divorce, marital dispute
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A woman asks that she is a non-Muslim and married to a non-Muslim man. Currently, she is in conflict with her husband and wants divorce, and she has a 3-year-old son. Her question: What are the procedures for obtaining divorce and custody, and does she have the legal right to demand compensation in addition to alimony? How is compensation calculated? Does she have the legal right to claim a portion of her husband’s real estate in his country?

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According to Articles 7 & 8 of the Federal Decree-Law No. (41) of 2022 on the Civil Personal Status (“Either of the married couple may request divorce with no need to prove the harm, in accordance with the form prepared for this purpose, and the divorce shall take place by virtue of a court decision after the other party is duly served. In order for the court to pronounce a judgment of divorce, it shall be sufficient for either of the married couple to express his/her wish to get separated and not to continue the conjugal relationship, without having to justify that desire, to specify the aspects of harm, or to lay the blame on the other party.")

Regarding custody, it is, according to Article 10 of the same law, a joint and equal right of both the father and mother after the occurrence of the divorce unless the two parties submit a request to the court to establish custody for the parent who is worthy of fulfilling the interests of the child subject to custody, one of them submits a written waiver to the court of his/her right to custody, a parent submits a request to the court to remove the other parent from joint custody and drop his right to custody for any reason acceptable to the court, such as symptoms of eligibility, the danger of the person’s participation in custody, or the failure of the joint custodian to perform his duties.

Regarding alimony, compensation and husband’s real estate, Article 9 of the same law gave the divorced woman the right to submit a request to the court, after the judgment granting divorce is rendered, seeking a judgment of alimony from her ex-husband, and any claims subsequent to divorce before the court shall be added in accordance with the form prepared for this purpose.

The granting of the application and its duration shall be subject to the discretion of the judge after evaluating several factors.