A Khaleeji woman seeks DH440,000 post-divorce for home-building involvement

A woman from the Gulf region initiated legal proceedings against her former spouse, seeking payment of 440,000 dirhams, representing her investment in a property acquired during their marriage.

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However, the Ras Al Khaimah Civil Court of First Instance deemed itself insufficiently equipped to handle the case and referred it to the Personal Status Court.

The plaintiff explained that, subsequent to their divorce, she vacated the shared residence and aimed to reclaim her financial contribution towards its acquisition. In response, the defendant, through his representative, acknowledged her involvement in the property's acquisition but contended that this contribution did not constitute a debt that necessitated immediate repayment. Instead, he proposed reimbursing her once the property was sold, reasoning that her investment was contingent upon the property's future sale. He expressed openness to settling the matter amicably by selling the property in question and compensating her accordingly.

The civil court's decision referenced Article 62 of the Personal Status Law, which highlights each spouse's entitlement to pursue legal action in situations involving joint investments, like buying property, after a divorce or death. The court determined that the case was outside of its purview due to the plaintiff's participation in the acquisition of property during the marriage and the fact that the divorce occurred before the litigation. Based on well-established legal tradition in Ras Al Khaimah, problems originating from divorce can only be heard by the Personal Status Court.

The court emphasised the necessity for disputes over financial matters between spouses to be raised following divorce or death for the Personal Status Court to assume jurisdiction. In this instance, the acknowledgment of the plaintiff's contribution to property acquisition during the marriage, coupled with the divorce preceding the lawsuit, led the court to determine that the case fell within the purview of the Personal Status Court, aligning with established legal precedent in Ras Al Khaimah.

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