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Child Custody Laws in Dubai

In the UAE custody and guardianship of a child are two separate issues that must be addressed individually, as parents do not share equal responsibilities for a child in the UAE. Below mentioned are a few mandatory provisions and exceptions while demanding claiming or custody child maintenance in Dubai.

Mandatory Provisions for Custody

 There are certain conditions to be fulfilled by the father and mother before granting custodianship.

Conditions for both Father and Mother

  • Sound judgment
  • Age of maturity
  • Fidelity
  • Ability to foster and care the child
  • Safety from any dangerous disease
  • Not previously condemned crime against honor

 Conditions for women

  • The custodian should not enter into a wedlock with any other person who is not related to the child unless the court decides.
  • She should belong to the same religion related to the child.

If the custodian is of a different religion, then the custodianship can be forfeited, unless the judge acts as per the interest of the child.  The period of custodianship ends after attaining age five whether the child is a girl or boy.

Conditions for man

  • The custodian must have a female relative with him in the same household who is capable of fostering childcare.
  • He should belong to the same religion related to the child.

Also Read,

How to Get Child Custody – Child Custody Advice


Decisions related to child maintenance, custody battles, delivering custodianship is enforced under Personal Status law. Cases pertaining to custody issues should be filed under Personal Status Courts.

Rights to custodianship

Custody can be passed to other relatives under certain conditions described below:

  • A Female related to the mother within the prohibited degrees of kinship described under Personal Status Law.
  • If no custodian is found among females or if none is qualified as per law then the custodian shall pass to male agnates.
  • If custodianship is refused by those entitled, male or female, the right passes to the next entitled who shall be notified thereof by the judge
  • In the absence of the two parents and in case the custody is not accepted by those entitled to it, the judge shall choose the adequate person from among the relatives of the fostered child or others or one of the institutions qualified for this purpose.

End of custodianship

The right of the mother to custodianship ends once reaching the age eleven years (if a male), thirteen years (in case of female). The custodianship shall extend under the following cases:

  • Until the age of attaining maturity (in case of male)
  • Until her marriage (for females)
  • When the child is of unsound mind or suffering from a disability

Also Read,

Divorce Leading to Child Custody cases under UAE law


In the UAE, laws related to child custody is different for a guardian and custodian. Rights of a guardian include:

  • Child health
  • Education
  • Travel
  • Finances
  • Legal matters
  • Medical expenses.

Father will be the automatic guardian of the child. In case if the father is deceased, then guardianship passes to male heir from the fathers’ family.

Travel ban

 The custodian cannot travel with the child without the guardian’s approval and the same applies to a custodian. If custodian or guardian has concerns, they can obtain a travel ban from the court.

HHS LAWYERS have years of expertise in handling family disputes and matters relating to custody of children. If you are looking for a family lawyer contact us now for further consultation.

Hazim Darwish

Hazim Darwish, is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.