In my weekly column in The National newspaper I advise an ex-wife who is non-resident in the UAE on what her rights are in claiming increased alimony in line with the increase in her ex-husband's salary; and I outline the legal options a British man living in Abu Dhabi has in relation to filing a case against his wife who has absconded with their child back to the United Kingdom. The case is tricky, as the man is yearning to see his child but does not want criminal charges to be filed against his wife – however, as I explain, UAE law does not leave much alternative.
I divorced my husband in 2012 in Dubai. We are both Muslims and our marriage was revoked through Sharia. We had one child together and currently my child and I are based in another country and I receive monthly financial support from my former husband. My concern is that my husband's income has increased throughout the years but the alimony has never changed. My costs for raising the child by myself have grown significantly recently and I am struggling to understand what my rights are. My husband's income has doubled since we got divorced. What can I do to increase the financial support he provides?
Per the UAE Personal Status Law you may apply to have your maintenance increased once a calendar year if there are any changes in conditions. In your case you could file the request on the grounds that your husband's income has increased, as have the costs of providing for your child.
My wife and I are from the UK and were married in Abu Dhabi. We are not Muslims. We have been living in the UAE for the past 10 years. Recently we started having arguments and I was seriously considering divorcing her. She said she was tired of being here without a job, tired of raising our child, and that she wanted to go back to the UK on holiday just to see her family. She travelled there two months ago and has not returned. We were communicating at first but then she said she did not want to come back and I've lost touch with her. I am extremely stressed and worried because I have not seen my child for a long time and I've failed to reach my wife's relatives. My life has become miserable since they left. Should I file a missing persons report, and if so, where should I do it – the UK or UAE? Will it be considered a crime my wife can be punished for? What happens if a wife takes a child to another country? I don't want my wife to face prison but I do want to get my child back.
You may file for custody and receive the judgment in absentia against your wife. Once the judgment is received, you may file a child abduction case, which is considered a criminal offence in the UAE. After receiving the judgment of the criminal case or at least after filing the criminal complaint, you have the right to file for an extradition request through Interpol. It is worth mentioning that you cannot file these cases simultaneously, because the outcome from one gives you the grounds to proceed with the other, and so on.
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.