UAE Announces New Provisions in Personal Status Law for Divorced Mothers

Asma - | UAE

Attorneys in the United Arab Emirates have stated that new personal law status regulations will empower moms to have a say in their children's educational selections in the event of a divorce.

New provisions in the UAE’s personal law status are set to empower mothers in divorce cases, granting them the authority to make crucial decisions regarding their children’s education, legal experts have revealed.

Dr. Hassan El Hais, a legal consultant at Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy, highlighted that traditionally, decisions regarding education, medical treatment, and travel rights for children post-divorce rested with the father. However, the recent legal amendment has granted mothers the exclusive right to determine which school their child attends, a move hailed as a significant societal victory prioritizing the best interests of the children.

The Federal Decree Law No. 52 of 2023 introduced amendments to the Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 concerning personal status, marking a pivotal shift in parental decision-making dynamics post-divorce.

Dr. Hassan emphasized that instances of abuse of the personal status law, particularly in relation to child custody and educational decisions, were what led to the legislative changes. He noted instances where fathers would manipulate schooling decisions to exert control or exact revenge on mothers, disrupting the child’s stability and well-being.

Under the amended law, fathers are required to surrender the child’s passport to the mother, with the judiciary empowered to intervene if fathers withhold vital documents. In cases of non-compliance, judges may order the passport to be entrusted to the mother or a designated guardian to ensure the child’s safety and well-being during emergencies.

These amendments aim to streamline legal processes, prevent parental exploitation, and safeguard the welfare of children post-divorce.

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