family law


October 27, 2016



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Can I Bring My Daughter to the UAE Without Her Mother's Consent?

Question: I live outside the UAE in an Asian country and I have a six-month-old daughter. I wondered if I can bring her with me to the UAE and stay here without obtaining her mother's consent?

Answer: If you were to separate your child from her mother at this age it would be considered an illegal act in the UAE. This is because a child of such a young age should be under their mother's custody, in accordance with UAE law. The mother would be able to file for an urgent court order to get her daughter back and the court would most likely grant such a request. In addition, she could also apply for a custody court order. Once she has obtained the custody court order she could then file a criminal case against you for child abduction, which would be permissible under Article 329 of Federal Law No 3 of 1987, the Penal Code.

Question: I am an Asian woman who has caught my husband with another woman many times. I want to get a divorce and get custody of our children. What should I do?

Answer: In general, the mother of children gets custody rights until a boy turns 11 and a girl turns 13. So if your children are under these age thresholds, you would have a strong chance of getting custody by filing for divorce and then a custody case. It is also important to note that the judge can use his discretionary powers to grant you custody of the children even if your children are older than the ages mentioned above. If you were able to prove that your husband had committed adultery, you would get custody of your children regardless of their age, in accordance with Article 143 of Federal Law No 28 of 2005, the Personal Status Law.

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.

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