For You

Home / For You / Family Law and Divorce / Child Abduction

Child Abduction

Parental child abduction is an incredibly frightening experience.  Our family law lawyers can move quickly in such cases and their main priority is the safe return of your child.

Being based in the UAE, we are also perfectly positioned to advise and represent parents whose child has been abducted.  Our multi-lingual team also works closely with lawyers from all over the world who are representing parents of children who have been abducted to the UAE.

Our team of expert lawyers are calm, compassionate, and fast-moving.  Most of us are parents ourselves; therefore, we can empathise with your fear and anger.  We will work aggressively to ensure your child is safe and returned to their home country as swiftly as possible.

Our family lawyers are registered with the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Dubai Legal Affairs Department.  They have a robust knowledge of UK/UAE law and how it applies to expatriates in the UAE.  As a niche firm, we are highly respected in the region for our family law expertise.  We run a fully digital practice and can arrange meetings by video conference if preferred.

What is the Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is the leading international agreement covering international parental child abduction.  It provides a clear and concise process through which a parent can seek to have their child returned to their home country, as long as the countries are both signatories to the Convention.

The UAE is not a signatory to the Hague Convention.  It is also difficult to enforce custody orders granted by foreign courts in the UAE.

If a child is wrongfully retained or abducted into the UAE by a parent, the non-abducting parent will have to apply to the UAE courts for the child's custody.  All the facts of the case will be ascertained, and the merits of the return or retention of the child will be weighed against the best interest of the child and a decision made accordingly.

Factors considered by the Court include whether the custodian mother is the same religion as the child, who will share the faith of their father by default.  If the father of the child is Muslim, and the mother of the child is non-Muslim, the father is likely to be awarded custody of the child. This is also true if the mother is remarrying.

How can I stop my child being removed from the UAE without my permission?

The UAE Courts can issue a travel ban if you can prove genuine fear of your child being abducted.  If the judge is satisfied that there is a real fear that the child will be removed from the UAE and that fear is established before the Court, the judge will order a travel ban on the child. In practice, the child's name is listed at all entry points to the UAE, such as airports, ports, and borders with neighbouring countries, where the officers on duty will not allow the child to leave.

How we can help

We have the knowledge, experience, and contacts to advise and represent on complex child abduction claims.  We understand the UAE court system and how decisions are made.  This means we can present your case in the best light and make robust arguments for your child to be returned.

If you are concerned your child may be abducted from or to the UAE, please contact us:

Get in touch today to book your complimentary Wills and Guardianship consultation by clicking here with one of our wills specialists. We are happy to help you.

  • The Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department
  • STEP
  • DIFC Wills
  • DIFC Court
  • Resolution
  • Contact our offices

  • Make an enquiry