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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

UAE family matters Q&A: how can I ensure my ex-husband pays me child support?

A reader asks if she can file a case against her husband if he refuses to provide for her and their children upon their divorce

My husband and I, both Asians, married in our home country in 2009 but now live in the UAE. We have been having marital issues for the passed five years and have decided to get divorced. We have two children, aged five and six. Both of them live in the UAE under my sponsorship. I am asking my husband for Dh4,000 in monthly support for our children. He earns Dh11,000 plus commissions and bonuses every month.

Should I get the agreement in writing to protect my rights so, in case he fails to provide, I can bring him to court?

According to the UAE Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005 you have the right to sign a contract with your husband to arrange all the rights and obligations between you both, including finances, custody, visitation, payment dates, method of payment and any agreed lump sum amount.

Such a contract could be signed with the Family Guidance Department in the court or could be signed in the Family Court of First Instance or Appeal. If the contract was signed in the court, it could be signed personally or through your lawyers if they have a power of attorney authorising them to do so

If you wish, after getting the agreement signed, you may file for the agreement's execution through the Execution Department, where the court shall serve your husband a notice and give him two weeks to comply. In case of non-compliance you will have the right to apply for a seizing order against your husband's assets and bank accounts. If he does not have any assets, you shall be given the right to apply for a blacklisting order against him. Having such agreement does not restrict both you and your husband to sign an additional agreement to amend it in the future with the consent of both parties. As the agreement creates counter obligations for both parties, it is highly recommended to get professional legal advise prior to signing.

To make sure the agreement is easy to enforce, it is important that the obligations for either party are made as clear and precise as possible. The ideal agreement may include in each commitment the answer of the following questions: What are the commitments? When / Where / How it shall be executed? What will happen in case of breach?

However, all of the above is optional and you may feel free to include all the rights you would like to secure for either party.

If you have a question for our legal consultant, email media@professionallawyer.me with the subject line "Family Matters".