UAE legal Q&As: Can my ex-husband place a travel ban on our children?

Is it OK to eat a product while grocery shopping, but keep the wrapper and pay for it at the checkout?

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Q: I am separated from my husband with whom I have a daughter. Two years after the divorce, I was surprised to find out that my ex-husband has placed a travel ban on her. Can you explain the law surrounding this and how a mother can remove the ban?

A: The law grants the mother custody of her children, but under the father's care and guardianship; hence, the child should remain in the same country. Article 149 of the Personal Status Law stipulates "the custodian may not travel with the child unless the guardian gives his written permission, and if such permission is withheld by the guardian, the matter shall be brought before the judge". Article 157 says that "without prejudice to Article 149 of this law, the guardian of a child has the right to hold the child's passport for safekeeping but must hand it over to the custodian when it is required for the child's travel". If the guardian does not hold the child's passport, he may request that a ban be imposed. The custodian can file a complaint and justify the trip, or obtain his approval.

Q: There is empty land right next to my home and people often throw their rubbish and old furniture there. So I rented, at my own expense, a bulldozer and cleaned the area, turned over its soil, mixed it with agricultural soil and planted tomatoes, aubergines and other vegetables, which I use in my home and give to neighbours. Does the law penalise me because it is not my land? And if someone reports me, what charge could I face?

A: What you've done is a good deed and is not punishable by law unless your intention is to take that land and prevent the owner or whoever has a right to it from having it. It is a good idea to send the land owner a message asking for approval for what you have done, to be on the safe side. That way, nobody can object to what you might do, but the owner.

Q: If you eat something from a supermarket but keep the wrapper to pay for it at the cashier. Is that against the law?

A: If you pay for the item, there is no problem. Hiding the wrapper is seen as a theft.

* If you have a question for our lawyer, please email it to newsdesk@thenational.ae with the subject line "Know the law".

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