Abu Dhabi approves new marriage and divorce laws for expats


Civil marriages among foreign nationals in Abu Dhabi will no longer need the woman to provide consent from her family and the need for witnesses.

It comes as His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), issued the decision on Sunday.

The law will also allow tourists and those not residing in Abu Dhabi to get married in the UAE capital exclusively.

Youssef Saeed Al Abri, Undersecretary of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, described the law as "a modern and advanced concept of civil family law for foreigners in line with international best practices".

The regulations, he explained, span 52 articles dealing with the jurisdiction of the Civil Family Court.

It will decide on claims and disputes related to civil marriage, divorce, joint custody of children, alimony, will, inheritance, proof of parentage, adoption and other issues.

The law will also look into divorce proceedings, giving spouses the right to part ways without the need to prove harm was done in the marriage. It will give both parties equal rights, with alimony calculated based on the number of years of marriage, the age of the spouses and the material or moral damage suffered by either party.

Joint child custody will also be granted, with father and mother getting equal rights. There will also be provisions to solve any disputes.

The court also holds the right to conduct court proceedings in English if both parties are not familiar with Arabic, provided that the claim form and judgment are filed in Arabic and English.

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