In every culture and ideologies all around the world, people believe in the sanctity of marriage and family, as meant for life. The Prophet of Islam is reported to have said ''marriage is my
Sunna and those who do not follow this way of life are not my followers”. Imam Sadiq (AS) stated: 'Get married but do not divorce, because a divorce would tremble the Arsh (empyrean) of Allah'."
The alarming rate of increasing divorce and family disputes arising throughout the Emirates is a matter of concern and calls for action.The challenges faced by UAE law, governing family matters & the respective authorities dealing with them are several. One among them is to gather to the needs of expats who chooses to initiate and finalize their disputes and differences in accordance with their respective, governing law.
Reconciliation in Divorce Proceedings Under the UAE Law
Article 98 of the Personal Status Law of UAE says that the Court will endeavor reconciliation before deciding disunion between spouses. The counseling body which conducts reconciliation at present has a lot of shortcomings. A non profitable organization in the capacity of an advisory body of genuinely interested professionals, under the supervision of the Court shall be recommendable which helps families to settle differences between them amicably, rather than lead them to separation. It would be a great comfort to the clients who approaches the reconciliation body, that advisors can speak their same tongue and understand the cultural and religious background and advice them accordingly. Such an organization must focus on the resolving of issues rather than advice the clients on approaching the legal enforcement authorities.
Families having problems within themselves especially women and children often do not have anyone to speak for them and help them resolve their matters. An advisory body bought under the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Affairs linked to the legal enforcement departments with a highly advertised hotline number and panel of professionals to hear and aid people, approaching them with family issues would be recommendable. Such body should be the first recommended authority, by governmental bodies like the police station and courts when people approach them for filing a divorce or file a petition for domestic violence.
Reforming Reconciliation Panel
Aim of the Panel is/are…
In order to serve the purpose and aim of the panel, it would be important that a team of expert professionals both men and women shall undertake a thorough review of the multi-religious background and their respective governing laws of the people, by drawing their own expertise during a meeting with the families. Care must be taken to provide expert help according to demand of the parties helping them to be comfortable and open up to the Adviser. At a minimum, the following participants should ideally conduct such a review:
a) UAE Lawyers
b) Experts in respective laws of the parties and religion
c) Marriage Councilors
e) Medical Practitioners
g) Social Workers
Such a panel of Experts should consist of professionals who have a prior experience in dealing with Family Disputes Counseling. The procedure and the decision should ideally work on voluntary basis in order to guarantee both parties compliance with the mutually agreed resolution, which has no legal implications or enforceability at the court of law, but could be used as an evidence should there be a need for resorting to a legally binding procedures at a later date. The procedure should not have any prejudice over filing a matrimonial case at Court. Such a body should rather work as an advisory body opting for settling issues of Family Affairs amicably. Of course the confidentiality of the details must be a matter of primary importance. The organization should have powers to incorporate the help of the respective legal enforcement departments for rendering proper and effective solutions to families who approach them.
With the help of dedicated professionals and the cooperation of the concerned authorities there is much promise of what we can do for tomorrow.