Understanding Alimony Calculation For Non-Muslim Divorcess In The UAE


This article breaks down the method of calculating alimony for non-Muslim divorcees in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based on Federal Decree-Law No. (41) of 2022 on Civil Personal Status.  This law provides the legal framework for family matters, including civil marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance, and proof of parentage for non-Muslim residents in the UAE.



  1. A.E. Federal Law

In the U.A.E., personal status matters for non-Muslims are subject to Federal Decree-Law No. (41) of 2022 on Civil Personal Status (“Civil Personal Status Law“). Article 9 (Divorcee Alimony) outlines various factors that the relevant court considers to calculate the divorcee’s alimony.

  1. Cabinet Decision

Cabinet Decision No. 122/2023 on the Implementing Regulation of Federal Decree-Law No. 41/2022 further explains the consideration of a divorcee’s alimony by the judge, specifically in Article 10 (Alimony).

  1. Abu Dhabi Law & ADJD Resolution

In Abu Dhabi, Law No. 14/2021 on Personal Status for Non-Muslim Foreigners outlines the criteria for alimony calculation in Article 8 (Financial Support Upon Divorce), which are identical to Article 9 (Divorcee Alimony) of the Civil Personal Status Law.  Additionally, Resolution No. (8) of 2022 concerning Marriage and Civil Divorce Procedures covers various aspects of alimony, including calculation factors and finality.


These laws and regulations apply to non-Muslim citizens of the UAE and non-Muslim residents in the UAE unless they request to apply the laws of their home countries, provided these do not contradict UAE laws and regulations.



  1. What is Alimony?

Alimony is the financial compensation requested by the ex-wife upon divorce. For cases involving children, it includes financial support for their education, housing, healthcare, and other expenses that the ex-husband covered during the marriage (Article 11 of the Cabinet Decision).

  1. Housing During Joint Custody

As per Article 8 of the Cabinet Decision, the judge may order the ex-husband to pay housing allowance to meet the children’s standard of living before the divorce.

  1. Types of Alimony

According to Article 9 of the Civil Personal Status Law, the ex-wife can apply for alimony separately after obtaining a divorce judgment. She may also file for temporary alimony until receiving her final financial compensation (Article 10 of the Cabinet Decision).

  1. Calculation of Alimony

Article 9 of the Civil Personal Status Law outlines the factors considered by the judge:


  • Length of Marriage – Alimony increases with the duration of the marriage due to increased financial dependence.
  • Ex-wife’s Age – Older ex-wives may receive higher alimony due to fewer job opportunities.
  • Financial Situation – An accounting expert evaluates each party’s financial standing, considering income, assets, debts, and liabilities.
  • Ex-husband’s Contribution to Divorce – Alimony increases with the ex-husband’s contribution to the divorce, such as errors or neglect.
  • Material and Moral Harm – The judge considers any harm caused by the divorce, including damage to reputation or physical injury.
  • Financial Damages – This includes loss of job opportunities or income due to the divorce.
  • Children’s Custody – The judge may order the ex-husband to bear the costs of the mother’s custody of the children for a maximum of two years.
  • Ex-Wife’s Childcare Contribution – Alimony increases with the ex-wife’s commitment to child care.


  1. Required Documents

The court reviews documents submitted by the ex-wife to demonstrate both parties’ financial positions.

  1. Finality of Alimony

As per Article 49 of the ADJD resolution, alimony judgments are final and enforceable if the amount is less than AED 500,000.

  1. Adjustment of Alimony

Alimony can be adjusted annually based on changes in financial or individual circumstances (Article 9 of the Civil Personal Status Law).

  1. Termination of Alimony

Alimony is terminated if the ex-wife remarries or loses custody of the children.


In 2023, the Dubai Personal Status Court awarded alimony based on Article 9 factors.  The alimony covered the ex-wife’s expenses in her home country, Ethiopia. The court’s decision was as follows:


  • Children – AED 4,000 per month, excluding education, residence, and domestic help.
  • Utilities and Bills – AED 700 per month for utilities, internet, and phone bills.
  • Domestic Help – AED 2,000 for hiring domestic help and an additional AED 500 for their salaries.

Total Alimony: AED 7,200



The Civil Personal Status Law, along with relevant Cabinet Decisions and Abu Dhabi laws, provides a comprehensive framework for calculating alimony for non-Muslim divorcees in the UAE.  By considering various factors, the law ensures that financial support is fair and reflective of each individual’s circumstances.

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