This regulates personal status issues for foreigners, including civil marriage, no-fault divorce, joint custody of children and financial rights.

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Published: Mon 28 Feb 2022, 16:03

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) organized an international online forum, where Dr. Lena-Maria Möller, international expert in family law at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, spoke .

She reviewed the articles of the Abu Dhabi Civil Marriage Act and its effect on Abu Dhabi and its implementing regulations.

Dr Möller said that recent legislative developments in the UAE, particularly those related to family and children’s laws, and their role in preserving and protecting rights have an impact on the stability of society and the educating generations appropriately.

This new law regulates personal status issues for foreigners, including civil marriage, no-fault divorce, joint custody of children, and financial rights.

It applies to all expatriates, non-residents and tourists regardless of their religion, as long as their country of origin does not apply Sharia in family matters.

In his discussion, Dr. Möller focused on the arrangements for joint custody of children after divorce. She discussed in detail the sharing of custody between the father and the mother, the cases of loss of joint custody, if any of the cases prejudicial to the interests of the child occur, with details of how to request the intervention of the court in case of disagreement on any decision concerning the child after the divorce.

She highlighted the comprehensiveness of the regulations, which address the jurisdiction of the Civil Family Court to adjudicate claims and disputes related to civil marriage and its effects. This includes financial rights arising from divorce, custody of children, wills, civil succession, proof of parentage and other issues related to the personal status of foreigners. As well as civil marriage procedures and the conditions for its conclusion, civil divorce procedures (no-fault divorce), which are based on the equal rights of both spouses to seek divorce without prejudice to the financial rights of the wife in the divorce.


Dr. Ahmed Abdelzaher, legal adviser in the technical office of the ADJD under-secretary, spoke about the scope of the law and the criteria for determining jurisdiction, in accordance with recent amendments, which stipulate that in the event of marriage breakdown takes place in accordance with this law, this law shall be applied for all the effects of the marriage and its dissolution, as well as for the wills and estates of those affected by its provisions, where the bequest or the money which is bequeathed to them is inside the country.

Advisor Ali Al Shaer Al Dhaheri, Director of the Judicial Inspection Division at the Judicial Department, said the Civil Marriage Act aims to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position and competitiveness as a destination for skills and experts around the world in the light of a legislative framework and judicial environment guaranteeing the achievement of justice and the protection of rights.

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