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.

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