In a UAE Federal Court, child custody cases are presided over, requiring the involved parties to secure legal representation from Child Custody Lawyers in Dubai. These legal professionals are tasked with presenting each party’s respective arguments and positions in the case or dispute. Ultimately, the Judge’s determination hinges upon the child’s best interests, which are weighed against several factors, including the mental and physical well-being of the custodian, parental stability, financial circumstances, and the establishment of a stable environment for the child.
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The legal framework governing child custody and children’s rights in the UAE is embodied in Federal Law No. 3 of 2016, often referred to as ‘Wadeema’s Law.’ Key provisions related to child custody can be found in Article 156 of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, which stipulates that, under typical circumstances, maternal custody persists until sons reach the age of 11 and daughters reach 13.
Article 143 of the Personal Status Law delineates the prerequisites for an individual to be considered a custodian.
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Obtaining custody of a child in Dubai is generally inclined towards awarding custody to the mother. However, when a child attains the ‘age of discretion,’ they are allowed to express their preference regarding whether they wish to reside with their mother or father following a separation. Nevertheless, this choice may be overruled if it is deemed contrary to the child’s best interests. UAE law imposes various conditions on prospective custodians to ensure the child’s future well-being. Under the Law on Child Rights, a custodial parent must possess mental stability, be capable of providing for and nurturing the child, be free from infectious or life-threatening diseases, and have no criminal record. Religion is also frequently considered a significant criterion for custodianship. In cases where the child follows the Muslim faith (the same as the father), and the mother adheres to a different religion, securing custody for the mother may prove challenging.
Distinguishing Child Custody from Guardianship
Child Custody involves the assignment of responsibility to a parent or a non-parent who will physically house and attend to the child’s emotional and mental well-being, ensuring a wholesome life. On the other hand, Guardianship pertains to the individual responsible for managing expenses such as education, finances, healthcare, travel, and other decision-making aspects.
In the event of the father’s demise, if he held the legal guardianship, the mother assumes custody, while guardianship passes to the nearest male relative on the father’s side. In exceptional cases, the mother may be granted guardianship in the UAE, a decision left to the discretion of the Court.
The Possibility of Joint Custody in Dubai
Contrary to common belief, joint custody is not readily available to parents in the UAE. It is granted in rare instances, typically when parents mutually agree to share custody under specific arrangements. UAE courts can approve such an arrangement when both parents are willing to share custody. The UAE’s custody decisions are governed by Sharia law, which does not explicitly address joint custody. Hence, granting it does not contradict the law, although it is a concept applied sparingly and only when necessitated by unique circumstances.
Understanding Travel Restrictions in Child Custody Cases
Travel bans impose limitations on a child’s movement to another country and can be imposed by one parent to prevent the custodian from traveling abroad with the child. Violating a travel ban can lead to legal custody issues. In such instances, the custodian should engage a family lawyer in Dubai to address concerns related to travel ban violations.
Situations Leading to Child Custody Disputes
1. Divorce: Child custody disputes frequently arise in the context of divorce or legal separation. Custody is typically granted to the parent who can best serve the child’s future interests.
2. Domestic Violence: The UAE has established Child Protection Units to safeguard the child’s mental, physical, psychological, and moral well-being. In such instances, custody is awarded to the parent capable of ensuring the child’s safety and fostering emotional and physical well-being.
Child Custody Attorneys in Dubai
Navigating the complexities of child custody can be a challenging and potentially unpleasant process. Gulf registered Lawyers and Legal Consultants is committed to facilitating a smooth process and minimizing complications in child custody cases. Our family lawyers specialize in various aspects of family law and are here to provide legal support in any circumstance.