Amendments in UAE’s Personal Status law
In a recent effort to modernize the nearly two-decade-old personal status law in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country has enacted Federal Decree Law No. 50/2023, amending certain provisions of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 regarding Personal Status. These amendments, effective as of November 30, 2023, are applicable to all matters related to personal status law for Muslims in the UAE.
The key highlights of the revised legislation.
Custodial Mother’s Educational Authority where the latest amendments confer educational authority over a child to the custodial mother, with the condition that such authority serves the child's best interests. This marks a departure from the previous norm, where the father, as the child's guardian, held responsibility for the child's education.
Dispute Resolution for Child’s Best Interests where In cases of disputes concerning the best interests of the child, any concerned party has the right to bring the matter before the urgent matters judge. The judge will issue a decision based on a petition, considering the competence of the custodial mother while safeguarding her right to educational authority.
Passport and Personal Identification Documents for Adults as the updated legislation grants individuals who reach the age of eighteen the right to retain their passport and other personal identification documents. This contrasts with the previous practice where a parent, typically the father as the guardian, retained a child's passport until the age of twenty-one.
Bequests to Heirs now allows for a bequest to an heir under two specific conditions where, If it receives approval from consenting adult heirs (above the age of twenty-one), it will be executed from the share of those who have given their consent and If deemed necessary for a prevailing interest, as determined by the court, the bequest will be executed even if some remaining heirs do not provide their approval.