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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

UAE family matters Q&As: can my husband dodge financial support payments?

A reader asks if her husband will still be obliged to pay financial support during court proceedings and another asks on what grounds he can appeal a divorce case granted because he insulted his wife

I am an Asian expatriate and have signed a contract with my husband saying he has to give me the custody of my children and provide us with Dh7,000 a month in financial support. He paid for two years and then he stopped sending me money. When I confronted him he said he will raise an objection to the court. Later, when I filed an execution to enforce the agreement, he raised an objection called "Ishqaal". One of my friends told me "Ishqaal" will stop my proceeding till it is decided. Is this true? What can I do to protect myself? Can he keep prolonging my case and not pay me any money?

It is very unfortunate that your husband is trying to escape from his legal commitment. In any other cases, filing “Ishqaal” in the execution may suspend the proceeding till the “Ishqaal” is decided. However, the law — Article No. 11 of the UAE Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005 - is very specific for cases such as yours where an agreement has been signed between both parties. The law indicates that “Ishqaal” against the alimony and custody settlement shall not suspend or freeze the proceeding, which means that even if your husband did “Ishqaal” he would still be obliged to pay you.

I am a European expatriate based in Dubai and married to Asian woman. She filed a divorce case against me claiming that she has been insulted by me. However, neither she nor the witness could say what are insulting words I used were. The main argument of mine and my legal defence was to ask what the exact insulting words were since she may have considered them personally insulting but they technically were not. However, the court adopted her point of view and gave her the divorce. Do I have the right to appeal this judgment? And on which grounds?

Although your case is not precisely clarified in the UAE Personal Status Law, it has happened before in other cases like in a case No. 26/2002 in Supreme Court of Dubai. In that case the Supreme Court indicated that the First Instance Court had to indicate precisely what are the defamation words were to enable the Supreme Court to review them and confirm whether or not they are defamatory. So you may depend on this in your next appeal.

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

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.