UAE family matters Q&As: Can I ask police to check phone records of husband I suspect of cheating?

A reader has a lack of evidence that her husband is cheating but wonders if she could get some assistance, while another wants to know about custody of a child when the marriage is not seen as valid in the UAE.

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I suspect that my husband might be cheating on me but I do not have enough evidence to prove it. Can I request that the authorities get Etisalat to check the text message exchanges between my husband and the woman I suspect is his girlfriend?

Yes, you can. In accordance with article 40 of UAE Criminal Procedure Law, police officers have the right to collect evidence and to listen to the accused before deciding whether to start a criminal action or not. So for this to happen you would first have to lodge a police report against your husband who, if found guilty of adultery, could be jailed and deported.

I am non-Muslim Asian man and I got married to a Muslim woman in Europe. We moved to the UAE with our child but we now wish to divorce. Do I have the right to claim guardianship of my child in the UAE?

As your wife is a Muslim and you are not, the marriage is not considered valid in the UAE. Therefore, I refer you to the following points of law: Article 180/2 of the UAE Personal Status Law, which states that the child should have the same religion as the guardian (the father). If the guardian is not of the same religion, he is not a guardian. It is important to note here that the guardianship has to be decided only on the basis of a valid marriage. That is why there is no guardianship for any children born out of wedlock or through what is deemed an invalid marriage. This means that the mother would not even get legal custody but the child would be given to her under the term of joining him to his mother (but not legal custody). If the matter goes to court, there is a chance that the court might take the case to criminal prosecutors for further investigation.

If you have a question for our legal consultant, email with the subject line ‘Family Matters’.