Child custody
Ex-wife seeks clarity on her ex-husband's right to child custody? Image Credit: Pexels | Squared one


I am a Muslim woman. Two years ago, I got a divorce ruling and custody of my children – two sons and a daughter. Last year, the two boys turned 13 years old and the girl turned 14 years old. Currently, my ex-husband wants to file a lawsuit to gain custody of all my children because they have reached the legal age, according to my ex-husband.

My question: Does my ex-husband have the right to gain child custody? Do I have the legal right to file a lawsuit to demand an increase in alimony because my ex-husband’s salary had increased? Please advise.

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I would advise the questioner the following:

Your husband has the right to file a case to forfeit your custody as per Article 156 of the Personal Status Law, but it’s up to the court to decide about it, as per the interest of the child. If you can prove that their interest is to stay with you, instead of their father, then your custody shall be extended.

The mentioned Article 156 states that “the right of women to fosterage of a child shall end upon his reaching the age of eleven (11) years, if a male, and thirteen (13) years, if a female, unless the court deems that extending this age to the age of maturity, for the male, and up to her marriage, for the female, is in his/her best interest.”

You have the right to file a lawsuit to increase the alimony, since more than 1 year had passed from the date of deciding it. According to Article 64 of the Personal Status Law: “Alimony may be increased or reduced according to the change of circumstances. Save in exceptional circumstances the action in increment or reduction of the alimony may not be heard prior to the lapse of one year as of the date of deciding it. The increase or decrease of alimony is computed from the date of claim in court.”

But the burden to prove that your ex-husband’s salary had been increased lies on you, according to Article 1 of the Federal Decree by Law No. (35) Of 2022, promulgating the Law of Evidence in Civil and Commercial Transactions which states that “1. The plaintiff has the right to prove his claim and the defendant has the right to disprove it. 2. The facts to be proven shall be relevant to the action, have a bearing on evidence, and be admissible. 3. No judge shall render a judgment based on his personal knowledge.”