Question: A year ago, I divorced my wife through the Sharia court. Accordingly, my wife obtained custody of my three-year-old daughter and the court ruled that I could visit my daughter once a week. However, my former wife, for the last three months, has not been allowing me to visit my daughter. My question is: What legal action can I take against my former wife, so that I can visit my daughter? Also, do I have the right to request a reduction in alimony because my salary was reduced by 30 per cent, four months ago. Please advise.
Answer: First of all, Article 154 of the UAE Personal Status Law, states:
1. Where the child is under the fosterage of one of his or her parents, the other parent is entitled to visit and be visited by the child and accompany him or her wherever decided by the judge, provided he or she fixes the place and time and the person in charge to bring the fostered child over.
2. Should one of the parents of the fostered child pass away or be absent, the fostered child’s relatives, to a degree prohibiting marriage, may visit him or her as decided by the judge.
3. If the fostered child is with someone other than his or her parent, then the judge shall designate the person entitled to visit him or her from among his or her close relatives.
4. The judgement shall be enforced coercively should the person with whom the fostered child lives refuse to execute it.
5. The Minister of Justice, Islamic affairs and Wakfs shall issue a regulation determining the procedures to see, deliver and visit the fostered child, provided these do not take place in police stations or prisons.
You have to file an execution in the personal status court against the child’s mother to force the judgement you get.
Secondly, as a principle, the case to increase or decrease alimony should be filed after one year from the date of the claim of alimony in court, unless there are some exceptional circumstances. To determine the ability or inability of the person charged with alimony, as well as the estimation of the necessity of increasing or decreasing the imposed alimony and the appropriate amount for that, is a matter of the court as per the documents submitted.
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Article 64 of the same law states:
1. Alimony may be increased or reduced according to the change of circumstances. 2. Save exceptional circumstances, the action in increment or reduction of alimony may not be heard prior to the lapse of one year as of the date of deciding it.
3. The increase or decrease in alimony is computed from the date of claim in court.
Article 63 also states: In assessing the amount of alimony, it shall be taken into consideration the possibilities of the debtor thereof, the circumstances of the beneficiary and the economic situation, in place and time, provided it does not fall below the sufficiency level.