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February 16, 2017


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UAE Family Matters Q&A: Can I Claim Custody of Children Three Years After Wife Remarried?

Question: I am an Asian man whose ex-wife has been married to someone else for more than 3 years. I did not file a claim for custody of our children on these grounds even though I knew she had remarried. Can I still claim custody of my children even though three years have passed?

Answer: Unfortunately, according to Article No 152/3 of the UAE Family Law No 28 of 2005, you are meant to claim custody within 6 months from the date of your former wife's remarriage. Especially as you had knowledge of her marriage and if you cannot provide a valid reason for not bringing the claim earlier, there is a good chance that the court will determine that you no longer have the right to file a custody claim.

Question: I am an Asian woman who is married to a man from my home country. We have a lot of fights and problems and, unfortunately, I have found out I am pregnant with his child. Under these circumstances, am I legally allowed to abort the child?

Answer: It is unfortunate that your marriage is not going well but it does not give you an excuse to abort a child. If you did that you would be in breach of UAE criminal laws, specifically Article No 340 of Criminal Law No 3 of 1987 and its amendments. If you were to abort the child you could face jail time not exceeding one year or a fine of up to Dh10,000, or both. Your child is your gift. Try to keep it and do not think to punish an innocent child for the mistakes of his father. The law gives you the right to file family cases, to claim your right to get support from the father for the child.

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