Where there is a battle for the custody of the children, custody for the father can be difficult even if the courts do not discriminate against the dads. The fathers who are seeking for the full custody, joint custody or any settlements in regard to the child’s right should be prepared for a tough child custody battle to win over the father’s rights in the UAE, since, the mother has a natural favourable advantage over the care taking of the children.

Under the UAE Personal Status Law 2005, the courts have the absolute discretion to grant the Custody to either of the spouses which is in the “Best Interest of the Child”. Any fathers who wish to claim the custody of their children should make sure that they fulfil present the court a considerable claim showing that they are able and make proof that they will be the best of the two-spouse considering what will benefit the child most.

Fathers under the UAE are more favoured to the role of Guardians more than Custodians. The Guardians are known as the backbone of a child’s growth. Guardians are responsible for the financing of the child, takes important decisions for the child’s education and upbringing and more over takes care of the affairs of the child.

Fathers in the UAE should be knowledgeable of the mother’s rights. By law, the mothers are more favoured for the role of custodianship. Custodians are the person who has physical custody of the child in the day to day care taking. However, Fathers can always object to the court stating that the mother is unfit for the role of a custodian and that her custodianship would have an adverse effect on the upbringing of the child.


The UAE law grants the Father/Guardian rights to visit the child regularly. The Guardian can make an application to the court seeking for an order allowing him to obtain the right of visitation. The Father can make regular visit which would be an allocated time or day which allows the father to enjoy his right with the children. The Custodian will also not be able to move the child outside the country without the consent from the Guardian, in such a case the Guardian and opt for a travel ban for the Custodian from stopping her moving the child outside the country.


More recently, as a progressive and groundbreaking move, the United Arab Emirates introduced Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status for Non-Muslims in the UAE. This law brings transformative changes to the divorce landscape for non-Muslim expatriates in the UAE.

Notably one of the most significant changes under this law is the approach to child custody. Child custody is a joint and equal right of both parents after divorce. The child’s best interests are prioritized, reducing the negative effects of divorce on children. Joint custody ensures shared parental responsibility, offering children the opportunity to maintain meaningful relationships with both parents. However, should differences arise between parents regarding joint custody, either parent can seek court intervention to resolve these matters in the child’s best interest.


Fathers who opt for the custody of the child should ensure that they have done a fair deal of homework and preparation before fight for the custody.

Fathers should ensure that they have made a significant amount of contribution toward the child. This can be through making records of all payments done for the child, building good relationship with the child’s school, social gathering and have a long-term plan to exhibit that the child will benefit from the custody of the father.

In today’s context in the UAE, with more than hundreds of nationalities coming together, fathers who seek for custody will have a fair deal of reasons to put forward against the mothers, one such issue can be an immoral or adulterous behavior on the mother which makes her not fit to take up the role.

Our ProConsult Dubai Family Law team are experienced in the Family Law of the UAE to provide the Guardians in the UAE the most desired UAE divorce services.