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2023 UAE Family Law: Latest Reforms Against Marriage, Divorce, and Inheritance


As of February 1st, 2023, reforms will be made to non-Muslim expatriates’ family laws in the UAE. The Federal Personal Status Law will come into effect, bringing Abu Dhabi’s civil family court system to the rest of the emirates.

It’s designed to modernize the UAE legal system regarding marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. Here are the details of these new reforms that you need to know.

Civil Marriage in Dubai in 2023

Non-Muslim couples can now marry in a non-Sharia legal process across the UAE, after being available in Abu Dhabi since February 2022. However, to be eligible for this, couples must be 21 years old or older and complete a declaration form in front of a judge.

Divorce for UAE residents in 2023

Either spouse can initiate a divorce in court, without proving fault or justification. The new law will make it possible to grant divorces after one hearing, without the need for family guidance counseling or mediation.

Joint and equal custody is automatically granted to divorcing couples with children until the children are 18. And the financial alimony will be based on factors such as the wife’s age, the length of the marriage, and the financial status of both partners.

Inheritance in the UAE 2023

The following are the main points regarding an inheritance that the new law states.

  • Non-Muslims can register wills at the time of their marriage, giving them the ability to pass on their property as desired. 
  • If no will is in place, 50% of the estate goes to the spouse and 50% to children, or surviving parents/siblings if no children are present.


These reforms aim to further modernize the UAE legal system, making it more accessible and equitable for non-Muslim expatriates. If you’re a non-Muslim expat living in the UAE and want to know more about the process of getting married in this area, you can contact us anytime you want.

We can help you get married in Georgia, as it’s the cheapest and easiest way for people living in GCC to get married.

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