Question: I am a working woman who earns more than my husband. We are non-Muslims and have two children from the marriage. If I seek a divorce from my husband, what are my rights regarding alimony and child support if we decide to stay in the UAE?

Answer: In the UAE, a non-Muslim individual may apply the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status (the 'UAE Personal Status Law for Non-Muslims') regarding personal matters. A non-Muslim individual can also apply the personal laws of their home country before a personal status court in the UAE, as per Article 1(1) of the UAE Personal Status Law for Non-Muslims. This law ensures equality between men and women in terms of rights and duties, including joint custody and the right to request divorce.

A woman may file for alimony, maintenance, and custody of her children. The court will determine alimony based on various factors such as the duration of the marriage, financial stability, and reasons for divorce. The father is obligated to pay for the expenses related to the custody of the children. Maintenance to a wife may cease if she remarries or if custody ends for valid reasons. A wife can also request a court to revise the maintenance amount according to changing circumstances.

A non-Muslim individual can choose to apply either the UAE Personal Status Law for Non-Muslims or the personal laws of their home country, depending on which is more beneficial.