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This forum offers parents the opportunity to voice their own experiences of international parental child abduction, and related issues, and to share useful information with others in a similar situation.

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UK Father using UAE Law to get son to Dubai !

by Emma Crossman / Posted 16/03/2010 / Updated 09/07/2010

My Family relocated out to Dubai in April 2007, and we lived together in Dubai, and due to my husbands infidelity and the fact our son was not settled, I took the decision to leave UAE on holiday and did not return. As I was on my husbands sponsorship I knew that tackling the issues we had in Dubai, I would not have a chance to getting back to UK and normal life easily as he had the control. We discussed the reasons why things had gone wrong when my husband visited me in the UK, and agreed that it was better Me and my son stayed here and my husband would return to Dubai to work and visit us here. But in time, things broke down in the marriage and as of Feb 2010 we are now divorced.

I have recently applied to the courts for a residency order, Special and prohibitied steps order. This has caused my husband to be very distressed, and he is now threatening to file a case in Dubai for residency for our son due to the fact that our son has a valid visa still in his passport. Also, to report me absconding as I have left the UAE without his permisson despite the fact I had a letter to exit the country but only on holiday, also to try and recover some of our debts from credit cards despite the fact he is the primary card holder on the account and I am only the supplementary card holder, therfore as the sponsor he is liable for the debts.

We all hold UK passports and our son is 9 years old. He was born in the UK, and lived here all his life except for the 2 years we were in Dubai.

Would like to hear from people in similar situations and fear that if my son was taken back to Dubai I may never get him back and I would not be able to retrieve him in fear of Imprisonment.


From Rebecca / Posted: 30/03/2010
Hi Emma,
I certainly understand your predicament as Iīve been there myself. The fact that the UAE is not signed up to the HC makes your case different to mine, but I am wondering if you and your son have been back in the UK for over 12 months or not, as this may make a difference to your ex husbands application. Also, your husband visited you both in the UK and there was an agreement between you that things were working better with you here and him returning to Dubai to work and then come back here for visits. This could be construed as a form of acquiescence and make the UK once again your sons country of habitual residence. Now that you are divorced it is understandable that your ex husband is distressed and may be panicking thinking he will not see his son so he is reacting to your court actions with his own. If your ex husband is working full time out in Dubai and there is no family suppport network out there to help with childcare when he is at work, your son would have to settle into a new school routine etc and be left in various childcare facilities then I donīt think it would be a healthy option for him to go back there at all, the poor child would be passed from pillar to post to be cared for when your ex husband was at work or out socialising (and yes, we are all allowed time out from our children to socialise with adults), but then again, these conventions donīt take things like this into account when they order the return of children to countries and the best interests of the child is never taken into account. I would certainly continue to oppose any prospect or returning your son to Dubai and certainly not let him visit, because I doubt he would return to the UK, and then there is nothing you can do about it as these countries side with the male party. Try mediation with your ex for an agreement to remain here and always keep contact open for him to have a relationship with your son here, but never let his passport out of your sight. If you are concerned your ex husband will take your son then contact your police Child Protection Unit and ask them for some help and ask the police to lodge the passport at the station. This is a specialised area as far as the police are concerned and not all police officers are aware of procedures that can be taken, so donīt be fobbed off by them if you donīt get taken seriously. I donīt know if your son is aware of the events taking place, but if he is and he has voiced any concerns/fears about going back to Dubai then it may also be worth contacting your Social Services dept for some help and support as they could possibly do reports for the court. As you are not dealing with a HC country I think our courts in the UK are not obliged to issue a return order even if your husband was successful with an application for residency. I may be wrong with that, but Iīm sure I read somewhere during all my research for my own case that when dealing with non HC countries our UK judges are allowed more discretion when making their judgement. So, in a nutshell, keep fighting to stay here and donīt agree to let him go on holdiay to Dubai. Good luck, Rebecca
From love / Posted: 09/07/2010
hi there I just went through a case for Qatar which is similar to the uae in many ways.

Facts are that your habitually resident in this country.
your husband agreed with the move back in the beginning. (lucky you)
And the laws of uae violate international human rights (shariah law)
They also do not have a good social care system to ensure the childrens best interest is met
And the laws would mean you could be potentially locked out of the jurisdiction

Also you will prob. have to go through caffcass depending on your childs age and hear their views on whether they would like to visit dad. They usually side with the child.

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