UAE: Husband not obliged to pay traffic fines committed by spouse

Fines and other penalties are personal, and those who commit them are solely responsible, says legal advisor


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Wed 3 Nov 2021, 3:22 PM

Courts in the UAE have looked into several disputes involving spouses and divorced couples on various matters, some of which were financial feuds.

Among all the disputes looked into, one was the responsibility of paying huge traffic fines committed by one of the spouses, especially the wife, whether against their car or the vehicle that belongs to their partner.

Dr. Youssef Al Sharif, advocate and legal advisor in Abu Dhabi has explained that traffic offenses committed by some wives may anger their husbands, given the financial burden they add, especially when the wife doesn’t work and has no income.

In most cases, disputes of such nature may go to court, especially between divorcees.

Al Sharif added that the law does not compel a spouse to bear their partner's responsibility for the traffic violations they have committed.

He explained that the traffic fines and other penalties are personal, and those who committed them are solely responsible.

“The husband is not obligated by the law to pay the traffic fines on behalf of his wife, and she doesn’t fall within his guardianship. But he does so voluntarily and from the basis of the marital relationship that binds them.

"But if there is a dispute between the couple, there is no legal responsibility on the husband to bear the burden of clearing the traffic fines for the wife or ex-wife,” explained the lawyer.

He noted that traffic violations are not included in the expenses required by the husband to provide or his ex-wife.

“If a husband is compelled to pay the expenses to his ex-wife, including a car to enable her and the children meet the transport needs, and she commits traffic violations with the car, the man is not responsible to pay for the traffic fines,” said Al Sharif.

The lawyer pointed out that it is the responsibility of the person driving the car to pay the fines for the traffic violations they have committed. This applies to any person driving another person's vehicle and they commit violation - be it a wife driving husband’s car, a divorced woman or a driver working for their employer - they are responsible for paying fines for the traffic offences in accordance with the law.

In one of the recent cases between divorced couple, a court of first instance had ordered a woman to pay Dh7,290 in fines for 15 traffic offences she had committed using the car registered in the names of her ex-husband. The man had provided the car to his ex-wife to use it for transport after the couple separated. The man had filed the complaint against his ex-wife and requesting court to force her clear the traffic offences she committed.

The judge said in his ruling, that the defendant was responsible for these violations, as the car had been provided to her for her personal use, and that the onus was on her to ensure that she abides by traffic rules and regulations to avoid the fines.

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