Couple split children after bitter third divorce

Mother given custody of six-year-old twins and father three adult children as Cassation Court settles to-and-fro matrimonial battle.

ABU DHABI // A husband and wife who divorced each other for the third time have had custody of their five children split.

The Cassation Court ruled that custody of six-year-old twins goes to the mother, while three older children, aged 22, 24 and 26, go to the father.

The pair first divorced in 1994, then again in 1998.

The husband filed for the third divorce and requested custody of all five children in 2012. He also asked for all of his wife’s rights to the children be dropped.

He claimed that she stayed out late at night without permission or an excuse to do so and frequently travelled outside the country, not taking care of the children. This, he said, made it impossible for the marriage to continue.

The wife then filed her own divorce claim, saying that her husband mistreated and defamed her in front of her family and children by accusing her of adultery. She also asked for custody of the five children and that he continue to pay Dh5,000 in expenses a month.

The First Instance Court granted the third divorce, giving custody of the three older children to their father, and the twins to their mother.

It was ruled that the father should pay Dh4,000 a month in expenses. He was also ordered to provide a house for them in Abu Dhabi consisting of no less than a bedroom, living room, bathroom and kitchen, all furnished appropriately. Until the house was provided he was told to pay her a Dh2,500 a month housing allowance.

Both the man and woman appealed against the verdict.

The Appeals Court raised the twins’ allowance to Dh5,000 a month and upgraded the minimum requirements of the house to two bedrooms and the housing allowance to Dh3,000.

Again, both appealed, taking the case to the Cassation Court.

The man argued that the court should not have granted her any custody because she was unfit to raise the children, lacked integrity and was not capable of raising them. He again argued that she travelled and left the children alone frequently so it would be better for them to be raised with their older siblings under his custody.

The Cassation Court rejected the argument under the Maliki school of Sharia, which states that the mother can keep custody of male children until age 11 and female children until 13, until sufficient evidence proved that she was unfit to look after them.

The father also complained about the court raising the value of the allowance because, despite his salary of more than Dh52,000, he claimed to have many debts.

The woman argued that the man should not have taken custody of the three older children because there was no woman in his house to take care of them.

The court rejected the claim, ruling that boys over the age of 11 should be with their father to teach them manhood.

The Cassation Court rejected the pair’s claims and upheld the verdict of the Appeals Court.

hdajani@thenational.ae

Published: August 17, 2014 04:00 AM

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