Significant changes to family laws will be made effective on February 1, 2023, according to Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status for Non-Muslims (“New Non-Muslim Family law”). Non-Muslim residents are subject to the Decree-requirements Legislation unless they follow the rules set out by the law of their own country.
Foreigners who are not Muslims may also agree to replace the requirements of this Decree-Law with other laws governing family or personal status in the UAE. Currently, the Federal Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005 establishes the Sharia-compliant rights of all parties.
The Federal Personal Status Law is only the most recent in a line of ongoing initiatives to update the legal framework in the United Arab Emirates. The critical requirement for civil Marriage in Dubai under the new Non- Muslim law is described in this post.
Significant Changes introduced under New Non-Muslim Family law in Dubai
To make the UAE more desirable as a place to live and work, the New Non-Muslim Family law, which was unveiled in December 2022, would bring the UAE into compliance with international standards. It includes the following Major Changes:
- It defines the process for resolving the financial claims following divorce and lays out the rules for Civil marriage contracts to courts and concluding divorces.
- After divorce, parents will automatically be given joint and equal custody of the kids.
- The new Non-Muslim Family law governs inheritance, wills, and paternity evidence procedures.
- Unless someone decides to use the law of their native country, the requirements of the legislation apply to non-Muslim foreign residents who live in the UAE.
- Under this statute, women have equal rights to provide witness evidence, inherit property, seek a divorce, and share custody of their children until they become 18 years old.
- The children will then have the option to choose between their parents. The custody is split equally between the parents until one parent asks the court to exclude the other parent based on the child’s best interests. Both parents will be allowed to submit petitions to the court in this situation, and the court will then determine what is best for the kid.
- Civil unions are recognized under this statute, he added. Still, they must abide by several requirements, including that both parties be twenty-one years old and consent by signing a declaration form in front of the court.
- According to the new rule, one spouse must advise the court of their decision to dissolve their marriage before filing for divorce without needing to defend, explain, or assign blame to the other spouse. Without demonstrating any wrongdoing during their Marriage, they are permitted to ask for a divorce.
Another significant difference is that alimony is now computed and determined based on various variables, including the number of years of Marriage, the financial circumstances of both spouses, and the degree to which the husband is at fault for the divorce,” the attorney said.
You may want to know: Civil Marriage – What impact do new laws have on expat marriages in Abu Dhabi?
What exactly is a civil marriage?
A legally recognized relationship between a man and woman who are not Muslim is known as a civil marriage. Marriage is based on secular principles. Marriage between interfaith partners is permitted under civil law.
Essential Requirements for Civil Marriage in Dubai under new Non-Muslim law:
Article 5 of Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status examines civil Marriage and lists five prerequisites for it to occur. These are the criteria:
At least 21 years of age is required for each spouse. Any official document produced by their countries of nationality that proves age is acceptable.
- Prohibited Relationship for Civil Marriage
Marriages between siblings, kids, grandkids, uncles, or in any other situation as listed in the Implementing Regulations are prohibited.
- Consent from each party
Each spouse must explicitly state before the certification judge that they favor the Marriage and that nothing in the law would prohibit their consent from being accepted.
- Both spouses must sign the Disclosure Form.
Before a legally binding marriage contract may be completed, both couples must sign a disclosure form. The disclosure form must include the following:
- Any former unions of either spouse,
- A statement from the woman stating that she is not currently married to anyone else and,
- In some instances, a declaration from the spouse stating that polygamy is illegal in his country is necessary.
On February 1, 2023, when the legislation becomes operative, it’s anticipated that the necessary disclosure form will be made available by the Personal Status Court for Non-Muslim Foreigners in the Judicial Department.
- Any other requirements listed in the Implementing Regulations of Civil Family Law.
Implementing rules act as an explanatory appendix to the legislation and expounds on the main requirements included in its Articles. However, implementing regulations for the new legislation has yet to be released. Therefore, other than those specified in the decree legislation, there are no further requirements for civil Marriage.
How may Dubai Court Marriage assist you with Civil Marriage Dubai?
The New changes are intended to improve the UAE legal system further and improve accessibility and fairness for foreigners who aren’t Muslims. If you’re a non-Muslim expat residing in the UAE and have questions regarding how to get married there, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Dubai Court Marriage. Most couples turn to our team of Marriage Lawyers who specialize in Court marriage , Civil marriage or getting married in Dubai for their court marriage requirements.
Dubai Court Marriage offers Civil marriage service for non-Muslim foreigners – Contact us for details.