A UAE court recently stripped an Emirati mother of the custody of her four children after marrying a foreigner following her divorce, Khaleej Times reported

The decision to grant wardship to the woman's ex-husband was upheld by the UAE's Federal Supreme Court after it was passed by both the Family Court of First Instance and an appeals court. 

During legal proceedings, the father said he was requesting full custody of his three daughters and son because he "was afraid the children won't be brought up well by their mother who was married to a foreign man with different culture and traditions."

He also explained that he is more than capable of taking care of his children without the presence of their mother since they're all over 10 years of age. 

The long custody battle began when the woman remarried

According to court records, the man's ex-wife was granted custody of her four children when the couple separated a few years back. 

At the time, the man was ordered to financially support his children and provide their school tuition fees, which he did. 

However, after the woman married a "non-citizen," the Emirati man filed a lawsuit demanding custody of his children.

The UAE's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the complainant in the case after finding that he is "capable of taking care of the kids and he can raise them in accordance with his culture and traditions."

A closer look at the UAE's custody laws

Article 156 of the UAE's personal status law states that women's custody of their children "ends when a boy reaches the age of 11 and when a girl turns 13."

Joint custody isn't permissible under the country's laws. Therefore, when a couple divorces, the mother is granted custody of her children, while the father becomes their guardian, or the person responsible for their finances, education, and other important matters. 

However, Emirati women can lose custody of their children if they remarry and that's regardless of whether they marry a foreigner or a UAE citizen. 

Though custody laws are in place in the country, they're often deemed flexible because "they are all subject to being overruled by the judge" if they believe that doing so serves the child's best interest.