What are the rights of a father in a divorce?


It is commonly seen that, in the eventuality of a dissolution of marriage, the father is expected to financially support the child but is often entirely excluded from the life of his child. This is usually due to, custody being granted to the mother of the child de facto. The impact of a divorce affects both the husband and the wife and has a devastating effect mentally and emotionally.

This often leads to lack of attention towards the welfare of the children, which is of utmost importance. Parents may fail to plan for their children’s future with respect to child custody, visitation rights and a wholesome environment for their growing children. Such ignorance or failing to plan will only put more pressure on the parent, particularly the father, when the legal proceedings are concluded. In the United Arab Emirates, the legal system and laws have been derived from the principles of French Civil Law and Islamic Sharia.

Islamic Sharia governs predominantly personal status and family matters. This includes marriage, divorce, guardianship, probates etc. The laws dealing with all such personal status matters are the Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 on Personal Status, Federal Law No. 11 of 1992 concerning Issuance of the Civil Procedure Code and Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 on the Civil Transactions Law of the United Arab Emirates.

Dissolution of Marriage– The legal procedure

Divorce proceedings can be initiated in the United Arab Emirates by either of the spouses. The applicant shall make an application to the Personal Status Court (hereinafter referred to as the “Court”) for dissolution of their marriage. The Court transfers the case for mandatory conciliation to the Family Guidance Centre, and this forum is an attempt by the State to allow the couple to reconcile their marital problems. In the event that no amicable settlement is arrived at, the parties may decide to mutually agree to divorce. The Court shall accept a mutual settlement agreement dissolving the marital relationship. However, if the parties do not arrive at a mutual decision in the above scenarios, the conciliator shall refer the parties to open court. The Court shall then give both parties the opportunity to prove and disprove their claims.


Dissolution of a marriage is a traumatic experience for both parties, and retaining the role of a parent even after such an event is often a challenge. It is important to understand the rights and responsibilities that every father has throughout the dissolution process, especially when it comes to their relationship with their children. It is important to obtain the right legal representation that takes note of your needs and requirements every step of the way, so that your position is not compromised in light of the emotionally tiring proceedings.


ADV. Urvashi Ramachandran
Wills, Trust, Estate Planning, Probate, Family | Dispute Resolution