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Shaie Zindel
Shaie Zindel, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1246
Experience:  All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.
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Dear XXXXX, My wife and I were married ICP in South Africa

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My wife and I were married ICP in South Africa in 2000.
We have been living in Dubai for almost 6 years and are steadily (and unfortunately) growing apart. There is very little left in our relationship other than a fairly strong friendship.
Attempts to rekindle our relationship have not really been effective (Therapy and counselling), so I would really like to see what the options are for an amicable divorce.
Can you advise me of the process and potential outcomes?

SA-TOPLAW : Hi There - let me try to help. Are there any kids involved? How long have you been married - does your wife work? Does she have an income?

HI Mike,


We have a daughter who will turn 6 in November... We were married in 2000, so 13 years, but we were together before that for about 7 years... She currently isn;t working which is probably one of the problems we have as this puts a strain on my financial resources


I should also have mentioned that our only assets are material - fiscally we only have debt, no savings or policies. My concerns really are over the legal aspects as I believe that we are subject to Dubai law as we do not reside in South Africa currently. As Dubai law is based in Sharia law, I do not want to leave my wife and child in the lurch. I would be happy to pass on all physical assets to her and of course, offer child support for the future. I would only need to ensure that I can start a new life and still be able to recover from the debt...

SA-TOPLAW : It's very simple, irrespective of Sharia Law you are married icp means split equally all assets and debt. You will have an obligation for maintenance for both and I suggest you do your sums carefully because this is going to be a very expensive Exercise as you will now have to carry the cost of 2 households. Don't do anything until you have a full understanding of the financial impact. I would consult a local UAE attorney for a view on maintenance obligations under Sharia Law

Would the same hold true if my wife was gainfully employed? She has not contributed financially since we arrived in Dubai six years ago...

Double edged sword - what it would have done is given her a claim against you but it would have reduced her requirement or need for maintenance - now you face getting rogered both ways! She wont start working and claim maintenance to keep her and the child in a manner she has become accustomed to - that means you fund her lifestyle and your own!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This may sound a bit strangean but what effect would infidelity have..? can imagine that if my wife was unfathful, there would be a difference, but given this situation, would there be a financial difference if I was the one 'found out'? haven't yet, but there have been opportunities that I haven't pursued, but if this would expediate the divorce without any negative financial impact, it might be worth letting her find out about a 'relationship' even if it isn't an actual one...

Don't be Bonkers! Firstly in the UAE you will get a klap 6 love, maybe some jail time and definitely deported if it gets out you have been banging on the side - I don't know Shariah Law - but I cant imagine anything but negative consequences on the financial side. In SA it would make no real difference because we follow a no fault system. Is your Mrs on FB? we should start monitoring movements there.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She does have an FB account... You're right about Sharia law - sex out of wedlock is illegal and punishable by jail time and/or deportation - to be honest it's probably the biggest reason I haven't pursued any of the opportunities I've had and not so much a sense of loyalty to the wife. I have consulted the Dubai Court and the process seems pretty straight forward, I'm not sure what the settlement laws are though. Doesn't the fact that her lifestyle has left me in debt count for anything? I mean I can't afford 'the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed' now. Much less if I have to pay for 2 households... She quite simply refuses to work as she wants the best care for our daughter - if she works, we'll need a nanny which she refuses to do...

I hear you - its a tough one - listen - I'm not judging - I know DXB very well I have spent a lot of time there over the last few years - if you're looking for action its right next to you, go see a decent attorney first - understand the potential obligations from a maintenance point of view then act - for Gods sake though if you're going to get up to tricks just pasop and be discreet!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'll do that... Many thanks. Can you recommend anyone or should I just use Google?

Sure - start with this lady - I know her well and she does other work for me in Dubai - she's a south African and will guide you well:

Safiyya Akoojee


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UAE MOBILE+971507744342

SA MOBILE +27824906116



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks again... I'll Rate the reply to finish off now... All the best to you

Cool keep me posted on developments!
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