Ask the law: Non-Muslim wife seeks divorce from rich husband
Is wife legally entitled to obtain half of husband’s real estate?
I am a non-Muslim woman married to a non-Muslim man. According to the new law, what are the reasons according to which I am legally entitled to file a divorce suit, noting that my husband does not support me, I do not work and my husband is rich and able.
In the event of divorce, am I legally entitled to obtain half of his real estate? Am I legally entitled to claim real estate in my husband’s country? Please advise.
To answer this question, I would advise the questioner that:
According to Article 7 of Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status for Non-Muslims, the spouses can request for divorce and be granted if either spouse expresses in court his/her desire to separate and terminate the marriage, without any need to justify their reasons, to demonstrate harm, or to put the blame on the other party.
The law did not specify the right for the divorced woman to request for half of what her ex-husband owns of real estate and half of his money. In Article 9, the divorced woman can apply for alimony from her ex-husband and add any financial requests she wants and in the event that there is no agreement on the conditions and controls of alimony or other financial requests in the marriage contract, the acceptance of the request and its duration is subject to the discretionary power of the judge, after evaluating multiple factors such as:
(a). the number of years of marriage,
(b). the wife’s age,
(c). the financial status of each of the spouses,
(d). the extent of the husband’s contribution to the divorce,
(e). either spouse compensating the other for any material or moral damage caused to him/her as a result of the divorce,
(f). the final damage incurred by either spouse as a result of the application for divorce by unilateral will and (g). whether or not the wife is diligent in taking care of the children.
However, the spouse has the right to apply the laws of their home country or select alternative personal status laws in effect in the UAE over the provisions of this Decree Law which means that you have the right to apply your law in case your law allows you to take half of his properties.