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June 15, 2017


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UAE Family Matters Q&As: Can My Ex-Husband Take Child Custody Now I'm Remarried?

Question: I have custody of my son from a previous marriage to a Muslim man. I'm Asian and not Muslim and we're both remarried now but my ex-husband is trying to force me to give him custody. I was told that I would lose custody because I remarried. I would be willing to give my ex custody of our son but I would like to know what restrictions he can put on it? Do I have to get his permission to take my son away from Dubai for a holiday? What if one of the parties object to the custody clauses and how long does the custody transfer take?

Answer: To answer your questions, I will draw your attention to few articles of the Personal Status Law 28 of 2005, which could be relevant to your case.

Firstly, custody is with the mother until such time as your ex-husband files a custody case and obtains a custody judgment against you.

Secondly, you have the right to keep your son with you until the end of the legal case, as per article 146/6 of the Personal Status Law.

Thirdly, just because you are married does not mean that you should lose custody automatically.

As, according to article 152 of the Personal Status Law, the judge has the right to keep your child with you even if you are married to someone else and if he believes that it is in the best interest of the child. On top of that, if you are remarried, your husband only has a period of six months to claim custody of your son from the time of his knowledge of your marriage, unless he provides the court with a valid reason as to why he did not file his case within the set period. In general, you need permission from the father of the child to travel. However, if the father misused his right by not allowing you to travel with your son, you have the right to send an urgent request to the court to allow you to travel with him for one month.

The court might, in this case, ask you for some security, such as handing over someone's passport to be held as a guarantee or any other form of security that the court decides is appropriate. However, taking into account the above-mentioned information, if you still want to sign an agreement with your ex-husband declaring that you do not wish to keep your son as you believe your marriage is affecting his best interests, such an agreement could be signed in court in a very short time compared to the normal length of time required for custody claims.

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