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Legal Articles: UAE Family Law
By Mr. Hassan Elhais - Legal Consultant in Dubai
Following a No Objection Certificate from the Family Guidance committee, the parties can file
their family case in the Dubai Courts. In the second part of the of the guide through family court
proceedings, we shall be outlining some of the common mistakes made by parties while
entering into settlement agreements due to the absence of a competent attorney and sound
We have experienced that some parties sign the settlement agreement without taking advice
from a specialized lawyer, and this has led to some very serious repercussions for the parties
and their future. It is prudent to mention here that such settlement agreements cannot be
amended unless both parties consent to the amendment. Below are some of the most common
adverse outcomes of signing without a lawyer:
Some of the agreements are worded in a manner that says "it is agreed that the custody of the
children is given to the mother". The husband signs on this clause presuming that his custody
shall belong to mother due to the ages of the children (13 for a female child and 11 for a male
child) because the children are under age.
The two tricks are:
Firstly, less access to the child with the above clause, since the father has not restricted the
mother’s custody of the children based on their age, it is presumed that even after the ages of
13 and 11, the kids shall remain with the mother, since the father has waived his right to
custody. This shall limit the father's contact with the child as it is more challenging to get
custody following such an agreement.
For more information on what precautions to take or what steps to follow in the event of such
an agreement, please contact your lawyer.
Secondly, additional Financial Liability. If the mother retains the custody of the child from the
ages of 11 or 13 up to 21 years of age, the father shall be liable to pay the child maintenance for
that additional period of time which could be up to 10 more years, without the complete
information from the mother on where the money is spent.
Although according to article 110 of Law no 28 of 2005, the right of custody cannot be waived,
nevertheless, agreement to certain conditions in the settlement agreement makes the claim
more challenging as the court is well within its right to refuse the removal of such clauses from
Knowledge of Law; another problem which might surface would be one of the parties claiming
that they were unaware of the laws of the UAE as this is a foreign o\country to them.
This is also why it is recommended that both parties seek sound legal advice before entering
into such settlement agreements in the Family Court as it could have a serious effect on their
future rights and obligations towards the other party.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hassan Elhais
After qualifying as a lawyer in his native Egypt and years of successful practice within the field
of criminal and public law, Mr. Elhais moved to Dubai in 2005 and has been practicing as a legal
consultant in Dubai since then. Working exclusively with Al Rowaad Advocates, Hassan is an
effective leader of the company, the spokesperson and driving force. Hassan has a strong
ethical stance with regards to the place of the law firm and its work on behalf of the client,
from clarity on the legal process through to the fee system.
Specializing in the drafting of all statement of claim, memos and consultation with regards to all
kind of litigation, Hassan has worked his way through the ranks of Al Rowaad Advocates from
joining as Legal Advisor to his current role as Managing Partner. Member of Egypt Bar
Association; Member of International Bar Association; and Recommended Lawyer of Embassy
of United States in Abu Dhabi.
Copyright Hassan Elhais
For more information about Hassan Elhais – Legal Consultant in Dubai