Tuesday, July 13, 2010
A landmark ruling in Abu Dhabi requires abusive spouses to pay half the marital dowry:
A landmark ruling by the Federal Supreme Court has held that a husband divorced by his wife must pay her half the marriage dowry if there is evidence of abuse.
The ruling sets a precedent that will probably also affect continuing efforts to reform the family law system.
It is designed, experts say, to prevent a husband from abusing or harassing his wife with the intent of forcing her to divorce him – a situation that previously meant the wife usually forfeited the so-called “deferred dowry”.
The previous rule encouraged husbands to coerce their wives into seeking a divorce. Husbands would desert a wife for years and refuse to pay for her daily needs. “This happens all the time, in hundreds of cases,” said Nashwa al Qubaisi, a lawyer who deals with marriage and divorce disputes.
“This kind of ruling would definitely help prevent husbands from taking advantage of the family law. Sometimes a wife would even pay in order to get the husband to divorce her.”
Experts say the decision closes a gap in family law that, if the law does not address a specific situation, defers to an interpretation of Sharia law.
Read more here.