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Safeguarding Children's Rights: Evolution of Child Rights Protection in UAE Divorce Laws

UAE's divorce laws prioritise child's best interests, ensuring their rights are protected throughout divorce process

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on April 26, 2024, 09:50:32


child rights in uae, child rights after divorce, divorce in uae, family laws, divorce laws

In recent years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has witnessed significant advancements in its divorce laws, particularly in ensuring the protection and well-being of children throughout the divorce process.

With a focus on prioritising children's interests and fostering healthy co-parenting relationships, the UAE's legal landscape has evolved to promote joint custody arrangements as a means of safeguarding children's rights.

Historically, divorce laws in the UAE leaned towards granting sole custody to one parent, often the mother, with limited visitation rights for the other parent.

However, the UAE's legal framework has transformed to embrace joint custody arrangements, recognizing the importance of both parents' involvement in their children's lives post-divorce.

Joint custody, also known as shared custody, involves both parents sharing responsibility for the upbringing and care of their children. This approach acknowledges the value of maintaining strong bonds with both parents, providing children with stability, emotional support, and a sense of security during a tumultuous time.

How UAE Protects Children's Rights?

The UAE's divorce laws prioritise the child's best interests, ensuring their rights and well-being are protected throughout the divorce process. Courts in the UAE consider various factors when determining custody arrangements, including the child's age, preferences, and the ability of each parent to provide a nurturing environment.

Furthermore, the legal system in the UAE provides mechanisms to address any disputes or conflicts that may arise between parents regarding custody or visitation rights.

Mediation and counseling services are often utilised to help parents reach amicable agreements that serve the child's best interests.

Financial Support and Maintenance

Ensuring financial support for children is another crucial aspect of the UAE's divorce laws. Following divorce, both parents are obligated to provide financial support, known as child maintenance, to meet the child's needs and maintain their standard of living.

Courts in the UAE assess various factors when determining child maintenance, including each parent's income, financial resources, and the child's needs.

Child maintenance orders are enforceable by law, underscoring the importance of ensuring children receive the necessary financial support to thrive.

Case Studies

Gayatri Jayesh, a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, provided insights into the changing terrain of divorce law through two compelling case studies. In one case, a father willingly surrendered all guardianship rights, relieving himself of financial obligations towards his child and wife.

Notably, the wife, who was financially reliant on the husband, sought support under the new joint custody laws, leading to the father being mandated to contribute to the child's upbringing despite not being obliged to support the wife. This ruling demonstrated a favourable stance toward the child's welfare.

In another scenario, Gayatri discussed a contrasting case where the mother relocated abroad, obstructing the father's access to their child. However, under the principles of joint custody outlined in the updated legislation, the father was granted rights to maintain contact and spend time with the child, ensuring his continued presence in the child's life.

"These cases exemplify the evolving landscape of divorce law, where equitable distribution of responsibilities between parents, particularly in joint custody scenarios, is paramount. The judiciary's focus on the child's welfare is evident, even in situations where one parent waives their rights. Such cases underscore the importance of maintaining parental involvement for the child's benefit, as per the updated legal framework," Gayatri explained.

The UAE's latest divorce laws reflect a progressive approach towards safeguarding children's rights and well-being in the aftermath of divorce. By embracing joint custody arrangements, prioritizing the child's best interests, and ensuring adequate financial support, the UAE's legal framework aims to provide a supportive environment for children as they navigate the challenges of divorce.

Ultimately, the UAE's divorce laws aim to promote healthy co-parenting relationships that allow children to maintain loving and meaningful connections with both parents. Through these legal provisions, the UAE endeavours to create a nurturing and stable environment for children, ensuring their continued growth and development despite the challenges of divorce.

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