Divorce in the United Arab Emirates

Specialist international family lawyers

If you are living and/or working in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates it can be hard to know where to go for clear and reliable advice. Language barriers and complex foreign laws contribute to the difficulty of divorcing abroad.

Our team of specialist international divorce and family lawyers based in the UK advise British expats living in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates as well as UAE nationals married to UK nationals and UAE families living in the UK.

We take the time to understand your personal circumstances and work with lawyers based in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates to develop the best course of action for you based upon your own particular circumstances. Visiting an office or travelling to the UK is not necessary as all meetings can take place via video conferencing and telephone.

Choosing where to divorce – England or the United Arab Emirates?

Issuing divorce proceedings in either London or the United Arab Emirates may provide significant benefits in relation to splitting the finances and arrangements for children depending upon your particular circumstances. Establishing a connection to the UK or the United Arab Emirates will help determine your best course of action.

The divorce process, spousal maintenance and the division of assets are treated differently in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and England so deciding where to divorce can have a significant impact on your financial outcome.

Divorce law in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is based on Sharia law for Muslims but don’t preclude non-Muslims from the court system. However, the starting point for non-Muslims applicants is applying the law based on nationality, which in itself can produce negative outcomes for a respondent to a divorce in relation to both finances and arrangements for children.

Our starting point is to understand our client’s particular circumstances in relation to children and financial assets before considering which jurisdiction would provide the best possible outcome. We liaise with family lawyers in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates to obtain the best possible options.

It is essential to get expert advice from your divorce solicitor quickly as the first party to issue proceedings is likely to determine which country the case will be heard in. Although the choice of jurisdiction may later be challenged it is very difficult to switch jurisdictions once divorce proceedings have started.

London is known as the divorce capital of the world because the court system provides for a forensic examination of the assets, spousal maintenance and a starting point of sharing the assets equally. This is the reason why so many people choose London to issue divorce proceedings.

Next Steps

To arrange a call back to discuss your circumstances, please call our international family law team on +44(0)20 7426 4915 or complete the call back form. Please note we do not offer legal aid.

International family law team

Our team of international lawyers is headed by Anthony Kiernan who has extensive experience of cross jurisdictional divorces, custody disputes and disputes involving the Hague Convention.