Question: A close friend got divorced through Dubai Courts about a year ago and was granted custody of her two children, girls aged 9 and 4. During a recent business trip to her country a few weeks ago, her former husband kidnapped the girls and sent them to his home country for his family to raise. My friend has tried to plead with him, especially as they were taken out of school, without success. He and his family are not allowing the mother to even speak to her children. These children are on the mother's residency visa because she was supporting them, caring for them and providing unconditional love to her children. He, on the other hand, is sabotaging their safety, security and trust and, sadly, getting satisfaction from hurting their mother. Is there anything she can do?

Answer: It is unfortunate that your friend finds herself in this situation. However, she has a right to file a child-kidnapping case against her former husband. Per Article 328 of the Criminal Penal Code, it is the legal responsibility of the guardian of a child to ensure that the child is safely delivered to the legal custodian in accordance with a court judgment or order. In addition, Article 329 states that a detention or a fine will be imposed upon either parent or grandparent who abducts his minor child either by themselves or with the help of others. Your friend should also file an abduction case with the international police organisation Interpol.

Question: My husband and I have been separated for three years and are obtaining a divorce in our home country. I plan to remarry as soon as possible in Abu Dhabi. Does Iddat apply to non-Muslim women?

Answer: In general, Iddat, or waiting period, affects women before she remarries for three reasons: 1 To provide an opportunity to ensure that she is not pregnant; 2 As respect for the sanctity of marriage; 3 To allow a couple a chance to salvage the relationship and marriage. Iddat is a part of UAE law and, subsequently, if you were married in the UAE, it applies, whether you are Muslim or not. However, it is important to note that, as long as the divorce is finalised in your home country and you have obtained a divorce decree, you have the right to remarry.