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What Are Key Defenses in Alimony Claims Under UAE Law?

Question from mohammed, What Are Key Defenses in Alimony Claims Under UAE Law?

Answer from AI:

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a legal obligation on a person to provide financial support to their spouse before or after marital separation or divorce. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) law, particularly the Personal Status Law, governs alimony and outlines specific defenses that can be used in alimony claims. Understanding these defenses is crucial for anyone involved in a divorce or separation proceeding in the UAE.

Understanding Alimony Under UAE Law

Under UAE law, alimony can include financial support for the wife during the waiting period (‘iddah), post-divorce maintenance, and child support. The laws are primarily derived from Islamic Sharia, and thus, they apply to Muslim marriages. Non-Muslim expatriates can also be subject to these laws, or they may apply the laws of their home country in some cases.

Key Defenses in Alimony Claims

When facing an alimony claim, there are several defenses that can be raised under UAE law. These defenses can affect the amount of alimony awarded or whether alimony is granted at all.

  1. Financial Inability: One of the most common defenses is proving that the spouse responsible for paying alimony is financially incapable of doing so. This requires substantial evidence of the individual’s income, assets, and liabilities.
  2. Recipient’s Financial Independence: If the spouse seeking alimony has a sufficient source of income or substantial assets, this can be used as a defense to reduce or eliminate the need for alimony.
  3. Adultery or Harm: Under UAE law, if the spouse seeking alimony is found guilty of adultery or has caused harm (physical or otherwise) to the other spouse, this can be a valid defense against the alimony claim.
  4. Duration of Marriage: The length of the marriage can also influence alimony. Shorter marriages may result in reduced alimony obligations.
  5. Waiver Agreement: If there is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement where the spouse has waived their right to alimony, this can serve as a defense, provided the agreement complies with UAE law.

Legal Advice and Representation

It’s important to note that the application of these defenses can vary significantly based on the specifics of each case. Legal advice from a professional experienced in UAE family law is crucial to navigate these complexities. A lawyer can help:

  • Assess the validity and strength of potential defenses in your case.
  • Provide representation in court, if necessary.
  • Advise on the best course of action, considering the unique aspects of your situation.

For more detailed information on the Personal Status Law and its application, you can refer to the official document provided by the UAE government.


Alimony claims under UAE law involve a complex interplay of legal principles and personal circumstances. Understanding the key defenses available can provide a starting point for navigating these claims. However, due to the intricacies of the law and the potential for significant financial implications, consulting with a legal professional is strongly recommended for personalized advice and representation.

Remember, the information provided here is for general guidance and should not be considered as legal advice. Each case is unique, and the outcome can depend on various factors, including the discretion of the court.

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