Couples in Abu Dhabi to undergo mentoring before getting a divorce
A new programme aims to help married couples reconcile and reduce the number of divorce cases in the emirate
Troubled couples in Abu Dhabi must go through counselling and intensive mentoring before they file for a divorce.
They also will participate in interactive workshops to understand the implications of their decision.
It is part of a new programme - Reconciliation is Better - introduced by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) to help married people resolve their differences.
Some are group workshops that could involve several couples, and some sessions are held for each couple individually
Dr Abdulhameed Al Hosni,
The initiative aims to educate disputing families on how to overcome the difficulties and obstacles they face, said Youssef Al Abri, undersecretary of ADJD.
It also puts in perspective the negative effects of a divorce on a family, especially children.
The programme is run by counsellors who assist couples with social, psychological and legal guidance, and suggest “necessary remedies and treatment plans”.
The family also has to go through interactive workshops and hypothetical scenarios to be able to solve problems they may face in the future.
Previously, when a couple filed for a divorce they had to see a family counsellor who would assist them.
“The process mainly relied on the efforts of the counsellor and his ability to reach a resolution,” said Dr Abdulhameed Al Hosni, head of alternative dispute management at ADJD.
“He would try as much as he could to reach a reconciliation rather than a divorce.”
The process took around one month. But with the new initiative, spouses will be asked to go through a series of sessions and extensive mentoring, besides the regular reconciliation meetings. “Some are group workshops that could involve several couples, and some sessions are held for each couple individually; the number of sessions varies based on the needs of each couple,” said Dr Al Hosni.
“The programme could take between two to four months.
“And most importantly, we highlight the impact of divorce on children, because usually they are the main victim.
“We explain to them in detail the legal aspects of a divorce and what to expect in terms of allowances, custody regulations and so on.”
The department will follow up and check on families for six months after they graduate from the programme.
“If they reconcile, we contact them every month to make sure they are managing their life smoothly and we aid with any emerging issues,” said Dr Al Hosni.
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“In the event of a divorce, we continue to guide them by giving them parenting tips and how to communicate with each other.
“We have seen a number of cases of divorced couples getting back together.”
Nearly 70 to 80 per cent of the couples who come to the authorities for guidance are able to save their marriages.
“And with the new intensified efforts, we aim to stop more divorces from occurring,” he said.
“The sessions and workshops will be held virtually for now [due to Covid-19 precautionary measures], and when things are back to normal we will hold them at the department."
Updated: September 15, 2020 07:08 PM