In a situation of a marriage or family breakdown, lengthy court battles over issues like custody may strain already frayed nerves. A shortcut that may be preferable to the whole family can come in the form of the Family Guidance Committee, which is a part of the UAE court system and is a usual elementary step in most family cases that go through UAE courts. Here are five important points to note about this apparatus that will preside over one or more meetings:
- The committee is comprised of mediators and counselors who have not had legal training. Their role is to attempt a reconciliation or otherwise amicable resolution.
- Multiple meetings can be requested to enable some time for resolution if necessary.
- Both parties are generally expected to attend such meetings, though on occasion representatives have been used to stand in for one party.
- Any agreement reached will be drafted into a document and signed by relevant parties including a Judge who will sanction it. The resulting document is legally binding and can be transformed into an ‘executive deed’, as stipulated by 16(2) of the Federal Law 28 of 2005 on Personal Status Matters at Annex B.
- This route to resolution usually takes about six weeks and can be very cost effective if neither party uses any representation. However, the scope of the issue or agreement may be reduced to a frame the counselor specifies as being the salient points and any agreement would need further work done (to be turned into an ‘executive deed’) before it could be legally enforced.
If you wish to find out more details about the process set out above or what other options exist in the arena of family disputes, please contact Mr. Hassan Elhais.