New Family Law for Non-Muslims
- A new family law for non-Muslims in the UAE has been introduced.
- This law is different from the UAE Personal Status Law, which is based on principles of Sharia.
- The new law stipulates that men and women are equal in all rights and obligations.
- It regulates Marriages, Divorces, Custody, and Inheritance, for non-Muslims.
Marriages Under the New Family Law
-Under the new law, marriages for non-Muslim couples can be done through the local Courts.
-Among other things, couples can opt into a pre-nuptial agreement, setting, in advance, the terms of their marriage, divorce or custody.
Divorces and Custody Under the New Family Law
-For divorces, a spouse can apply unilaterally, without having to justify the reason for divorce.
-Among other things, custody, for children under 18, is shared by both parents equally.
Inheritance Under the New Family Law
-Finally, for inheritance, the law recognizes registered wills for non-Muslims.
-And, in the absence of a Will, the law provides an equal distribution of the estate, regardless of the gender.
This is in line with Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 regarding Civil Personal Status and it is effective as of February 1, 2023.