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The Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 and its amendments (“Personal Status law’) govern all aspects concerning marriage, divorce, and child custody and succession rights in the United Arab Emirates for both UAE nationals and residents. In addition, the Islamic principles of the Sharia law guide the said law and its application. However, under certain specific conditions the parties can also request the application of the foreign laws before the UAE courts in determining their legal rights. With the recent amendments to the Personal Status Law, the law of the country which constitutes the place of marriage is determined as the applicable law, provided such law does not contradict with the Sharia Law and also other conditions. (Article 13: The provisions of Article 13 have been replaced by virtue of Article 1 of Federal Decree-Law No. 30 dated 27/09/2020, to read as follows: 1- The law of the State where the marriage was concluded shall govern the personal and financial impacts resulting from the contract of marriage. 2- Divorce, repudiation and separation shall be governed by the law of the State where the marriage was concluded).
A mother is naturally accorded the role of a ‘Custodian’ and the father assumes the role of the ‘Guardian’. The ‘Guardian’ of the child is tasked with the responsibility for the financial well being of the child while the ‘Custodian’ of the child is tasked to look after the daily needs and nurturing of the child. Pursuant to Article 156 of the Personal Status Law discusses the age of child upon which the right of fosterage by a women ends.
- The right of women to fosterage of a child shall end upon his reaching the age of eleven years, if a male, and thirteen years, if a female, unless the court deems that extending this age to the age of maturity, for the male, and up to her marriage, for the female, is in his/her best interest.
- Unless the interest of the fostered child otherwise require, the women fosterage shall continue in case the child is of unsound mind or suffering of a disabling illness.
The Dubai Courts have recently issued the Resolution no. 3 of 2021 approving the ‘Family law Regulatory Manual of the Dubai Courts’ (“Resolution”). The new manual repeals the previous resolutions of 2008 and 2010 and sets the guidelines for all courts and concerned organisational units of the Dubai Courts, each within its own jurisdiction, must apply the attached Manual to all open cases and uncompleted proceedings initiated prior to the effective date of this Resolution.
The said resolution states that based on the income of the father the amount of child support that may be accorded could be as follows:
|Child Support Could Be||Net Income (In AED)|
|500-1000||Less than 5,000|
|4000 and more||More than 70,000|
It is important to note that the said guideline serve as recommendation and do not constitute mandatory rules that are to be allowed by the Court. In addition to the said amount for Child Support other factors are also looked into by the Court such as the expenses involved for custody home, educational needs, transport expenses and other allied factors.