ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE VS. DIVORCE IN THE UAE: KEY DIFFERENCES YOU MUST KNOW

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Although “annulment” and “divorce” have distinct meanings, they both refer to marital agreements. A legally binding marriage must be dissolved via the court system to be declared null and void. On the other hand, the legal process by which the marriage is declared invalid is the annulment of the marriage contract. First, a marriage must be legally recognized as legitimate to be declared null and void. However, not all marriages are eligible for this procedure. You must adhere to the UAE’s regulations to have your marriage annulled. This article discusses the essential conditions required for a valid marriage in the UAE and the critical differences between Annulment and Divorce. The words “divorce” and “annulment” have different legal meanings. Both names have a specific significance, and each has its protocols. They both refer to marriage contracts. You can consult with Dubai court Marriage lawyers in Dubai.

What is the Annulment of Marriage?

An annulment of a marriage contract refers to the legal procedure through which the marriage is declared void and invalid. Several legal prerequisites must be satisfied for a marriage to be lawful and enforceable. Marriage must meet these characteristics to be valid.

Marriage is a legally binding agreement between a man and a woman that attempts to safeguard both the couple’s and their offspring’s rights. When the prerequisite requirements necessary to create a marriage are not satisfied, the marriage is deemed to have never been in the eyes of the law and becomes null and invalid. The process of annulling a marriage is known as the “annulment of Marriage.”

Essential conditions for a valid Muslim Marriage in the UAE

A few crucial legal prerequisites must be satisfied for a Muslim marriage to be recognized in the UAE as a legal union. The following are the essential requirements:

  1. In the United Arab Emirates, a Sharia Court must record a marriage contract.
  2. The prerequisites for reaching the marriage-age requirement must be satisfied. 18 Hijri years is the minimum age required for Muslim marriage.
  3. If the required age for marriage is not attained, the court must first acquire special permission.
  4. The spouse’s age must not be more than twice that of the other individual. If so, the parties must get the judge’s special permission before being hitched.
  5. Premarital screening processes should be followed, and a certificate proving compliance should be acquired.
  6. The presence of the bride’s father or his legal representative, as well as the presence of two Muslim male witnesses, is required for the marriage.
  7. The couple must be present for the marriage to be legally binding.
  8. Obtaining her legal guardian’s approval for the marriage is a requirement for the lady.
  9. The oldest brother is often the closest male relative and must be present if the bride’s father has passed away at the wedding.
  10. A status certificate’s evidence must be shown for a woman who has been divorced or widowed to remarry successfully.
  11. Certain situations also call for the particular “no-objection” certificate. For example, if the bride is Muslim but the groom is not, that situation is included.
  12. In this situation, the bride’s embassy or consulate must provide a “No-objection certificate” for submission.

Alternatively, the following requirements must be met for a non-Muslim marriage to be legally valid:

i. The bride’s approval

ii. At least one of the partners must be a Dubai resident 

iii. The certificate of premarital screening.

iv. The marriage must be finalized at the non-embassy Muslim’s or consulate.

Essential Conditions for a lawful marriage in the UAE

Additionally, the UAE’s Personal Status Law, Article 38, specifies three (3) prerequisites for a legal marriage:

  • The two contractual parties:

Article 39 of the Personal Status Law states that the “wali” of a woman capable of marriage must do so with her permission and sign the marriage contract before a recognized religious authority can execute it. Without a guardian, every marriage contract is null and invalid. The pair will be split apart if the marriage is consummated. In this case, the judge will act as the bride’s guardian if she doesn’t have one.

  •  The subject matter:

Nothing in the law shall prevent the couple from getting married or impede their relationship. If a couple engages in polyandry, having several husbands at once, or if their faiths diverge, these interruptions may render their marriage null and invalid.

  •  Offer and acceptance:

A marriage offer must be made by one of the parties to the wedding for a valid union, according to Article 41 of the Personal Status Code. The other party must also accept the offer. According to Sharia Law, the proposal and acceptance must be made in front of two (2) healthy, puberty-aged Muslim men, or one male and two female witnesses who are Muslims and of sound mind. Marriage is voidable but not void if there are no witnesses to the event.

Annulment of Marriage vs Divorce in the UAE: Key Difference

Divorce and annulment procedures and laws are entirely different from one another. A legally lawful marriage that has to be ended by court order is subject to a divorce case.

The annulment process is highly different from Divorce. The marriage is declared to have “never been” in an annulment. For several reasons, marriage annulments are not often granted by UAE courts. When permitted, an annulment is only granted for particular reasons, such as when the minimum marriage age is not fulfilled.

Instead of requiring an annulment, both parties must agree to finish the mutual divorce procedure before it can be finalized. If not, any party may petition the court for a divorce based on the specific circumstances that have caused “damage” to a particular party, requiring that the courts grant the Divorce.

How many Divorce Lawyers and Legal Consultants assist you?

The top divorce Lawyer in Dubai will determine your case if you use the services of our Dubai law firm. A divorce Lawyer in Dubai will carefully review your financial condition, projected future income, and marital history. A divorce Lawyer in Dubai will then suggest the best jurisdiction for you. If your case involves a financial settlement or concerns about child custody arrangements, you will be advised under Dubai Family Law as to which nation would be the best place to hear your case. If going through the divorce process worries you, be assured that your family’s issues will be resolved thanks to a divorce Lawyer in Dubai.

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