Legal Adviser, Dr. Youssef Al-Sharif, confirmed that the legislature gave non-citizens the right to trust the laws of personal status issued in their countries when considering marriage and divorce tendencies between them, as long as this is in their interest.
Al-Sharif said article (1) states: “The provisions of this law – personal status – apply to non-nationals unless one of them complies with the application of its law.”
A reader said he married a Sudanese girl in 2009 and they lived in the Emirates and had a son and a daughter (8 and 10 years old) and her marriage continued until he divorced her at the end of 2020.
The young man added that he learned that the UAE Personal Status Act gives custody to the mother of a boy up to 11 years old and it can be extended until puberty and a girl is 13 years old and it can be extended until she gets married while the Sudanese law on personal status gives custody of the mother of a boy up to seven years and the girl up to nine years.
The reader asked if he has the right to trust his country’s law when he requests custody of his children for the emirate’s judiciary, or does he have to go to Sudan and sue there?
Al-Sharif confirmed in his response to the reader, in a video episode of “Emirates Today” through its platforms, on social networking sites that he can comply with the application of the Sudanese law on personal status if he considers it to exist benefit him, and sends a copy of it confirmed by the Sudanese Embassy and the UAE Foreign Ministry to the court. And the verdict will be in his favor after the judge has studied all the facts of the case as to his suitability and justification, not for the mother, and that he meets the conditions of the Personal Status Act.
Al-Sharif stressed that citizens can file a question of personal status, such as questions of custody and others, and that they should comply with the application of the laws of their countries in these cases if it is in their interest. Therefore, the reader can file his case in the UAE and claim custody of his children under the Sudanese law of which he is a national.
Al-Sharif warned that it is not permissible to apply two laws on personal status in the same case, but a specific law is applied in each case.
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