UAE: Divorce cases in Abu Dhabi reduced by 6% in 2022

The emirate's Judicial Department further revealed that it successfully resolved 63 per cent of the family disputes submitted for its consideration last year

by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Mon 20 Feb 2023, 4:10 PM

The number of couples divorcing in Abu Dhabi has decreased over the past year, new statistics have revealed.

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) said on Monday that it has succeeded in reducing the divorce rate in 2022 by about 6 percent.

The cases of family disputes ending in divorce dropped to 3 per cent only, compared to 9 per cent in 2021, which is another quality achievement that adds to ADJD's record of consolidating the culture of tolerance and encouraging amicable settlement of disputes, to ensure the preservation of family cohesion and stability.

Family counsellors and psychologists in the UAE had earlier cited infidelity or extra-marital affairs, lack of preparation and commitment, poor or lack of communication, physical and verbal abuse, social media, failure to assume responsibilities by either of the spouses, and unrealistic expectations as some of the main reasons for early divorces in the UAE.

The judicial department has emphasised its commitment to promoting the culture of alternative dispute resolution, as part of its endeavours to implement best practices and innovative methods to the highest standards of quality – in order to enable reconciliation and amicable settlements of family conflicts as well as civil, commercial and real estate disputes.

Officials have attributed the decrease in divorce rates to the efforts made by the ADJD's Alternative Dispute Resolution Division to improve performance and develop working methods in line with the social, economic and technical development taking place in Abu Dhabi emirate.

Judicial authorities said the alternative dispute resolution division has produced a positive effect and has made better options for resolving disputes outside the traditional court setting possible. This has been coupled with the efforts of family counsellors to convince parties to opt for amicable solutions in resolving their disputes, which has ultimately contributed to a decrease in the number of cases ending in divorce.

The ADJD also revealed that it has managed to handle more than 99.2 per cent of the family disputes that were submitted for its consideration during 2022 – a rate that represents 15,606 family disputes – and succeeded in amicably resolving 63 per cent of the disputes in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The decrease in divorce rates is also the result of the successful implementation of various outreach programmes and initiatives implemented by the Judicial Department, including the "Reconciliation is Better" (Al Solh Khair) initiative. This is largely what helped reduce the divorce rate to about 6 per cent during 2022. This rate stood at 12 per cent in 2018, and 13 per cent in 2019 and 2020.

It then dropped in 2021 to 9 per cent, and continued its downward trend in 2022 to reach 3 per cent: a testament to the successful development of processes and interactive programmes that have proven beneficial to the parties to the conflict.

The "Reconciliation is Better" initiative is one of the innovative undertakings aimed at keeping abreast of developments, raising awareness, and consolidating and strengthening the relationship between family members. It aims to do this trough intensive guidance sessions conducted by certified family counsellors, as well as the organisation of training workshops supported by multimedia products and interactive exercises to help assimilate skills for coping with conflicts.

All of these will be paired with a follow-up plan to ensure compliance with the reconciliation agreement, and to address any obstacles that may arise during its implementation.

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