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In a mutual divorce, who obtains custody of the child?

In the UAE, child custody laws primarily revolve around ensuring the well-being of the child.

These laws introduce a distinctive concept known as ‘guardians’ and ‘custodians’ specific to UAE custody regulations. According to the law, the father assumes the role of the ‘guardian,’ responsible for the child’s financial support. On the other hand, the mother is designated as the ‘custodian,’ responsible for the child’s physical custody and care. Despite the unique roles assigned by UAE law, either parent can seek custody rights, and there are provisions to prevent parental child abduction. Under certain circumstances, expatriates residing in the UAE can apply the laws of their home country.

Child custody issues are of paramount importance in the UAE, particularly in Dubai, where post-divorce custody arrangements are subject to distinct responsibilities for both parents. The roles of ‘guardian’ and ‘custodian’ come into play here as well.

A ‘guardian’ in Dubai is legally obligated to raise the child, make important decisions regarding education, and attend to the child’s diverse needs. Dubai places significant emphasis on the responsibilities associated with child custody following divorce. In many cases, the mother is granted primary custody of the child after divorce, with the father retaining the role of guardian.

Child custody becomes a focal point of contention during divorce proceedings in Dubai, often resulting in the mother being awarded custody.

Requirements for Custodianship

In the United Arab Emirates, the legal framework prioritizes the best interests of a child when determining custody arrangements after divorce. To obtain custody of a child, a caregiver must satisfy specific criteria, which include possessing sound mental health, being capable of providing proper childcare, being free from contagious diseases, and not being subject to a significant prison sentence.

By specific regulations, custody of a child after divorce in the UAE is typically granted to the parent who practices the same religion as the child. However, if it is determined that the child’s well-being would be better served by a parent of a different faith, the courts are not obligated to adhere to this provision.

Child Custody in Cases of Mutual Divorce

Under Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 for Personal Affairs in the United Arab Emirates, the father assumes the role of Guardian, while the biological mother becomes the Custodian:

The day-to-day care of the child falls under the responsibility of the Custodian, often granted to the mother, particularly for boys until the age of eleven and girls until the age of thirteen. Importantly, this Custodian role does not diminish the rights of the Guardian.

The father is always financially responsible for all the child’s needs, including housing, food, medical care, education, and other essential expenses.

It’s essential to recognize that the roles of Custodian and Guardian are distinct in the UAE, as both parents do not necessarily share equal parental responsibilities.

In most cases, during divorce proceedings, the mother assumes the role of Custodian, with oversight from the Guardian, typically the father.

As per the court’s stipulations, to qualify as a Custodian, an individual must satisfy the subsequent prerequisites:

1. Rational
2. Honest
3. Mature
4. Capable of caring for the minor
5. Devoid of any illnesses
6. Not accused of any “honor”-related offenses.

When it comes to custodianship, various requirements must be considered.

If a mother is granted custody, certain conditions apply:

1. She is prohibited from entering into a new marriage without specific court approval.
2. The mother must adhere to the same religious beliefs as the child.

On the other hand, if a father is granted custody, the following conditions come into play:

1. The father must reside in a household with a female caregiver capable of looking after the child.
2. He must also share the same religious beliefs as the child.

Now, let’s address the duration of a mother’s claim to child custody:

A mother can request an extended custody arrangement under the following circumstances:

1. She can remain the primary caregiver for a male child until the child completes their education.
2. This custody arrangement can extend until the male child gets married to a female.
3. Such a request typically requires evidence of the child’s good academic performance and medical records.

And when can a father be considered for child custody?

If a parent believes that their child is not receiving a quality education, they have the right to seek custody. Ultimately, the court will determine custody extensions or limitations in any given situation.

Parental rights and child custody in Mutual Divorce in Dubai:

In Mutual Divorce cases in Dubai, parental rights and child custody are governed by Sharia law. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Custodian is granted custody of the children after a divorce is finalized. However, even in cases where one parent is not the custodian, they can still have visitation rights under the Personal Status clause. It’s important to note that obtaining a court order is a prerequisite for exercising these visitation rights.

How can HHS Lawyers and Legal Consultants assist you?

When it comes to Mutual Divorce Child Custody matters in the UAE, it’s essential to have the support of knowledgeable Family Lawyers in Dubai UAE. Our team of experienced family lawyers at HHS is well-equipped to provide legal guidance in this complex area. We can help non-custodial parents navigate the legal process and, if necessary, request special permission for visitation with their child.

At HHS, our family Lawyers in Dubai offer comprehensive legal advice on various family-related issues. We work within the legal framework to protect family relationships and address conflicts sensitively and effectively. Our experienced divorce lawyers and family Lawyers in Dubai are here to assist with matters such as separation, divorce, child custody, domestic abuse, and inheritance, always ensuring confidentiality, objectivity, and tact in our approach.

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