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I have an ongoing divorce case and found out that my husband got an interim order for visitation. My baby is 1.5 years old and does not know her father. We live in Dubai but since he got the order from Abu Dhabi court the center in Abu Dhabi asked me to go there. My question is cannot I be present during the visitation since otherwise it will be quite traumatic for my baby to be left with strangers. Second question is why do I have to take her all the way to Abu Dhabi while residing in Dubai.
Since the husband is the guardian of the child, the husband has the right to request the court to grant him visitation rights in order to effectively exercise his guardianship rights. We understand your concerns that your child is 1.5 years and accordingly leaving the child alone in the temporary custody of someone who the child does not recognize may cause inconvenience to the child. Please be informed that the natural custody of a girl child remains with the mother until she is 13 years old and for the boy until he is 11 years old. You have the right to insist that the father spends time with the child in your presence. Moreover, as the father is the guardian of the child, it is his right to determine the geographical limitation on the traveling of the child. Accordingly, he may request that the child’s residential location while in the custody of the mother should be similar to his residential location in order for him to visit the child and exercise his guardianship rights fully including his visitation rights.
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 expat 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.