Family Law

Child Custody & Guardianship Laws in the UAE

Child Custody & Guardianship laws in the UAE

Children are the most vulnerable ones when it comes to Divorce. Over the past decade, UAE has been observing a gradual increment in the divorce rate, leaving parents in dilemma over their children’s custody and guardianship. The concept and laws regarding guardianship and custody in UAE are different from other countries. It is important to note that ‘Custody’ and ‘Guardianship’ are different terms, often used interchangeably by many of us. 

The UAE Legal Framework

The UAE provides a different role to the mother and father, notably in the form of custodian and guardian. According to the Federal Laws No 28 of 2005 for Personal Affairs, the Mother of a child is the Custodian and she is responsible for the physical possession of the child and their nurturing- day-to-day care. She cannot make any decisions on behalf of the children without the consent of the father (one who holds the Guardianship of the Child). As a guardian, the father is responsible for providing financial support, shelter, medical care, education and makes crucial decisions on the child’s affairs. It also involves guiding the child in terms of morals, religion, and discipline. 

Despite having a differing concept on custody and guardianship, the UAE law aims to protect the child’s best interest.

While considering divorce, especially for expats, it’s crucial to know where your rights stand in custodial battle, as parents in the UAE do not share equal parental responsibilities like they would in other jurisdictions. For this reason, it is wise to look for local and/or international family lawyers in UAE who will assist you to know your custodial standings.  

What you can expect from the UAE Court

Generally, the court would usually grant the child’s physical custody to the mother whilst being under the supervision of the father. However, the mother’s right to custody ends when the son or daughter reaches the age of 11 and 13 respectively. The Father can claim the custody of the child thereafter. 

The default position of the custody and guardianship can deviate if both parents settle during the time of divorce. 

Notwithstanding the general procedures, the mother can still claim the extension of the custody period until their son finishes his education and the daughter gets married, provided the mother proves that she has been good with the children. Similarly, the father can claim custody over his son’s, if found that his son is becoming too soft in nature by staying with the mother and want him to be grown up and be more responsible. 

The local or International family lawyers in UAE can  help you reach settlement grounds at ease and advise you on the followings:

  1. What to expect in Court

  2. What the Court considers before ordering Custody and guardianship to either parent

  3. Your chances at the end of the action

For more details and assistant, contact us.

Family Law

Expats Marriage For Muslim In The UAE


The UAE is witnessing an increasing number of marriage ceremonies as the country is home to millions. 

The UAE legal system is founded and guided by the Islamic religion famously known as Sharia Law. The Sharia Law regulates all private and public affairs of a person or entity in the UAE, provided that the Islamic marriages for all Muslims regardless of their nationality are governed by the Sharia Law. Like many other countries, the UAE also has some set of marriage registration requirements and procedures that every Muslim marrying couple needs to comply with.

Legal Requirements for getting married in the UAE 

  1. Consent of the bride

  2. Bride and groom must be at least 18 years old

  3. Spouse’s age should not be twice the other 

  4. Consent of the bride’s guardian is a must.

  5. Bride and Groom must be physically present 

  6. The presence of the bride’s father (Wali) or his representative or subsequent male guardian (son, then brother, then uncle) is required.

  7. Presence of two Muslim witnesses. 

  8. A divorced or widowed woman must show evidence of such status

In circumstances, where the bride is a Muslim and her father is Non-Muslim, she needs a ‘No Objection’ letter from her embassy or consulate. 

Similarly, it should be noted that Islam does not allow a Muslim Woman to marry a Non-Muslim man without the proof of his conversion to Islam. But, a Muslim man can marry a Non-Muslim woman belonging to the Christian and Jews.

If a male expat wants to marry an Emirati woman, he needs to comply with the followings: 

  • Must not be stateless

  • Must be a resident of the UAE

  • Must obtain a certificate of good conduct from the UAE

Documents Required

  1. Original and photocopies of the passports of the couple

  2. The national ID of the couple

  3. Passport or other identification papers of Bride’s father and witnesses.

  4. Passport size photo of the bride and groom

  5. At least one party to the marriage should have a residence visa in the UAE. 

  6. Positive Pre-marriage medical certificate

Marriage Registration Procedure

The UAE Judicial Department and Sharia Court or the authorized marriage officers (Mazoons) appointed by the Ministry of Justice is the authoritative body to conduct Islamic marriages in the UAE. One can visit the recently launched online eMarriage service portal and book an appointment with an authorized officer.  

Our Service

Legal Maxims Consultants is one of the leading corporate firms in the UAE that not only have experienced professionals in Dubai but also provide an array of marriage services such as:

  • Document Attestation

  • Counseling,

  • Others 

For reliable information on family affairs, don’t hesitate to contact us

Family Law

Family Law- Conducting a Marriage in the UAE

Non-Muslim Expats: General Procedures on how to register a marriage conducted in the UAE. 

For Non-Muslim expats, the authorized place to register and solemnize your marriage in the UAE is at your country’s embassy or consulate in the UAE. An appointed marriage officer will assist in the registration of same.

For registration purposes, the “to be married” bride and groom have to visit the appointed marriage officer in person along with two expat UAE resident as witnesses. The prescribed wedding notice form will be required for submission which includes a notice, declaration and a Sworn Affidavit. This is usually called the “Wedding Notice”. As soon as all formalities are done, the prescribed fee will be paid.

In certain circumstances, a No-Objection Letter (NOC) will be required from parents alongside four passport size photographs, clear copies of the couple’s international passport and a resident visa of either the intending bride or groom. It is not required that both parties must be UAE residents but at least one of them must be a resident.

Again, in specific instances, a newspaper publication in the couple’s country may be required. On the date of the marriage, the intending couple alongside their chosen witnesses must be present for the marriage to be conducted. Once finalized, a marriage certificate is issued and same will be regarded as valid and can then be registered in the home country.

More information can be accessed at the respective embassy/consulate’s website or primary location.

For assistance on Marriage Procedures, Contact legal Maxims’ Consultants Team of experts. We are always ready to accede to your request.