The application of foreign law in Kuwaiti courts depends on the nature of each case. This is an issue that foreign litigants (married couple) face whenever there is disagreement between them and they want to get a divorce, custody or even alimony.
For example, if the couple got married in the US and want to get a divorce while residing in Kuwait, they don’t have to return to the US for the Family Law there to be applied on their case because they can do it in Kuwaiti courts. All disputes that may arise in relation to the case will be settled by Kuwaiti courts.
The foreign law will be applied in Kuwaiti courts once the litigants demand for it. They are also obligated to present the related document to the court here and it must be approved by the US Embassy for the judge to know that it is the certified law.
This brings us to a very common issue: What if the husband and wife are not from the same region, which law will be applied? In this case, the law in the husband’s region will be applied.
Personally, I don’t think it is fair to apply the law in the husband’s region and disregard that of the wife’s, just because he is male. I think it is sexist.
Moreover, if the husband and wife are not Muslims and they do not want application of the Islamic Family Law on their case, they have an option to apply the law of their religion provided they submit a request in this regard to the court.
By Atyab Alshatti, Esq.
This article was originally published in the Arab Times, Wednesday, August 9, 2017 on page 5 under Legal Eagle section.