Question: I am a Muslim woman married to a Muslim man. Four months ago, my husband divorced me in front of witnesses, but the divorce was not proven before the court. Since then, I have been separated from my husband. My question is: was it a final divorce, and can I now marry another man? Please advise
Answer: If your husband divorced you in front of witnesses, you have to file a personal status case in front of the court to get the divorce certificate in order to be able to marry another man. You need such a certificate or else the court will not conclude the marriage between you and the other man. You may request the testimony of the witnesses in front of whom your husband divorced you. The court will ask your husband whether or not the divorce happened, whether the divorce was for the first, second or third time, whether he returned to you within ‘idda’ [waiting period] or not, etc.
Two types of divorce
The court will give its decision as per the circumstances of the case. The court will state whether the divorce is retractable or non-retractable and what time idda will finish. You will be able to remarry in case he did not return you back within idda period.
Article 104 of the UAE Personal Status law states that repudiation is either retractable or non-retractable:
1. The retractable repudiation does not put an end to marriage unless after the expiry of the waiting period (idda).
2. The non-retractable repudiation ends the marriage upon its occurrence. It may take one of the following two forms:
a) Repudiation with right to remarry: The divorcee may not return to the man who divorced her except after a new contract of marriage and a new dowry
b) Final and decisive repudiation: The divorcee may not return to the man who divorced her except after expiry of the waiting period (idda) from another husband who had carnal knowledge of her pursuant to a valid marriage.