British woman wins French divorce appeal

Divorce|February 7th 2017

A British woman who lost the care of her son to his father in a Dubai ruling has won her appeal in France.

In 2014, a Sharia court in Dubai ordered a divorce between her and her now ex-husband, also awarding him sole care of their child. The ruling was based on grounds that would not be valid under English law; for example that she had failed to obey her husband, attended nightclubs with friends and travelled frequently. Her then husband’s case was boosted in court by affidavits provided by his friends.

She has not seen her son in person since that time.

Later the husband, who is French, applied in his home courts for recognition of the Dubai order and this was granted in the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris. That ruling has now been overturned by the Paris Court of Appeal, on the grounds that the original Dubai judgement had been “manifestly discriminatory” because the reasons cited applied to women only. This meant the judgement had breached the fundamental principle of gender equality in French law.

In addition, the Dubai court had dismissed the wife’s counter-suit without considering it.

Following the new ruling, the wife’s legal team said she now planned to pursue fresh divorce and child residence rulings in the English courts.

Photo of Paris by James Whitesmith via Flickr

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  1. Andrew says:

    Where are the child and the father? If in Dubai the French and English courts can fulminate as they wish; the Dubai courts are not likely to take any notice. The Court here should first establish whether there is any effective order they can make and if not they should decline jurisdiction. Financial relief after a foreign divorce, I suppose, if he has assets here.

  2. Andew says:

    In fact in financial relief after a foreign divorce, now I come to think of it, one of the factors the court has to consider before giving leave is whether any order will be enforceable. Unless she can point to worthwhile assets here or in France leave should be refused.

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