Worldwide: Women And Divorce - Think Financially!

Last Updated: 16 August 2018
Article by STA Law Firm
Most Read Contributor in United Arab Emirates, September 2018

Spousal Support in Broken Marriages

A professional women's working hours might be from 9 to 6, but a housewife's job doesn't end there. A housewife has a 24-hour tireless position much more than anyone who works outside the house. On any given day they are required to be nurses, psychologists, drivers, chefs, party planners, finance managers, handyman and many other professions all in one. Being a housewife is a multi-profession role with having problem-solving, multi-tasking and creative attributes to keep the things running in the house and keeping their audience content and happy which is a difficult task as any housewife would testify. The role of women in the family and the office has been of great debate throughout recent history. The criticism on homemakers questioning them being at home and relaxing has been a mere perception and an area of the critical discussion with the changing social construction and rising feminism ideologies.

In a recent judgment in India, Karnataka High Court recognizes "housewife as busy as a professional." A couple got married in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, and due to their domestic disputes, the husband filed for divorce at a family court in Bengaluru, while the wife was residing in Muzaffargarh, Uttar Pradesh. The wife filed for a transfer application before the Supreme Court; it declined on the basis that the wife is eligible to claim for 'requisite expenditure'when the need for traveling arises to attend the hearings. The family court ordered the husband to pay towards the wife's traveling needs, who had traveled to attend hearings. The husband argued that because the wife is a homemaker, she is not eligible for 'requisite expenditure' and also contended that because she does not work, she has the available time to travel by train rather than taking a flight. The High Court acknowledged that homemakers are as busy as working professionals as she is the one responsible for running the house and looking after family members and this perception in the society raises flags for gender injustice. Justice Raghvendra S Chauhan observed that the contention that the wife should travel by train is because she is 'free' and a housewife shows lack of understanding of the hard work and dedication carried out by the homemaker. He stressed that a housewife is as busy as a professional person with all the house and family responsibilities.

The alimony or the divorce spouse maintenance is a requirement by law in almost all the countries around the world. Alimony is a monetary compensation granted for the spouse support during and after the divorce proceedings. It expects that both the spouses regardless of their gender must bear the maintenance through and after the marriage. The awareness of support came in fashion because of the increasing issues in the union. Once the knot is tied, the commitments and obligations of marriage are to be carried out for the rest of the life even if there is mental disparity or physical separation between the husband and the wife. As time changed, the laws and education empowered woman and divorce came as one natural solution for an unsuccessful marriage.

Divorce and UAE

The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country but being one of the most diverse lands there is a significant population of expats residing practicing their cultures, traditions, and religions. The study according to the Dubai Statistics Centre in 2016 revealed that there are six cases of divorce for every one thousand couples in Dubai, a number that is measured higher than the global divorce rate. Separation is a reliably rising marvel in the UAE, and expat couples are in perplexity over how to deal with the assets and benefits that they mutually attempted to obtain during their marriage. The Sharia law governs Islamic marriages. Shariah and the UAE law shall apply to couples who are both Muslims and likely if the husband is Muslim and the wife is not. However, Non-Muslims expats residing in the UAE can file for divorce in their home country or register for divorce in the state of residence, UAE. If the couple wishes to have their home country's law applied in the UAE courts, they have the option to appeal for it. Article 1 of the Federal Law Number 28 of Personal Affairs established that the "provisions of this Law should apply on citizens of the United Arab Emirates State unless non-Muslims among them have special provisions applicable to their community or confession. They shall equally apply to non-citizens unless one of them asks for the application of his law". The law describes that the relevant parties may ask to apply their rules to personal status matters. It also provides that the law of the state of which the husband is a national at the time of when the marriage contract shall apply to the effects on personal status and the effects with regards to property and assets resulting from contracting of the union. If the law fails to cover an aspect of the divorce procedures from the parties' home country laws, then the courts hold the decision to apply the UAE law. The UAE law gives the wife the entitlement for alimony and maintenance for the wife and the children by the Personal Status Law of the UAE. Article 63 of the Federal Law Number 28 of 2005 concerning the personal status states:

  1. Alimony includes food, accommodation, medical care, clothing, servicing charges if she has served in her family's house and all that claims in a marital relationship.
  2. Alimony is a grant according to the financial ability of the maintainer and the conditions of the dependent and the economic situations regarding place and time. However, support shall not be less than the satisfactory limit.
  3. The eyewitness shall be sufficient for deciding the kinds of support, the amount of custody, the house and the conditions on which any determined thing depends.

Further, a wife is entitled to alimony once her husband stops providing her basic needs by Article 67of the Personal Status Law, "The wife's maintenance shall begin from the date the husband refrains from supporting her. It shall be considered a debt due, without the government or an agreement's dependence, but payment or absolution shall extinguish it. Also, A claim for alimony which exceeds three years from the date of introducing the action in court, shall not be heard unless agreement imposes it.

Sharia Law's take on Divorce

The Islamic Shariah law governs divorce cases with Muslim couples' in the UAE. Shariah principles make it more complicated for the estranged couple to divorce, except the judge is fully satisfied that the marriage will not work further. The first step in the divorce process is to register a case at the Moral and Family Guidance Section at Dubai Courts. A counselor will then interact with the couple and discuss their issues. If the couple, or either of them, still claims for divorce, then the application will be forwarded to the court. Shariah Law lies on the Islamic principles governed by the holy book Quran; it provides support for the wife after the separation. The maintenance is defined and limited to the period of iddah, that is three months after filing for divorce or duration of a pending pregnancy. During the iddah, a husband must support his wife according to his income, which includes residency in the family residence. However, in a case in Bangladesh, in Muhammad Hefzur Rahman v. Shamsun Nahar Begumxiv, the Supreme Court, relying on the Quran, ruled that a Muslim husband's responsibility to maintain his divorced wife does not end with the expiration of the iddah. The court stated that the husband is bound to provide his divorced wife with maintenance on a reasonable scale for an unspecified period until she gets married again. In Egypt, the Decree-Law Number 25 of 1929 provides for two types of alimony: Iddah and enjoyment alimony. The law limits iddah alimony to one year, even if the court orders a longer time. However, if the marriage has concluded and the wife divorces without her consent or fault, she is entitled to two years of enjoyment alimony, at the rate of iddah alimony. In ordering the additional support, the court must consider husband's financial situation, the reason for divorce, and the length of the marriage.

India and Alimony

The presence of many religious beliefs in India, the Indian Judiciary has executed laws independently for couples associated with different religious convictions. The following are the laws related to different religious communities. Numerous acts have been passed by the government to make the present-day divorce practices in India more progressive to match the ever-changing societal norms and customs. The Muslim Women Act 1986 was enacted to protect the rights of Muslim women in divorce. For inter caste and inter- religion marriages the divorce laws approved under The Special Marriage Act, 1956. All Hindus, as well as Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains can pursue divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. The Muslim, Christian, and Parsi communities have their laws governing marriage and divorce in respect to their customs and religions. Spouses belonging to different castes and religions can seek divorce under the Special Marriage Act, 1956. Alternatively, if either partner belongs to another nationality, they can file under Foreign Marriage Act 1969.

Maintenance Order in the United Kingdom

In the UK, a couple is to be married for at least a year to file a divorce petition. The legal ground for divorce is that the couple should be forever separated. The party who files for divorce should prove that the marriage is broken irretrievably by establishing one of the following facts:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable behavior
  3. Desertion
  4. 2 years separation with consent
  5. 5 years separation (no approval required)

In the UK, the court can sometimes order the person with higher income to make maintenance payments to support the living cost of their ex-partner which is called a 'maintenance order.' The maintenance payment can be set for a limited period or until one of the partners dies or enters into a new civil partnership. The payment can alter if one of the partners loses the job or gets better paid. A recent case which showed new dimensions in family law in the UK is the case of Mills v Mills [2017] where the couple divorced in 2002 and agreed to the maintenance order and the court order to provide financial support and provide periodical payments to the wife of £1,199 per month. In 2014, Mr. Mills applied to revoke his maintenance payments or to reduce the payment amount. Mrs. Mills made a counter application to increase her payments as she was unable to meet her necessities. Court decided that the original order should continue and the couple appealed. The Court of Appeal agreed wife's appeal on the ground that the provision has already decided for the respondent's accommodation costs in the capital settlement. This judgment for increasing the wife's maintenance payment stunned the family lawyers as recently the trend seemed that the parties in divorce should become financially independent as maintenance orders have become quite uncommon.

In A Nutshell

While divorce may end a marriage, it doesn't end commitments of one partner of another. In numerous relationships, one companion is more fiscally well off than the other. In a divorce, this procuring inconsistency implies that the less fortunate accomplice is qualified to get spousal support, or alimony, to support the other post the separation. Different countries have different laws and rules towards awarding spousal support based on factors such as duration of the marriage, financial stability, income and health of the recipient.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions