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Children in divorce cases in Dubai are now allowed to choose a guardian.

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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event divorce parents particular statutory age defined

In the event of a divorce between parents, a particular statutory age will be defined for children before them being allowed to decide as to which parent they want to live with.

According to Ahmad Abdul Kareem, head of the family reconciliation and guidance section at the Dubai Courts and chairman of the custody committee in the emirate, a decision will be taken that will allow children of legal age (15 for boys and 18 for girls) to choose whether they want to live with their mother or their father.

The Custody Committee, affiliated with the Dubai Courts, was formed in April 2022 under decree No. 7 of 2022 issued by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council.

According to Ahmad Abdul Kareem, the committee has performed 32 eligibility reports on the social, psychological, physical, and legal conditions of people seeking custody. He described the current process by stating that the court appoints a committee to oversee the administration of a custody eligibility study considering the suitability of the guardian for custody.

After that, a member of a specialized committee from the Community Development Authority's Child Protection Department visits the applicant's residence to investigate the family's financial, social, and economic circumstances and determine whether the applicant can provide the child with a decent standard of living. The participant will also guarantee the applicant for child custody is unrestricted.

The member will also make sure the parent who is seeking custody of the child is healthy and free from any conditions that could endanger the child's life.

The custody committee makes decisions using a majority-vote procedure, and when votes are tied, the chairman of the committee's decision is considered.

Currently, neither the court nor the custody committee is allowed by law to give the children a choice. It just asks for their feedback on a few investigation-related issues and only considers how satisfied they are with the amount of care each parent is providing.

The goal of this law is to safeguard the mental health of children who must endure the trauma of their parents divorcing. It also encourages parents to respect their children's wishes and decisions without coercion and to shield them from the conflicts of divorce.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004

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