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Validity of Marriage in UAE Without Parental Consent and Advice

Both parental advice and parental consent are legal concepts, but they’re separate from each other. They can’t and should not be used interchangeably. A parental advice or parental consent may be required for approval of an application to get married in United Arab Emirates, depending on the age of the applicants or contracting parties to a court marriage in UAE

  • Parental advice is required when both or either of the applicants for marriage is/are twenty one to twenty five years old. 
  • Parental consent is what is required when both or either of the applicants for marriage is/are eighteen to twenty one years old. 

Is a UAE court marriage without parental consent or advice valid?

When absent, any marriage in UAE will be voidable and subject to filing a petition for marriage contract annulment. Basically, a marriage without the consent or advice of parents or legal guardians will be considered valid until it is annulled. Of course, there are limitations and they are as follows:

  • Annulment of a marriage contract can only be filed on behalf of contracting party who’s between the age of 18 and 21 during the time of the marriage, either in UAE or anywhere else in the globe. 
  • Petition for marriage contract annulment cannot be filed following concerned party reaching 21 and has freely cohabitated with a spouse, both living together as wife and husband. A marriage will be considered ratified should there be no petition that’s filed. 

Take note: marriages that will be conducted for contacting parties that are anywhere between the age of 18 and 25 won’t be approved by the local authorities if the requirement of parental consent or advice, whichever is applicable, is absent. 

You may want to know: UAE Family Law on Marriage Without Parents Approval

Is parental consent required for marriage for a child below 18?

The marriage of any individual who is below the age of 18, regardless of whether or not parental consent has been given, is void ab initio. It means it is void from the start or very beginning. The capacity in marrying is a requisite for any court marriage in UAE. Its absence renders a marriage, civil or religious, null and void. 

Under UAE Federal Law for Personal Status, minimum legal age to marry in the country is eighteen years old. However, anyone who has reached puberty can marry prior to reaching the minimum legal age to marry if and only if judicial consent has been provided onto the concerned party. 

UAE Personal Status Law governs marriage, child custody, guardianship, maintenance, succession, and divorce within UAE. It’s based on Sharia, the interpretation of Quran as well as the Prophet’s traditions combined with Sharia principles of Imam Malik School. It applies to all UAE emirates and to UAE Nationals and non-Emiratis.

The UAE Personal Status Law does not apply for any of the circumstances listed below. 

  • Foreign law doesn’t cover a case’s particular aspect.
  • Either party holds more than one passport that is issued by any state or country.
  • There’s ambiguity in foreign law or whenever relevant provision of a foreign law is in conflict to Islamic or Sharia law.

Read More: Legal Position of Prenuptial Agreements in UAE

Are prenuptial and post nuptial agreements in UAE binding? 

There are no similar concepts in UAE Sharia law; however, it’s customary for Muslim grooms to give Muslim brides a late dowry, number of possessions or money as financial backup should the grooms die or divorces their brides. Dowry is due onto the woman if it’s specified in a marriage contract. A dowry arrangement has to be given priority even over inheritance. It’s also to be considered as conclusive. A party that’s owned by the deceased will be transferred to the wife prior to the distribution of the estate.

Note: provisions of pre and post nuptial agreements can be enforced and recognized when applicable foreign legislation recognizes them as valid and if they’re not in conflict with any UAE legislation.

How is parental consent given?

The applicants must exhibit to local civil register, upon applying for marriage license, consent to undergo marriage by father or legal guardian. Consent should be manifested in written form by the relevant party. The legal guardian of a contracting party to UAE court marriage must personally before the marriage officiant and local civil registrar. An affidavit can also be provided; however, the affidavit must undergo notarization and attestation. 

You should know: Marriage in UAE Without Parental Consent

Marriage Lawyers in Dubai, UAE

A marriage that is solemnized without the valid marriage license will be considered void from the start unless it falls on the exceptions. To ensure a smooth and easy process of marrying in Dubai, UAE, talk to any of our competent marriage attorneys in UAE. With three decades of experience and specialization on local and international marriage laws, our legal team will be able to help you smoothen the kinks of getting married in Dubai. Call us today for more info! 

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.