‘A wife won her legal battle and had her marriage annulled after she convinced Dubai’s highest court that her husband is narcissistic and psychologically incapable of being a good husband.’The wife’s lawyer explained that after a number of year of marriage and two children, the husband had become’troublesome and unbearable to live with… my client realised that her husband had a mental disorder that made him a difficult person to live with’. Apparently the husband had also ‘been subject to a clinical test that proved his disease was incurable’. The case which was refused by the Primary and the Appeal Court was eventually successful at the Dubai Cassation Court.
‘The father has recently taken to referring to the mother as a drug-addicted alcoholic surrogate who has suffered from sexually transmitted diseases. This is the terminology of his blog and it is the terminology in which he has communicated with the welfare agencies. One example is the father’s provision to all 723 providers of nursery education in the mother’s county of his insulting analysis of the mother’s position…when questioned about this terminology, the father asserts that it is true but this is clearly contradicted by other evidence available to me in the case. He then says that the mother has insulted him by quoting his psychological assessment of narcissism, so, if she is insulting him, he is going to insult her. Finally, he says that he did not approve of the mother’s approach to the choice of nursery so, by spreading information about the mother to all local nursery providers, he was attempting to stop her acting contrary to his wishes.’In October 2017, the the President of the Family Division gave directions to all judges deciding cases concerning child arrangements where there are allegations of domestic abuse and harm.
‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people over 16 who are or have been intimate partners or family members.’Coercive behaviour was clarified to be:
‘An act or a pattern or acts of assaults, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten the victim.’Controlling behaviour goes further:
‘An act or a pattern of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependant by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources… depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.’The Direction sets out clear rules of engagement for Judges dealing with cases where such behaviour arises including at para 33(a) ‘whether it would be assisted by any social work, psychiatric, physiologic or other assessment… of any party’.