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family law

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July 21, 2016

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UAE Family Matters Q&A: Can I Divorce My Husband If He Can't Have Children?

Question: I have been married for more than seven years. We have no children owing to my husband's medical condition. We have been having treatment throughout this time, trying for a child, but it has been unsuccessful. My question is: can I claim for divorce from him on this ground?

Answer: Yes, you can. According to Article 114 of the UAE Personal Status Law, you have the right to opt for divorce on the ground that your husband cannot have children. However, this is valid only if the following conditions are met:

1. You do not have any children from any other marriage.

2. You have medical reports to prove or establish the fact that your spouse is not able to father children.

3. You have been married to him for more than five years.

4. You should have proof that medical treatment was attempted.

5. You are not more than 40 years old.

It should be noted that the above conditions are also applicable if the medical condition was with a non-Muslim wife and a non-Muslim husband wanted a divorce.

Also, if one of the conditions are not met, you will still have the right to apply for divorce on any other valid grounds. If no ground for divorce exists, a wife can still apply for a "Khula" to get the marriage terminated. However, this should be the last possible resort because you will lose various rights that you may otherwise have been entitled to.

Question: I am an Asian Muslim expatriate and I believe that my husband divorced me three times by saying the words "I divorce you" three times. Does this mean that I cannot remarry him at all?

Answer: It is a very common misconception among expats that the saying of "I divorce you" three times amounts to three separate divorces. This is not the case. The effect of saying, "I divorce you", whether once or three times, remains the same. It is considered one divorce.

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