Divorce of A Pregnant Wife in UAE: Right and Laws

LawDivorce of A Pregnant Wife in UAE: Right and...

Is it legal for a woman to obtain a divorce in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while pregnant? This is one of the most frequently asked questions in the country. Moreover, what rights does a pregnant wife have after a divorce? Divorce is never an easy topic to discuss, and being pregnant adds another layer of complexity to an already sensitive situation. Given the importance placed on family and community values in the UAE, divorcing a pregnant wife entails certain legal concerns and rights for both parties.

Although marriage is seen as a sacred relationship, it may end due to certain circumstances. In resolving divorce disputes, the UAE has put in place specific regulations that take into account the rights and well-being of both parties. However, when a woman is pregnant, things become much more complicated since she must also consider the needs of her unborn child. We will discuss in more detail about the laws and the rights of a divorced pregnant wife living in the UAE in this article.

Law governing Divorce in the UAE

In the UAE, Islamic marriages are typically subject to Sharia law. For Muslim couples residing in the UAE, or in cases where the husband is Muslim and the wife is not, Sharia or UAE law is expected to be applied in divorce proceedings.

For non-Muslim expatriates, there is an option to file for divorce either in their home country or within the UAE. If they prefer the application of their home country’s law, they can request this from the court. According to Article 1 of the Federal Law No 28 of 2005 for Personal Affairs, as amended, the law will generally apply to UAE citizens unless non-Muslims have specific provisions for their community. Non-citizens may also request the application of their own national laws to personal status issues.

Furthermore, Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 has been introduced, catering to non-Muslim citizens and foreigners. This law allows non-Muslims to either adhere to its provisions or apply the laws of their home country.

Divorce of a Pregnant wife under Sharia Law

A man may lawfully divorce his wife even if he knows she is pregnant, according to Islamic jurisprudence, or Sharia Law. The time of waiting for a pregnant woman after getting divorced (iddah) ends upon the birth of her child or a miscarriage. During this waiting period, a woman cannot marry again. This is stated under Article 138 of Federal Law no. 28 of 2005, as amended.

  • The Widow’s Waiting Period mandates that a widow must wait for four months and ten days after the death of her husband, in case of a legally recognized marriage. Even if the marriage was not consummated, this waiting period remains mandatory. However, there is no need to observe this waiting period if the woman is pregnant.
  • The waiting period in case of divorce for a pregnant woman ends either after the birth of her child or due to miscarriage.
  • If the marriage was entered into under a null or suspicious contract and it is later determined as such, in case of her husband’s death and confirmation that she isn’t pregnant, the widow must abide by a period of waiting similar to divorce.

Rights of Pregnant Wife after Divorce in the UAE

Meanwhile, the UAE Personal Status Law upholds women’s rights during pregnancy following divorce. Below are some essential things to consider regarding the post-divorce rights of a pregnant woman:

  • Alimony: A woman separated from her husband is entitled to monthly alimony that covers rent, food, clothing and medical care.
  • Alimony during waiting period of Idda: Divorced wives who are pregnant have a legal right to support and maintenance during idda period. As stated in Article 69 of UAE personal status law, “Alimony and sheltering, during the waiting period (“idda”), are due to the divorcee in a reversible divorce, in a non-retractable divorce if the divorced woman is pregnant and, if she is not, only sheltering is due”.
  • Compensation: As per Article 140 of the personal status law, “In case the husband divorces his wife from a valid consummated marriage by his unilateral will without a request from her, she is entitled to a compensation other than the alimony paid during the waiting period depending on the financial Status of the husband provided it does not exceed a one-year alimony payable to those in similar condition”.

In line with the UAE law, a pregnant woman who has divorced is entitled to similar rights as any other woman whose husband had unilaterally divorced her and an extra right concerning pregnancy expenses till final divorce is granted. The purpose of these rights is to ensure that a divorcing woman, especially one who is already expecting, is adequately looked after during the transitional phase that follows immediately after termination of marriage.

If you have an individual case matter or need legal advice regarding UAE family law, please speak to a legal expert.

Legal Help for Pregnant Wife after Divorce in UAE

For pregnant wives undergoing divorce in the UAE, HHS Lawyers in Dubai are able to give you exceptional and customized legal aid depending on your situation. They specialize in family concerns such as alimony and child support. Our attorneys possess knowledge about UAE family laws which enable them to fight for your rights and those of your unborn child if there are any issues arising from this circumstance. In order to ensure that we provide attention as well as assistance you require, we offer comprehensive and compassionate legal representation. For personalized help contact HHS Lawyers.

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