Divorce cases in the UAE are governed by the Islamic Sharia law. Sharia principles makes it more difficult for the estranged couple to separate, unless the judge is fully convinced that the marriage will not work. The first step in the divorce process is to register a case at the Moral and Family Guidance Section at Dubai Courts . A counsellor will then meet the couple and discuss their problems. If the couple, or either of them, still insists on divorce, the papers will be forwarded to the court. Non-Muslims may ask for the laws of their home countries to be applied in their cases.
Non-Muslims and other expatriates can file for divorce either in their home country (domicile) or in the UAE. Non-Muslims who got married in the UAE can divorce under their own country’s laws. In case, they choose to divorce from Dubai Courts, then the Sharia law will prevail, when it comes to child support and child custody, alimony or division of assets. It might be worthwhile to first consult with an experienced divorce attorney, who will try and work out an amicable settlement for both sides.