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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Man threatens to kill ex-wife during custody battle over their children

The man allegedly had not seen his children in more than six years 

A man who had not seen his three children in more than six years, showed up at their doorstep and threatened to kill their mother if she did not give him custody of their children, Dubai Court of Misdemeanours was told.

On January 16, the Emirati man, 35, was spotted by his son approaching their home in Oud Al Mutainah.

The boy, 10, did not recognise his father and was waiting for his ride to a sports club with the defendant approached him.

After the man told him who he was, the boy ran into his home.

“I was in the living room napping on the sofa when my son rushed in and told me that a man claiming to be his father was outside the door and demanding to see him and his two sisters,” said the Emirati mother, 36.

She said the two divorced nearly six years ago and that he did not visit his children even before they separated.

“I spoke to him from behind the door. He said he wanted to see the children so I told him, he can see them through court. He then said that if he did not get custody of them then he would kill me. My daughter heard him threaten me,” said the mother.

He daughter, 12, told prosecutors that when her brother ran into the living room to tell them about the defendant, she followed her mother to the door.

“I didn't hear what they said at first but when I moved closer I heard her telling him that there are cases between them in court and he replied telling her that if the judge didn't give him custody, he will kill her,” said the girl.

The woman reported him to police and on January 28, he was summoned to the police station. During questioning, he denied issuing death threats.

“I went there to get the Makani number as requested by the court. I saw my son who told his mother I was outside. When she came I asked if she can let me see the kids but she screamed at me and said that I can see them through court after which I left the place,” said the man.

The defendant was sentenced to a one-month suspended jail sentence for issuing death threats which he appealed and is now awaiting a verdict from a higher court.

In regards to the custody battle, the defendant is unlikely to win guardianship over his children as the Family Court takes several factors into consideration, said legal consultant and family law expert Hassan Elhais from Al Rowad Advocates.

He said that mothers are almost by default awarded custody of children under the age of 11.

“Several other factors help decide who gets the custody, like whether or not he had been providing for them and if he had been visiting them all these years. The court would overlook this only if he provides proof that a serious circumstance beyond his powers was behind him not seeing his children,” Mr Elhais said.