Dear readers, for your information only.
ARCUS paid Dhs1000 for lawyer (twice that of my ex-home countries top dogs!) for consultation to discuss matters pertaining to divorce and custody issues, mainly effecting ex-pat,
He advises that the honorable courts shall not provide custody to a father, nor infavor of fathers to be awarded custody. Fathers will not recieve custody of children unless:
Sons age 9 years and daughters age 13 years.
The mother re-marries in UAE, children go to father.
The mother is proved incompetent by UAE courts. He advises to prove a mothers incompetence is very difficult in UAE. Incompetence basically equates to illegal convictions i.e: sexual misconduct, adultry etc. or other criminal activity- all cases requiring 2 male witness
or 2 female witness and 1 male witness
Now the fun bit for male folk with daughter/s- lawyer advises that once custody is awarded to mother the father has visitation rights only (so no co-parenting, dual custody etc. etc) In UAE there is either custody or no custody- so your male rights of visitation to your daughter are:
1 visit per week per day time only. AND no sleep-overs etc.
[/b](now I am not sure if this is correct, he said it is in terms of the UAE laws- very different from other countries laws- I am hoping that someone with some legal exp or previous experiences with custody issues can share some light on this please!)
He also advises not to cancel the mothers visa until legal process is complete or understood well underway, as this will be seen negatively by a Judge, yeah right! (in light of the above)
In terms of the Divorce, it can take up to a year there are many stages that lead up to Judgement day.
Somewhere inbetween the mother is provided a tempory order from the court for the father to pay a proviso maintenance for her and child
expenses, so she can then freely leave the household and be well provided for, while the custody/divorce proceedings take place.
The lawyer also advises that the court will award the mother a suitable (huge amount
) maintenance payable until the child reaches ages as above.
NOW after all the whole process is done:
Once the divorce is settled- her existing Visa is terminated and she will be required to obtain sponsorship in order to continue her stay, by employer or by marriage- or she can reside illegally and if caught she pays 200 DHS for first day and 100 DHS each day she stays without visa.
If she chooses to leave even with custody awarded to her by the UAE courts- father has right to withold passport and this can be done at any stage. (AS MENTIONED BY IRISJAY)
Aparently as a father in UAE you have the right
to keep the childrens passport and also if you dont have the passports you have right to a ban child from travelling with mother.
So with this info, my personal opinion is that it is quite a lengthy process for divorce in UAE and it is more structured around the local, but an expat can be divorced here to the detriment of finances if he uses attorneys.
Also as a male expat I see this information and using the UAE courts for divorce as a doube-edge sword as you can really suffer to get decent access to your children.
Also I am advised that should one party not use a lawyer this drags out the matter due to translation issues, everything goes from Arabic to English and visa versa throughout the procedings.
He advised that if she returns from having cancelled visa, obtains a sponsor and obtains a resident permit she can go immediately to the court and file for custody of her children ages as above.
ALso if she has found sponsor and can get employed and is awarded the custody through the court I asked if I had to wish to leave Dubai- he said that I would have to apply for custody to take child out of country. If she did not wish to leave it would be negative for her, if I lost my Job I would have to leave within said 30 days and the child would remain with mother as custodian.
He said that a partner could not be banned from re-entering UAE.
Can anyone share some more light on these matters- personal experiences with the legal system here in dubai and custody/divorce matters?