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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Emphasis on counselling leads to drop in divorces among Emiratis in Dubai

Dubai Court’s Family Reform Department said there had been a 7 per cent drop in divorces among locals, which could be attributed to family guidance and people marrying at older ages.

One reason for the slight reduction in Emirati divorce rates is that locals are now older when getting married, so more mature. AP
One reason for the slight reduction in Emirati divorce rates is that locals are now older when getting married, so more mature. AP

Counselling couples through their problems and offering guidance has been credited for a 7 per cent decrease in divorces among Emiratis in Dubai in the first six months of this year.

The family guidance section at Dubai Court’s Family Reform Department was praised for helping reduce divorces from 692 in the first six months of last year to 645 for the same period this year.

Khalid Al Hosani, Chief Justice - Court of Personal Status, said the team go to great lengths to try to end disputes amicably.

“They make great efforts through session with couples to bring their point of views closer [together] and thus convince them not to take their disputes to court and chose instead to solve them amicably, especially if the couple have children,” he said.

Mr Al Hosani said the drop can also be attributed to people marrying later in life.

“The marriage age has increased to 25 to 27 years, which means that the couple, when getting married, are more mature and are fully aware of the importance of marriage and the severity of divorce, mainly on children, as well as the significance of raising children with both parents,” he said.

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Mohammed Al Obaidli, head of the cases management department at Dubai Courts, said that the new Personal Status Court in Al Garhoud, which provides reconciliation services in a private environment, has also made an impact on divorce rates.

“The court provides 15 rooms specified for family reconciliation,” he said, adding that in 2015 it amicably solved 65 per cent of marital disputes reported to the court, up from 60 per cent the previous year. Last year they raised the bar again to 76 per cent of cases reconciled.

The Family Reform Department also said it settled inheritance cases for both Muslims and non-Muslim valued at more than Dh2.8billion in first six months of the year, compared to Dh2 billion in the same period last year.

“The percentage of settlements accomplished increased from 70 per cent last year to 76 per cent this year,” said Mr Al Hosni.

Four initiatives have also been launched by the Family Reform Department recently, said Mr Al Obaidli.

One provides free-of-charge services to register marriages, while the second provides voluntary guidance services to couples with marital disputes. Another offers court services at home for the elderly and those unable to attend in person, while the fourth initiative offers pro bono legal consultations to certain segments of society.