As per UAE law, child custody and guardianship are both the terms which explain the relations between a parent and child. This also includes defending the rights of the child through custody cases. Litigating for the rights of children is the right of any parent, and it is very important to make an informed decision regarding child custody in the UAE to make sure the child’s best interest is addressed.
Take note: it is very important to make sure that the rights of a son/daughter and both parents are interrelated with each other. If they contradict with one another, then the best interest of the kid will be the priority.
Laws regarding guardianship
Guardianship rights are mostly given to the father of the kid. This right includes looking after him/her financially and also making important decisions regarding the education.
You may be wondering if guardianship rights can be granted to the mother. As per UAE law, the mother can never become a guardian. This issue can be disputed but the court will make the decision based on the best interest of the child.
When a mother is given the guardianship rights, then the father no longer has any right pertaining to the kid.
Child custody and legal guardianship: how do they differ?
Both legal guardianship and child custody will be determined by proper courts of law. Take note: there are several types of guardianship. An emergency guardianship or temporary guardianship, in particular, will be employed during a situation that is unusual or with duress. A person or parent that will be under the legal guardian’s guidance is referred to as the ward. If the ward has a handicap, then he or she can assign an agent or legal guardian that will be authorized to act on his/her behalf.
A guardianship may be terminated if another parent wishes to assert his/her parental rights in order to have a stronger relationship with the child. In the event that the minor already has an appointed guardian which is the other parent or another person as the court felt he/she is unfit or unable to parent, then a petition can be sent to the court in order to reconsider the request for child custody. It may be terminated when the court feels staying with the parent that petitioned can address the minor’s best interest.
Eligibility criteria for claiming the custody of a child
As per the Articles No. 143 to 144 of the Federal Law 28 of 2005, a custodian should be:
- Mature enough and have attained the age of puberty;
- Able to bring up and take care of a minor;
- Free from an infectious disease;
- Not have been sentenced for a crime of ‘honor’
If the custodian is the mother, then she must:
- Not think of remarrying unless the court decides it’s in the best interests of the minor; and
- Share the same religion as the kid
If an above-mentioned condition is not met, the father of the minor can make a claim for custody.
If the custodian is the father, he must:
- Have a female relative within his home to care for the minor (such as mother or sister of the male custodian);
- Share the same religion as the kid
Mandatory provisions regarding child custody claims
- As per UAE law, custody of the mother towards her children end once the children reach the age of prescribed limit (when a boy reaches the age of 11 and when a girl turns 13). The father has the right to claim custody once the children reach the age of prescribed limits.
- The mother can also claim for extension of custody after the prescribed age limit by giving valid reasons to the court.
- The father will be given the guardianship rights of the children while the mother won’t have guardianship rights.
- If the father of the minor is absent or is deceased, then, in this case, guardianship must be passed to a male heir on the father’s side of the family
- In any circumstances, it will be the judge who will keep the best interests of the minor in mind and decide on each case.
UAE government has put up many options for expats in order to allocate custody laws from their respective home countries.
UAE law on travel bans for children under the custody
The person that has been awarded with the physical custody of the child cannot travel without the guardian’s permission. When the parent tries to go away with the minor, an absconding case can be filed. This can also land up to serious consequences for the parent for such action. If either parent has concerns, they can obtain a travel ban preventing the kid from leaving the airport. If there is a dispute, the matter can be referred to a judge.
Child custody lawyers in the UAE
Dubai Foundation for Women and Children has been advocating for the protection of children and also regulates the matters concerning women and children’s rights in the UAE.
We suggest you hire a lawyer that has years of experience and expertise in handling family disputes and matters relating to custody of children. If you are looking for a family lawyer or you have questions regarding child custody in UAE, click here for more information.
Who will get the full custody of the child in the UAE?
As per UAE law, the physical custody of a child can only be claimed by the biological mother. As for the father, he will have financial custody and guardianship. If there is any dispute regarding the full custody of the child, the court will always act as per the best interest of the minor.
Can a mother lose custody for not having a job?
A parent without a job or car is not likely to win a custody case for lack of resources to care for her child regardless of child’s gender. A mother can claim spousal support as well as child support in such cases.