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Spouse’s Financial and Legal Status after Marriage

Court marriage in Dubai, UAE has several financial and legal impacts on spouses, including changes in the way government forms are filled out, resolving family issues, as well as making healthcare decisions.

Change of legal surname

When you sign the marriage certificate during your court marriage in Dubai Court or anywhere in the UAE, it doesn’t result in an automatic change to your name. Should you choose to change your last name to the surname of your spouse, then you must bring the marriage certificate to official institutions that keep records of your previous name in order to update your name and other information such as your legal status.

Changing your surname can be a tedious task for most in the UAE. For instance, you’ll have to notify places like the following:

  • Your employer
  • Utility providers
  • Banking and financial institutions
  • Insurance providers
  • Local registries, including in the home country in the case of expatriates or UAE residents

There aren’t any legal consequences with keeping your given last name. But, you may encounter obstacles with having a different surname than your husband and kids. For instance, if you have another surname that’s different from your children, you’ll be constantly asked in providing proof of relationship for situations that involve the question of guardianship and international travel.

Read also: Marriage Procedures for Pakistanis and Indians

Dispute resolution in courts

With court marriage in Dubai, you generally won’t be forced in testifying against your spouse in criminal court. It’s a kind of spousal privilege. Local and international courts recognize this privilege with legal actions in order to protect the relationship of the couple from undue harm. There are certain situations, however, wherein courts will make exceptions and explicitly ask you in providing evidence through testimony or any other form.

When providing proof through testimony, a spouse has the option in claiming communications during the marriage. IT is a different kind of spouse privilege that provides sufficient protection to confidential information that’s shared between spouses. It is important though to note that laws surrounding spousal privilege can vary in UAE, depending on the jurisdiction.

If you choose to go through court marriage in Dubai with someone who already has children from another marriage, consider adopting the kids as your new stepchildren. There’s a streamlined process for the adoption of stepchildren in UAE, most especially for couples who have been married for a considerable amount of time.

Making medical or healthcare decisions

As soon as you have been issued the official marriage certificate in UAE, a lot of healthcare professionals across the country will defer to you for the healthcare decisions of your spouse when he/she can’t make them. This, however, isn’t always applicable.

In order to make sure that you and your spouse have authority for such kinds of decisions for each other, a medical or healthcare power of attorney has to be made. That being said, discuss your feelings and thoughts regarding medical procedures and treatment with your spouse. You can also have a living will in order to document your preferences of medical treatments.

In addition to being able to make important medical decisions, court marriage in Dubai also provides other kinds of benefits like the following:

  • Being listed as one of the beneficiaries on the health insurance plan of your spouse
  • Being eligible in taking leave from work whenever your wife or husband is injured or sick
  • Being able to come and visit your spouse in a hospital’s intensive care unit

Read also: Validity of Marriage in UAE Without Parental Consent and Advice

Sharing of finances

There are couples that share bank accounts in order to pay shared bills in UAE like phone plans, utilities, and rent. Although it is up to you in sharing access to accounts or not, as soon as you are married, your spouse will become entitled to a certain part of your estate. Even when you both split in your expenditures prior to court marriage in Dubai, you can continue in being partially responsible for the finances of one another.

In order to modify this particular entitlement, a prenuptial agreement must have been signed prior to your marriage. The prenuptial agreement can specify assets that are to remain separate, as well as those that are shared. The legal document can also help determine crucial financial aspects such as the following:

  • How to divide assets, joint debts, and properties
  • Restrictions on what a spouse is able to inherit from the estate of another
  • If one partner has to give alimony payments

Although some are reluctant in signing a prenup, it’s beneficial if you’re planning on having kids or you already have kids from your previous relationship.

To help ensure a smooth and successful court marriage in Dubai, talk to us here in Dubai Court Marriage today!

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.