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Question: I am a Muslim woman married to a Muslim man. My husband does not spend on me and my two children on the pretext that I’m employed and earn a monthly salary. According to my husband, a working wife does not have the right to demand spousal maintenance. My question is, am I legally entitled to claim all the maintenance amount that I have spent on myself and my children? Do I legally have the right to file a claim for divorce because of this reason? Please advise

Answer: Firstly, separation for abstention from support is one kind of judicial separation, which may happen if the husband is not paying the alimony for his wife. Pursuant to Article (124), if the husband abstains from supporting his wife and if he does not apparently have funds from which to pay the due alimony, then wife may legally seek separation. 
Should the husband claim to be insolvent but without any evidence to support his claim, then the judge can order immediate divorce. If the husband keeps silent on the question of him being solvent or insolvent and insists on not to support his wife, then, even if there is evidence of his insolvency, the judge can grant him respite for not more than a month. After that, if the husband does not comply with his familial duties, then the judge shall order divorce.

It is necessary to start the lawsuit in front of the Family Orientation Committee for divorce and custody with all their related alimonies.

Secondly, you have the right to recover the amount you have spent if you can prove that the non-payment by your husband was under the following circumstances:

A) For the wife, Article 67 states the conditions of alimony, which are as follows:

Alimony to the wife is due as of the date of refrainment from payment, when due as a debt on the husband, independently of a court judgement or agreement. It is not forfeited except by payment or discharge. A claim in alimony, for a past period exceeding three years from the date of introducing action in court, shall not be heard unless it is imposed by agreement, because alimony is due to the wife by virtue of a valid contract, if she is estranged from her husband.

B) For the child who has no financial resources, alimony is on the father, pursuant to Article (78), until the marriage of the girl or until the boy reaches the age at which his fellow-mates earn their living, unless he is a student continuing with his studies with normal success. The livelihood expenses of the child are on the father, should the mother be unable to nurture him, and this is considered as alimony. In case the father’s child is lost or without funds or if the father was unable to support him, then the child’s responsibility falls on the mother. But the mother may revert to the father for the amount spent in case the father’s financial condition improves and the expenditures are authorised by him or by the judge (Article [80]).

Motor insurance claim

Question: I entered Dubai a month ago on a visit visa. Two weeks ago, I used a car rented by my friend and I had a major accident, which resulted in the car being completely damaged. The insurance company has refused to pay any compensation even though the car was fully insured. According to the insurance company, it cannot pay compensation on the pretext that I did not have a driving licence to drive in Dubai. The driving licence I had was issued from my home country. My question is, does the insurance company have the right to refuse to pay compensation in this case? Please advise.

Answer: The insurance company is not legally entitled to refuse to pay compensation in case if you hold a valid international or foreign driving licence and a visa that allows you to stay in the country for purposes other than residency. UAE law allows a visitor to drive a car if he or she possesses a valid international driving licence, provided he or she is carrying a valid visit visa while driving.

Article 13 of the UAE Federal Traffic law No 21 of 1995, with its amendments, states: No person may drive any motor vehicle on the road unless he or she holds a valid licence issued by the licensing authority that entitles him or her to drive the same type of vehicle that he or she is allowed to drive. Also, no person in charge of a motor vehicle may allow someone to drive the vehicle who does not hold a valid driving licence.

Exceptions from the application of the provisions of this section are as per Article 14 of the same law, which states: Holders of valid international or foreign driving licences, who are authorised to stay in the country for purposes other than residency, in accordance with the controls determined by the Ministry of Interior.

One who does not comply with the conditions mentioned above shall be punished under Article 51 of the same traffic law, which states: Anyone who drives a vehicle on the road without a driving licence or with a licence that does not allow him or her to drive the same type of vehicle as mentioned in the driving licence shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months and a fine of no less than Dh5,000 or by one of these two penalties.