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June 14, 2020
Question: My ex-husband and I separated several years ago. We are non-Muslims and we executed a divorce agreement between us in our home country. I do not live in Dubai any more but my ex-husband does as he works there. According to our divorce agreement, he is meant to provide me with child support but, over the past few years, he has refused. Can I claim child support from him?
Answer: According to the UAE's Personal Status Law, the UAE courts have jurisdiction on family matters if the defendants are residents of the Emirates. Since your husband is employed in Dubai, you can register a case against him in Dubai courts to claim maintenance as per the divorce agreement. To register a personal status case in Dubai, you will need to first attend a mandatory mediation session at the Family Guidance Department, which is located in the premises of the Personal Status Courts. If the family matter is not resolved amicably, the Department will give the parties a No Objection Certificate to register a case in the court.
Question: My children live in the UAE with their mother, who I separated from a few years ago. She refuses to let me meet or even speak to them and I do not live in the UAE. What can I do?
Answer: Since you are the father of the children, you have the right to meet them. Accordingly, her actions are prejudicial to your visitation rights. You may file a case against her to claim your visitation rights. Furthermore, you may also claim the custody of your children with regards to the custody case. The final decision rests with the court's discretion, which is made according to the best interest of the child.
The above information might not apply if both parties are non-muslim. Starting from the 1st of February 2023, UAE issued specific family law to be applied between non-muslim expatriate residents in case none of them wanted to apply his/her home country's law in the UAE. To know more information about this law, please feel free to click this link.