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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

UAE family matters Q&As: can my father consent to my marriage via email?

A reader asks if his divorce can be handled in a UAE court if he and his wife are no longer residents and another asks if their father can consent to a marriage via email

My wife and I got married in the UAE since we were residents of the country at the time. We no longer live in the UAE and have now decided to divorce. Can we file for divorce in the UAE even though our residency visas are no longer valid?

As per Articles No 5 and 6 of the UAE Personal Status Law No 28 of 2005, the local courts consider the jurisdiction for the divorce cases if both parties are residents or if the case is filed against the resident of the UAE. The UAE courts could preside over the divorce if the location of the respondent is unknown and in some other relevant scenarios. Deciding to end your marriage in the UAE if neither one of you is a resident or if you have only married in the UAE is not sufficient of a reason to give the local courts the jurisdiction over divorce cases.

My fiancé and I would like to register our marriage in the UAE. Both of us are Muslim expatriates. I understand that without my father’s consent it is impossible to conclude our marriage through the local courts. My father, unfortunately, cannot fly to UAE to attend my wedding due to some personal reasons. Can my father give his consent for my marriage in written form via email and share his blessings with my future husband? Or can it be actually done by any means via email?

We regret to inform that it is not possible as Article No. 5 of the UAE Law of Electronic Transactions and Commerce No. 2 of 2002 excludes transactions related to personal law (such as divorce, wills and marriage). This law also applies with Islamic principles that require there to be two witnesses to your father giving consent. To have your marriage duly registered and recognised in UAE, the consent of your father given via email will not be considered as a sufficient proof of his willingness to acknowledge this marriage.

If you have a question for our legal consultant, email media@professionallawyer.me with the subject line "Family Matters".