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Legal Position of Prenuptial Agreements in UAE

A prenuptial agreement in UAE or prenup is a marriage contract that sets out the way in which the finances of a couple will be resolved should they divorce. A prenup is often sought when a party has substantial wealth that was accumulated prior to the marriage. A party may seek protection to wealth should the marriage fail through the use of a prenuptial agreement.

Are Prenuptial Agreements legal and valid in the UAE?

When you marry in UAE, your assets turn into matrimonial assets, which means they will be put into consideration for division during divorce proceedings unless specifically protected with the use of a prenup. The main reason why couples in the UAE want prenuptial agreements is that potential claims can be limited by the contracts, especially for property and real estate, avoiding lengthy and costly litigation.

At present, a prenuptial agreement in UAE will take the contract into consideration should certain safeguards are addressed and met. This means a contract has to both be fair and reasonable during the time it’s entered into.

Read also: The Validity of Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

What can Make Prenuptial Agreements in the UAE Valid?

As mentioned earlier, there are specific safeguards in a prenuptial agreement for it to be considered by the UAE local courts. This includes the following:

  • The agreement must be signed at least a month prior to the marriage;
  • Every contracting party must have received competent legal advice regarding the prenuptial agreement;
  • Every contracting party must have had a complete and frank disclosure regarding his or her financial wealth. No assets should be kept hidden;
  • Neither party should be under duress or pressure to sign a prenuptial agreement;
  • There are no significant alterations that render a prenuptial agreement in UAE as inappropriate or invalid e.g. loss of employment, disability, the birth of children;
  • A prenuptial agreement should both be fair and realistic. In the event that the asset division weighs too heavily in favor of a single party, it’s going to be judged by local courts as unfair and may not be considered

A prenuptial agreement should be reviewed and amended, most especially when there are children added into the picture. This will reduce the likelihood of an agreement not being enforced because of the duration or length of time that’s elapsed since the agreement was made. Within the UAE, the following safeguards are required to be met which will show an agreement is truly fair and reasonable:

  • Every party must be given sufficient time to fully considering and understanding the terms and conditions in the contract prior to entering into the agreement.
  • Every party must be aware of the details that will allow complete consideration of the contract’s terms and conditions to fully understand the agreement.
  • Every party must have been given independent and separate legal advice.
  • No party should be under duress in signing the contract against his or her will.
  • The prenuptial agreement should be made before the wedding. It shouldn’t be entered into when a reasonable period for taking the contract into consideration wasn’t given.

A prenuptial agreement in UAE will not be upheld in local courts if the safeguards listed above are not fully met.

Court Marriage in UAE

Before partaking in a court marriage in UAE, every contracting party should consider future eventualities carefully, including the following:

  • One of the contracting parties sacrificing a career in order to look after the children;
  • Any future business venture with a spouse

Should you have concerns or questions regarding prenuptial agreements in UAE, it’s always advised to seek the legal advice of a marriage lawyer in the UAE. A consultation with Dubai Court Marriage’s legal team can help you determine whether your prenuptial agreement will be right for you. You can get the most out of a consultation with marriage lawyers in UAE if you outline your financial information, including your partner’s, as well as any current contracts beforehand. Call us today!

Can I Draft My Own Prenuptial Agreement in UAE?

Yes, but this is not advised. A prenuptial agreement in UAE can be very hard to enforce when the correct language in the document isn’t used. If you really want to draft your own prenup, you should at least have a marriage lawyer in UAE review the agreement prior to its signing in order to make sure that your agreement has the correct language and all crucial information is added.

Can I Cancel a Prenuptial Agreement in UAE?

If circumstances of a couple of change and both contracting parties agree, a prenuptial agreement may be changed or canceled. An amendment may be added if a couple wants to modify parts or the entire contract. An amendment must be signed in the presence of a notary public in the UAE. As it is a legal marriage contract, it should be written, reviewed, and approved by a reputable marriage lawyer in Dubai.

Hazim Darwish Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.