Guardianship in UAE: Things You Need to Know

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Staff Writer, TLR

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

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Guardianship in UAE: Things You Need to Know

Guardianship entails a legal bond between a child and a guardian, granting the guardian the duty and authority to make essential decisions about the child's well-being and affairs.

They must provide the child with shelter, health, welfare, and education and are legally liable for the child.

A custodian and a guardian are two distinct notions according to the UAE Personal Status Law. A custodian is an individual who takes care of the child daily and has physical custody of the child.

A guardian is responsible for the child's financial support, whilst the custodian is in charge of physical custody and care. The UAE courts also allow expats to apply their home country's laws if certain conditions are met.

The mother has the first right to be a caretaker, followed by the father. Unless the mother is unsuitable to care for the children, the mother's right to be a custodian will expire when her daughter reaches the age of 13 and her son reaches the age of 11. Only after the children reach the age of consent will the father be able to seek custody.

The right of guardianship is granted to the father and subsequently to the grandfather, according to Article 181 of the UAE Personal Status Law. The guardian is responsible for the child’s education and upbringing. The guardian will also have visitation rights toward the child.

According to Article 107 of the UAE Personal Status Law, the judge has the authority to issue a decree that establishes the financial support for the wife and children, determines the custodial parent, and outlines the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent.

The court is responsible for determining visitation rights and must provide particular facts in the visitation order. Adoption of the Manual of Procedures for Organising Personal Status Matters in Dubai Courts (Dubai Decision) is only effective in Dubai. This involves naming the days, times, locations, descriptions, and individuals who are authorized to exercise visitor privileges.

The order should specify whether or not off-site trips are permitted during school days, holidays, and vacations. The judge has the discretion to allow overnight stays of the child with the visiting party unless it is deemed contrary to the child's best interests.

For any legal queries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971526443004

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