compensation or part of it; (b) if the accused is found guilty, the court has the discretionary power to refer to the civil courts for compensation; (c) if the accused is not found guilty, then it is likely that they will not award any compensation.

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