How To Claim Alimony And Child Support In The UAE

Author : Dr. Hassan Elhais | Published On : 04 May 2021

‘Alimony’ and ‘child support’ are two major points that are to be determined in instances of a divorce. 


The federal law no. 28 of 2005 on ‘personal status’ and its amendments commonly referred to as the ‘personal status law’ applies to all citizens and residents in the UAE.


Pursuant to Article 5 of the UAE personal status law:


Article (5) :

The State courts shall have jurisdiction on Personal Status litigations in which citizens, or aliens, having a domicile or residence or place of business in the State, are defendants.


Despite the applicability of the Personal status law for non – muslims, the UAE courts allow for the expats to apply the law of their home country. In such an instance, the foreign law is to be translated to Arabic and also requires to be attested up to the UAE consulate level before submitting to the UAE courts. The parties must also have a deep understanding of these choices of law options and must receive proper legal guidance as to why they should be choosing their home country laws over the UAE laws. The potential implications, including the benefits and potential risks of choosing one law over the other, must be well understood. 


Divorce lawyers Dubai working at top international law firms, are well versed in dealing with the family cases for expats from different jurisdictions of the world and can advise you on the best ways to proceed with your family case matter. You can seek out some of the best lawyer for divorce through our website


In divorce cases, the UAE courts are required to determine to which parent the custody of the child is to be allotted. Pursuant to the personal status law, the custody is usually awarded to the mother until the child is of a certain age; this is age 11 for a son and age 13 for a daughter. The mother is given the legal status of a ‘custodian’, and the father is given the legal status of a ‘legal guardian’.


The UAE courts generally allocate ‘child support’ taking into consideration the relevant detail and a fixed sum are allocated to the child including the following aspects such as food, clothing, education, extra-curricular activities, medical expenses, transportation expenses, domestic help or nanny expenses, clothes, flight tickets etc. The legal guardian who is the father of the child or the closest male relative is obligated to provide for the child support, and the parameters are judged by the court considering the living conditions or standard of living the child was accustomed to during the marriage. The best interests of the child are always taken into account, and the court is duty-bound to make the decisions protecting the same as well as ensuring minimal disruption to the child’s life. To know more about child custody and child support, take legal advice from an experienced child custody lawyer.


Article 140 of the Personal status law discusses the concept of alimony and states that the wife can claim alimony for the waiting period in instances wherein the divorce is initiated by the husband.


Article (140) :

In case the husband divorces his wife from a valid consummated marriage by his unilateral will without a request from her, she is entitled to compensation other than the alimony paid during the waiting period depending on the financial status of the husband provided it does not exceed one year alimony payable to those in similar condition. The judge may order that it be paid by instalments depending on the degree of solvency or insolvency of the husband. In assessing the amount thereof, the prejudice sustained by the wife shall be taken into consideration.


The concept of alimony might differ under the personal laws of expat residents, and therefore, to understand the possible conflict of laws, seek the advice from an experienced alimony lawyer.