Today’s topic is a very serious one, but not altogether uncommon in the UAE. The rules that govern what constitutes abduction are fairly clear – even though there are no specific statutory provisions dealing with child abduction in the country. The other rules that arise dealing with custody issues come into play in this situation.

Read on to find out the main points relating to abduction in the UAE:

  • According to Article 150 of the Personal Status Law, during the marriage a mother (ordinarily the custodian) may not take her child out of the UAE without permission from her husband (ordinarily the guardian).
  • However, according to the same law after a divorce the mother is allowed to do so without the father’s consent unless doing so would harm the child in some way.
  • However, if the custodian of the child is a person other than the child’s mother they must obtain written consent from the child’s guardian (usually the father) before taking the child out of the country).
  • Any unreasonable objection can be overturned by a judge, according to Article 149 of the Personal Status Law.
  • Article 157 of the same law establishes a child’s guardian has the right to hold the child’s passport for safekeeping, but must hand the passport over to the custodian when it is required for the child’s travel. Furthermore, the judge may order the passport to be kept with the custodian if they experience difficulty dealing with the guardian when the passport is requested.

Tensions around travel and child custody can be difficult to negotiate.