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August 11, 2016

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UAE Family Matters Q&A: Do I Need to Return Gifts to My Husband After Divorce?

Question: I am a non-Muslim woman married to a non-Muslim Asian man. We have been married for the past six years, living in the UAE during this time. During this period I have received from his various gifts such as cars, jewelry, art etc. He has now divorced me and is demanding that I return all the gifts I have received from him. Do I need to return the gifts I have received?

Answer: It is an established position of law in the UAE that gifts between couples cannot be demanded back. Article 649 of UAE Federal law no5 of 1985, the Civil Transaction Law, details that if a gift is made between spouses/ couples then such a gift cannot be cancelled and demanded back without the consent of the receiver of that gift.

Question: I am an Asian woman who lives in the UAE. My husband divorced me with a revocable divorce and promised me that he will not take me back. However, he did not keep his word and has now cancelled the divorce during the waiting period. What can I do to ensure the divorce happens?

Answer: Unfortunately, as per Article 108 of the Personal Status Law, a husband has the right to cancel the divorce within the three-month waiting period, even if he promised not to. This is because the right of a husband to take back a wife during the waiting period is a right that cannot be waived or dropped through agreement.

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