Abu Dhabi establishes non-Muslim personal status court

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), established a court focusing in personal status cases for non-Muslim foreigners in Abu Dhabi. Its aim is to provide flexible judicial procedures to settle family issues. All related forms and procedures will be in Arabic and English, in order to streamline legal proceedings and to strengthen transparency of the judicial system.

The law contains 20 articles divided into several chapters covering civil marriage, divorce, joint custody of children and inheritance. It introduces the concept of civil marriage based on the will of the husband and wife, divorce measures and the rights of divorced spouses after divorce and the discretionary power of the judge to assess the financial rights of the wife. The law also presents the concept of joint custody of children following divorce custody. Furthermore, the new law deals with other issues such as inheritance, will registration, the right of the foreigner to inheritance, by will, all his possessions to the beneficiary of his/her choice, as well as regulating the child paternity for non-Muslim foreigners, by providing that paternity is proved by marriage or by declaration.

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