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Who Takes Custody of Children in Parental Neglect Cases In The UAE

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Kontheti Subramanya Sai Lakshmi Anuhya

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

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Custody of Children, Children in Parental Neglect Cases In The UAE,

Parents do not share equal duties for a child in the UAE, because of this child custody and guardianship are specific problems that are addressed individually. Custody requires providing for the child's everyday needs. The Custodian has physical custody of the child and is responsible for raising the youngster. The mother is often given custody without interfering with the father's rights as the child's Guardian. The child custody regulations specify that a parent must share the child's faith. If the father's religion determines the child's religion, then if the father is Muslim, the child is Muslim as well. The woman may lose her parental rights if she is not Muslim.

The Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005 is the principal law addressing family and child-related matters in the UAE. The Personal Status Law emerged from the traditional Sharia and took into account the changing requirements of contemporary society. This legislation controls all child-related topics, with a particular emphasis on their rights.

The provisions of this law apply to non-UAE nationals unless they adhere to their native laws, subject to the provisions of Articles 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 27, and 28 of Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 of the Civil Transactions Law of the UAE, as amended.
Cases involving child custody in which one parent accuses the other of neglecting their children are very complex and emotionally distressing. In the context of family law, any action or conduct by a parent that endangers a child's bodily or emotional health can be deemed abuse or neglect. Due to the gravity of charges of child neglect, parents seeking custody, or a modification of an existing custody arrangement must inform the judge that the other parent is negligent and gather proof that the actions or inactions of the other parent constitute neglect.
Examples of neglect include the following:
• Failing to provide sufficient and adequate food 
• Failing to provide weather-appropriate clothing 
• Failing to provide regular schooling as mandated by law 
• Failing to provide medical attention   
• Failing to provide a hygienic and suitable living environment 
• Failing to do or authorize any act necessary for the children's physical or moral betterment

What does the legislation of custody and guardianship in the United Arab Emirates entail?
The word "custody" is defined under the Personal Status Law as the maintenance, upbringing, and care of a child without interfering with the rights of the child's Guardian. The Personal Status Law, article 178 stipulates that the word "guardianship" includes both "guardianship of the person" and "guardianship of property."
The care for all the minor's affairs encompassed by guardianship includes supervising, protecting, nurturing, educating, and preparing the minor for marriage, as well as managing his life and agreeing to his marriage. Includes guardianship, curatorship, and legal representation it also comprises protection of the property, administration of the property, and investment of the property.

At what point is it feasible for the mother to lose custody of the child?
In most circumstances, the mother will have custody of the child. The law puts additional criteria on the mother that she must fulfil to preserve her position as the child's primary caregiver. When a woman cannot marry another man, the Personal Status Law mandates that the child's care must have the same religious views. This is mandated under Article 144 of the statute.
Depending on the facts of each case, the mother may lose custody if she does not meet these requirements. 

What are the fundamental requirements for someone to become a guardian? 
The provisions of Chapter 9 of the Personal Status Law talk about Guardianship and Article 215 of the Personal Status Law mentions the eligibility for a guardian.
The Guardian is required to fulfil the following requirements: 
• Legal age, 
• With a sense of responsibility,
• Trustworthy, 
• Competent to fulfil the duties associated with being a guardian. 
According to the heirship order, the responsibility of looking after the kid will first and foremost fall on the shoulders of the biological father, and then it will be passed on to the paternal relatives in ascending order. If no one is legally qualified to act as Guardian, the court must select a guardian for the child from among their blood relations.

Will the mother retain custody of her children until they are of legal age to make their own decisions?
The law specifies that after the child reaches the age of 11 (for boys) or 13 (for girls), the mother loses her claim to custody (for girls). If the parents cannot agree on child custody once more, the judge has the discretion to continue assigning primary physical custody to the mother until either the male kid achieves the age of majority (21 years old) or the female child is married.

In conclusion, family-related issues are significant in the United Arab Emirates and most other countries where Sharia principles are observed. Integration of Islamic teachings and civil norms is essential to the laws governing the United Arab Emirates. This integration attempts to create a modern framework while adhering to religious principles.

Although Sharia regulations do not provide the same meaning for certain aspects of the law as countries that follow common law or civil law, decisions regarding the custody and guardianship of a child after the divorce or death of one parent will always be based on what is in the child's best interest.

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