Question: I am an Asian Muslim, my wife is non-Muslim and we have a three-year-old daughter. Can I claim custody based on the fact that my wife is not Muslim but my daughter is?

Answer: According to article 145 of the UAE Personal Status law, if the child is under 5 you have the right to claim custody of your child based on the above grounds. However, the judge in such situations will have discretionary powers to accept your argument, or to allow the child to remain with the mother. Keep in mind though that when a child is 5 or above, the law weighs on your side and you would have the right to custody of the child on the grounds that there is difference between the religion of the child and the mother.

Question: I am a European woman staying in my own house with my children. I heard that UAE law allows for me to obtain rent money from my ex-husband. Do I still have the right to get money from him if I am staying in my own house?

Answer: According to article 148 of UAE Federal Law No 28 of 2005, if you are the owner of your house and you are staying in it, you would not be able to claim house rent or compensation for house rent from your ex-husband. However, you have the right to claim all other financial allowances from him provided under the law, such as expenses for the child's food, clothing, education, transportation and a salary for taking care of child, etc.