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July 28, 2016


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UAE Family Matters: Are Witness Statements Valid in Cases of Domestic Violence?

Question: I am a non-Muslim expatriate woman. I filed for divorce on the basis of domestic abuse. In court, the judge requested that I bring two witnesses. I have witnesses who are aware of the torture I am being subjected to. But they are not eyewitnesses. Can they provide statements based on what they have heard from me and my family?

Answer: Per Article 122 of UAE Federal Law no28 of 2005, the Personal Status Law, you have the right to bring witnesses who may provide statements based on what they have heard if such torture/harm is well known in your family. For your husband to counter these statements he would need to produce witnesses who were present at the time of the alleged abuse, to testify that your allegations are false.

Question: I am a European woman married to an Asian man. We moved to the UAE five years ago but he left two years ago and has not come back. I do not know where he is. Can I file for divorce in the UAE on these grounds?

Answer: As per Article 6/2 of UAE Federal Law no 28 of 2005, you have the right to file a case to claim for divorce from your husband based on the fact that he is outside the country and you do not know his whereabouts. UAE courts will have jurisdiction to rule on your case.

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