A Dubai court has denied an Australian woman divorce and custody of her children after medical reports proved she suffers from a mental health condition.
The Court of Cassation - the emirate's highest court - overruled an earlier decision by Dubai Personal Status Court, given in October 2020, that granted the woman, 38, the right to divorce and custody of her children, aged 5 and 7.
She earlier told judges at the lower court that her husband, also from Australia, 40, had stopped providing for their family since 2019 and was verbally and physically abusive to her.
She said he threatened to take the children away after he admitted her to a mental hospital in the emirate.
The man’s lawyer, Awatif Mohammed from Al Rowaad Advocates, challenged the verdict and took the case to the Court of Cassation.
“My client planned that they all travel to Australia where his wife can be near his cancer-stricken mother and for all of them to be closer to their families and where his wife can also resume her treatment from a mental disorder,” Ms Awatif said in court.
“But when his wife refused, he didn’t abandon her or their children because he loves them.”
She told judges her client was concerned about his wife’s health because she suffered from a mental condition and feared she would relapse.
“This is proof of his love for her and his family,” said the lawyer
Judges were provided with medical reports from hospitals in Australia and one issued by doctors at Rashid Hospital in Dubai.
The reports stated the woman suffered from a bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, which brings severe high and low moods and changes sleep patterns, energy levels, thinking and behaviour.
“Medical reports recommended that children remain with both parents,” Ms Awatif said.