Man seeks divorce, UAE court says WhatsApp messages not enough

Photo: Alamy
Photo: Alamy

Dubai - He also sought revocation of their child's custody

By Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 3 Nov 2020, 1:19 PM

The Ras Al Khaimah Personal Status Court has rejected a divorce plea filed by an Arab man against his compatriot wife for failing to substantiate his claims of “intolerable damage" that affects their marriage.

Records showed that the man approached the court seeking fault-based divorce and the revocation of their child's custody. He based his divorce plea on the statements of the witnesses and two "offensive" WhatsApp messages. The court said these were not enough to grant a divorce.

In his pleading, the man told the court that his wife did not respect him and swore at him and his family all the time. "I can't take it any more. I give up. She is disobedient and always goes outdoors to her relatives in another emirate without my permission, posing a grave risk to my child's life, considering the Covid-19 pandemic."

The wife denied her husband's claims. She said it was he who always insulted and assaulted her. "He treats me like a housemaid, and doesn't sit with me at the same table."

The court tried to defuse the family dispute. The wife accepted the reconciliation offered, but the husband did not, and insisted on seeking irrevocable divorce.

The husband's lawyer said both the man and his wife may seek fault-based divorce, as per Article 117 of the personal status law. "This is the case here, as my client (the husband) has been disrespected, insulted, ignored and disobeyed by his wife."

The lawyer also sought the revocation of the wife's child custody as she goes out without her husband's permission endangering the child's life amid Covid-19.

However, the wife's lawyer argued that the husband's statements are “nothing but baseless claims” and there's not a single evidence to prove them.

The court said that a husband or a wife can seek litigious divorce but has to substantiate his or her claims that their marriage can't go on.

“The family counselling committee should first try to settle their litigation in an amicable way. If that's not possible, the case is referred to the court which has to try the same. If it fails, then the court decides whether to order divorce or not based on the proof submitted.”

The court added that the husband based his divorce plea on the statements of the witnesses, which were not accepted, and two WhatsApp messages, which the man considered offensive.

The court agreed that the messages were offensive, but “are not enough reason for a litigious divorce, particularly as the couple has a young boy who will definitely be affected by their separation".

Therefore, the personal status court turned down the husband’s divorce plea, ordered him to pay court charges, and urged the couple to protect their marital life and think about their kid's future.

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