A complete Guide to Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial agreements in Family Law of UAE

Family laws are subject to constant change. The UAE Family Laws keep on evolving to cater to the demands of the local population. Due to the adversity of the population, the new laws are introduced to facilitate the local community and its people. It accounts for the larger interest of the people and provides ease and comfort to them. Family matters are regulated by specific laws in United Arab Emirates. Great significance is given to the dynamics of the population while designing the laws of the country. It inculcates the Muslim and Non-Muslim expatriates settled or working in the country. 

Pre-Nuptial Agreements and Post-Nuptial Agreements: 

UAE Family Law is not new to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Both concepts are quite familiar and known. Nevertheless, the treatment for both arrangements is distinct and unique. Prenuptial Agreements are not recognized under United Arab Emirate law. This means that if such an agreement is drafted and executed in the UAE, it may not hold legal validity. Even prenuptial agreements established in foreign jurisdictions might not be enforceable in UAE courts. 

Prenuptial agreements are commonly known as premarital agreements as well. These are the contracts or agreements made by couples before marriage. It is pre-designed to outline rights and arrangements in case of divorce. The most recent amendment to the Civil Transactions Law introduces a possibility for consideration of prenuptial agreements in the UAE. To understand the legal framework we need to dig into the family Laws of UAE. They are designed to govern essential family matters. Notably, the laws are discussed keeping in mind the diverse population of both Muslim and Non-Muslim expatriates in the UAE.

The key legislations include the Federal Laws which are also known as the Civil Transactions Law. In Abu Dhabi, a different law applies to non-Muslims. On the other hand, Muslim residents are guided by the UAE Personal Status Law. This means that agreements drafted and signed within the country may not hold legal weight in his absence. On the other hand, if a prenuptial agreement is formed in a foreign jurisdiction, its enforceability in UAE courts is questionable. Particularly in cases concerning child-related matters the enforcement is uncertain. 

Learn More: Lawyers in ABU DHABI and DUBAI expert in Family Law 

Nevertheless, recent changes to the Civil Transactions Law suggest that such agreements should be looked upon based on the law of the land where the marriage took place. UAE family courts retain the discretion to accept or reject foreign laws under the prenuptial agreements. It is influenced by individual case merits and complexities of the case. It also includes factors like cases involving multiple nationalities.

In the most recent times, there has been an introduction of postnuptial agreements in the UAE. It is considered to be one of the alternatives to the prenuptial agreements as per the UAE law. It is also a viable and lucrative option available to the people of the UAE at large. 

Let us have a closer look into the concept of postnuptial agreement which is relatively new to the Middle East. In this article, we will deeply explore what is postnuptial agreement, its validity, enforcement, viability, and its applicability. We will be understanding the matter in relation to the UAE Family Laws.

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Such types of arrangements primarily outline financial arrangements between the spouses. These agreements are established after marriage. It clearly defines financial arrangements between spouses. The arrangement is considerably acceptable till the time it doesn’t infringe on the wife’s right to claim expenses. It also doesn’t waive off the party from the child’s custody rights or the child’s maintenance. Furthermore, it is not against the public order. However, custody rights and children’s maintenance cannot be forfeited or waived off under such kinds of agreements.

Execution of Postnuptial: 

The Execution of Postnuptial Agreements is a crucial step. Postnuptial agreements can easily be created in the country. Besides, it is permitted to formalize post-nuptial agreements within UAE Family Courts. It is specifically done through the Family Guidance Department. Under this, at least one of the parties should be a resident. It is important to apply for agreement registration or its execution. 

This arrangement is also open to all expatriate residents living in the UAE. Usually, the parties sign the postnuptial agreement physically by themselves. The parties sign it before the Family Guidance Department. Let us discuss the pros and cons of Postnuptial Agreements to the people. The primary benefit of postnuptial agreements becomes more evident in disputes between spouses. The postnuptial agreements can serve as the basis for execution proceedings in a case between the spouses. This will make the enforcement relatively smoother and more effective.

This agreement can be used outside the UAE in case if the agreement is intended for use outside the UAE, appropriate legalization is important. It is done through the relevant embassy. Meanwhile, the UAE does not formally recognize prenuptial agreements. Still, the legal landscape is evolving all across the world. In the future, there is a possibility that the UAE government will accommodate the prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to a greater extent. There’s a lot of potential in it in managing the disputes. 

Currently, it is based on the marriage law of the country in which the marriage took place. Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements both provide an effective and lucrative way to resolve disputes and issues among the spouses in the near future. Postnuptial is defined as an alternative for defining financial arrangements in the region. It simplifies the overall enforcement of the procedures in the event of disputes. Nonetheless, it provides a solid mechanism for resolving disputes and issues among couples and spouses in United Arab Emirates.

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