UAE Judges Solve Divorce Crisis By Trying To End Women’s Right To Request OneJune 1, 2011 No Comments
Divorce is usually a mutual decision by two people. It’s not always amicable, but the blame for the dissolution of marriage can rarely be placed on one spouse.
But women alone are being blamed for the high divorce rate in the UAE by judicial officials.
The tradition was that men had to make three statements of divorce, a seemingly long, ridiculous and grueling process which took rights away from women. Article 118 of the 2005 family law stopped this from being required.
In other words, the power is out of men’s hands when it comes to legal separation and divorce. Women can “file for divorce with no evidence of harm.”
But judges in the UAE are trying to have this article revoked out of family law so that women cannot divorce without good reason. They must justify why a divorce is needed so that the law can no longer be “abused by women who lack solid reasons for divorce.”
Under the law, women will be able to divorce “if either spouse had a communicable disease, or if a dowry was not paid.” Apparently, only these reasons are good enough.
The difficulty in granting divorce based on some arbitrary scale of “harm” is that women may have a multitude of personal reasons for wanting a divorce.
In most countries, the law does outline that you must cite your reason for wanting a divorce, with many people choosing to declare irreconcilable differences. You would think this would be reason enough.
And this doesn’t devalue the institution of marriage. Women should have the choice to divorce too, whether the law believes it’s a good reason or not. It’s better than men arbitrarily giving three statements of divorce making the separation official.
We all (hopefully) intend to marry for life, but whether we like it or not, divorce happens and is an epidemic worldwide. It’s the reality of modern relationships.
But it seems the majority of UAE citizens are perplexed about the hows and whys of divorce in the first place.
“In all honesty, there is no knowledge of divorce or what you do after divorce,” said Judge Ibrahim.
Rather than revoking a woman’s right to file for divorce, maybe they should work to clearly define the terms and conditions of divorce in the country or enact change within their dowry system, where couples have been known to marry for the wrong reasons.
This way, before people get married both parties can weigh the costs and benefits.
There’s no good grounds for giving women the right to divorce and then taking it away.
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