In today’s competitive world, many workers and professionals move to the UAE for better work opportunities. At times, they have to leave their spouses and family behind. As a result, they are often stressed and the relationship gets affected. In such cases, infidelity is not uncommon. In the UAE, adultery is considered a serious crime and, if convicted, you can be punished by law. As per the experts, rising infidelity is one of the main causes of divorce in the UAE.
There are several reasons for someone to get involved in a sexual relationship outside the wedlock. Some common ones are:
- Social networking
- Extended work hours
- Loneliness and frustration
- Extensive travel
- Marital disharmony
Under UAE law, having extramarital affairs is a breach of criminal law and can lead to serious consequences. Certain provisions to be met for convictions are:
- Adultery is defined as a voluntary sexual relationship between a married individual and a person who is not their spouse. This is considered a serious criminal offence in the UAE.
- When filing a criminal case, you must possess admissible evidence, including written records and eye witness (if any) against the accused.
- The conviction will depend on successfully proving that the accused is actually having an extramarital affair.
- An appointed witness may prove to be an added advantage to the respective case.
Legal ways when the couple is settled in the UAE
- If both the partners are residing in the UAE, the person taking the legal route must provide substantial evidence against his/her partner. Evidence may include emails, videos, photos, or eyewitnesses against the wife or husband.
- The discretionary power lies with the criminal court to evaluate whether the accused has an extramarital affair or not. This will be concluded after the thorough examination of the evidence provided.
- If the criminal charges against the husband/wife are proved, it will also be favourable in family court when filing for divorce/custody case.
- Based on your request, prosecutors will have full discretionary powers to investigate the matter further.
Legal ways when one partner is in the home country and the other is in Dubai (UAE)
- If you are suspicious that your spouse residing in the UAE is involved in an adulterous relationship, you can file a criminal complaint against him/her.
- You may hire an attorney or seek the help of the Dubai Police in such matters.
- To prove your claim, you need to provide evidence against your spouse that he/she has an illicit relationship.
- If you are in your home country, your presence will be required in the UAE to record the complaint.
FAQ’s on Adultery Law in the UAE
If my spouse is involved in adultery in the UAE, can I file a complaint?
If you possess admissible evidence against your spouse’s extramarital affair and can produce reliable witnesses, you can file a criminal complaint with the public prosecutor or Dubai police station.
In case a woman is registering a complaint against her husband, she may also approach the Women Protection Department for further assistance.
What punishment is given for adultery in the UAE?
If the husband/wife is convicted under the UAE law, he/she may face one to three years of imprisonment followed by deportation. Notably, both the parties involved in the extramarital affair will be considered as accused and would be deported under the said offence. However, it depends on the judge to reduce the jail sentence or suspend it altogether.
Factors like the nature of the affair and the evidence provided will help the court determine the harshness of the sentence.
What kind of evidence can I provide?
In a criminal court, a claim of adultery needs to be justified with proof that a sexual relationship existed outside the wedlock. The UAE law mostly considers all forms of written communication exchanged between the involved parties as evidence.
As admissible evidence, you can include phone records, photos, emails, videos, or messages exchanged between the parties involved. You can also bring reliable witnesses if any. A letter of admission from your spouse to you can also be included. The evidence you provide must establish that your husband/wife has extramarital affair with another person.
It is very important to note that you should have gathered the evidence inadvertently or without the ill intention of violating the privacy of your partner, otherwise it would be considered a felony under criminal law for the violation of privacy.
Based on the evidence you provide, the UAE criminal court has full discretionary powers to decide whether your spouse was in an adulterous relationship or not.
Can a WhatsApp chat message be considered as legal proof?
Under UAE law, any type of electronic email or message can be treated as evidence. The law considers all types of recorded and written communication as a proof in such cases. You can request the Judicial Authority to verify the message exchanges between your spouse and the person involved.
Can I file a complaint against the person with whom my spouse is having an affair?
You cannot file a case only against the person with whom your spouse is cheating on you. The complaint will be against both of them. If proved guilty, both can be punished with a jail sentence and deportation.
Do the police have discretionary powers to investigate the matter?
You must first file a police complaint against your husband/wife. If convicted, he/she could face a jail sentence and deportation. Once the complaint is filed, the UAE police have the right to gather evidence and hear the accused’s plea before deciding whether a criminal action has to be taken or not. They also have the power to order an investigation if substantial evidence has been submitted by the complainant.
Adultery is considered a criminal offence in the UAE. If you are suspicious that your spouse is cheating on you, you can file a criminal case against your husband/wife in the UAE. Filing a legal complaint against your spouse can be a heart-breaking and unpleasant experience. You may feel emotionally distressed.
In such cases, it might become difficult for you to take the right steps and decisions. It is advisable to hire an attorney in the UAE for further guidance on adultery laws. As every situation is unique, you must seek legal counsel in court matters.