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What You Need to Know About Separation or Divorce During Pregnancy in UAE

Pregnancy is definitely a beautiful moment. However, for other couples, this period may also be the most stressful and full of uncertainty, especially when considering separation or divorce. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), understanding the laws and regulations surrounding separation or divorce during pregnancy becomes essential.

Understanding UAE Personal Status Law

The UAE Personal Status Law, Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, is the main law governing divorce and other issues related to families in the UAE. However, recent amendments have provided new legislation, in a view to address the interests of non-Muslims, giving them the option of either adhering to the provisions of the new federal Civil Personal Status Law or to apply their home country’s laws on personal status.

Divorce Proceedings for Muslims

With regard to couples who are married Muslim couples, divorce proceeds under Sharia Law. A man can ask for a marriage breakup (talaq) without any reason, while a woman has to prove justification—damage or harm—that will be open to interpretation. In order to have legal recognition, there must be a “Talaq,” an Islamic form of a traditional divorce process, to be recorded at the court.

Sharia Law on Divorce of a Pregnant Wife

In relation to the laws of Sharia, a man can lawfully terminate his marriage with his wife even when she is pregnant. The waiting period of a pregnant wife after divorce will not continue more than till the time of her delivery or the period of miscarriage, during which she cannot remarry.

Provisions Related to Waiting Period (Idda) and Maintenance for Divorced Pregnant Women in UAE

  1. Waiting Period (Idda) for a Pregnant Woman: As per the UAE Personal Status Law, the woman who, after the husband passed away, shall wait for four months and ten days, if she is not pregnant. However, the waiting period for a pregnant woman, as per Article 138 (2) of the UAE Personal Status Law, is terminated upon birth of the child or miscarriage.
  2. Alimony and Sheltering During Waiting Period: According to Article 69 of the UAE Personal Status Law, a divorced person is entitled to financial aid (alimony) and sheltering during the waiting period (“idda”) in the following cases: 
  3. a) In case of a reversible divorce 
  4. b) In a non-retractable divorce when the divorced wife is pregnant 
  5. c) If the divorced wife is not pregnant, only sheltering is due.

These provisions indicate the duration of the waiting time (idda) of the pregnant woman in the case of divorce or the husband’s death. It also covers the rights of a divorced woman to financial support (alimony) and sheltering during the waiting period. However, if she is not pregnant, only sheltering will be due.

You may want to know: How to File for Divorce in the UAE: A Guide for Muslim and Non-Muslim Expats

Divorce for Non-Muslims

The expatriate can present a case for divorce either in his home country or within the UAE. If he prefers to apply his home country’s laws, he should ask the court. The new Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 extends its provisions to non-Muslim citizens and foreigners. They have the choice to apply either the provisions of this law or those of their home country. Moreover, they can also mutually agree on any other family legislation currently enforceable in the UAE rather than specific provisions as outlined in this new decree.

Key Provisions During Pregnancy

Under the law of Sharia in the United Arab Emirates, there is a significant concept of a “revocable divorce.” The husband has the right of reconciliation with his wife during the whole waiting period (idda) that lasts until the birth of the child. This provision aims to protect the unborn child’s rights and those of his mother during and after pregnancy.


The issues of divorce during pregnancy in the UAE are quite complex and require careful consideration of the legal rights and cultural values. Whether you are a Muslim or non-Muslim resident, understanding the legal framework and seeking professional legal advice is necessary in dealing with this challenging time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I reconcile during the Idda period?

In the case of Muslim couples, the occurrence of physically intimate behavior during the divorce period will reinstate divorce. Thus, reconciliation is possible under the Idda reconciliation period.

  1. What are my divorce rights if I am pregnant?

Regardless of her religion during the Idda period, a pregnant woman has the right to have her financial needs taken care of by her separated husband. In the case where the Idda duration lapses, the court may issue financial support.

  1. How do courts decide on child custody?

Under custody, the child’s best interest, the ability of the mother to take care of the child, and the age of the child.

  1. What papers would I need for a divorce?

The necessary documents depend on individual circumstances, but generally include identification, marriage certificate, financial records, and any prenuptial agreements. It is advisable to engage an attorney to ensure all required documents are provided.

  1. What are the legal expenses associated with divorce?

The cost of legal expenses associated with divorce varies based on the complexity of the case, the lawyers’ fees, court costs, and other related expenses.

Seek Expert Assistance from HHS Divorce Lawyers

Family law and divorce are complicated matters that can seem like a mountain to climb at any time, but doing so while you’re pregnant could be especially overwhelming. At HHS Divorce Lawyers in Dubai, we are a team of expert lawyers here to offer you support. We understand the laws of separation and divorce in the UAE and will guide you through them step by step to ensure everything is explained in plain language. We guarantee that your rights, as well as those of your unborn child, will be upheld to the best of our abilities.

We will assist you with:

  1. Understanding issues related to prenuptial agreements and financial affairs.
  2. Reaching a fair agreement on child custody and visitation.
  3. Representing your case in court, if required.
  4. Providing referrals to emotional support services.

You don’t have to do this alone; HHS Lawyers will handle your case professionally, with compassion and confidentiality. We aim to make this transition easier for you while prioritizing your health and that of your baby. 

Don’t wait; contact HHS Dubai Lawyers today to schedule a consultation, so we can begin working on resolving this matter for the best interests of you and your family.