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Extending Mother’s Custody Of Her Children Until Son’s Puberty And Daughter’s Marriage

The Court of Appeal in Dubai has ratified a first instance rule to extend the mother’s custody in spite of the son reaching the age of 11 years old and the daughter 13 years old as per the rules of Article 156 of Personal Status Law issued under Federal Law 28 in 2005.

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Here are the proceedings in brief … the custodial father filed a lawsuit to drop the mother’s custody of their children H and D since they were of the legal age.

As legal representatives of the mother, we filed a counter claim, requesting the extension of the mother’s custodial ages of H until his puberty and D until her marriage. This counter claim was based on the fact that residing with the mother is in the children’s best interest since she raised them and always looked after them, whereas their father abstained from looking after them, hurt them, and refused to renew their residencies.

The lawsuit was filed as a first instance rule and the court ruled to reject the father’s original custody lawsuit and approve the mother’s counter claim to extend the custodial age of her son H until his puberty and her daughter D until her marriage. The legislator provided the court with limited discretion to extend the custody ages of the children provided that it is in the their best interests as the custody, present or absent, has to be about the presence of benefits for the children and the absence of harms for them. The custody should be where the benefit takes place because the children’s rights in care and protection are preferred to the parents’. Therefore, the best interests of H and D were to keep them in their mother’s custody and extend its period as per the presented evidence.

The prosecuting party (the father) did not accept the verdict and filed for an appeal to annul the verdict and rule again to reject the counter claim.

The lawsuit was filed in Dubai Appeal Court and our defense undertook to refute all the appeal objections. The Dubai Court of Appeal ruled the following: accept the appeal in form and refuse it in merits. The Court of Appeal also ruled in favor of the verdict of First Instance Court in Dubai. The Court of Appeal, as the concerned court of the subject, sifted through the situation of the father and mother one more time and studied where the children’s best interests lie. The court found out that the mother is the one who had been taking care of the children, educating them, and looking after their affairs, whereas the father had not visited his children for a year and a half. The father did not even look after his children financially until the mother had a court order for that according to the mother’s witnesses and presented documents. Moreover, the report from Child Protection Center in Community Development Authority in Dubai stated that the children abstained from seeing their father and did not want to do so. Based on all of the abovementioned, the court ruled in favor of extending the period of the mother’s custody of her children.

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