Dubai: 3 key changes in travel ban rules for divorced parents

Dubai: 3 key changes in travel ban rules for divorced parents

Previously, exiting the country with the child without the consent of the other parent could amount to ‘abduction

The eased travel rules for divorced parents and their children come at the right time, with the onset of Eid Al Adha holidays and summer vacation.

On Thursday, the Dubai Courts announced the new procedures that allowed a travel ban to be cancelled in the Freedom Restriction System immediately after getting it signed by the judge.

Now, it has become easier for the parent and his/her child to exit and re-enter the UAE, as compared before — when exiting the country with the child without the consent of the other parent could amount to ‘abduction’.

“The complexity of the old procedure also sometimes led to children being deprived of opportunities for leisure, education, or timely medical treatment,” said Emirati lawyer Ali Juwair Alla Al Ahbabi, an expert in both Shariah and international law.

Al Ahbabi said “the reform is aimed at improving social conditions and enhancing family welfare in Dubai, which is part of the goals of Dubai Social Agenda 33.”

Ali Juwair Alla Al Ahbabi
Ali Juwair Alla Al Ahbabi

Explaining the changes to Khaleej Times, the lawyer said the old mechanism — which required the approval of the child’s guardian or legal custodian before travel — “posed several challenges that often caused long delays, affecting family travel plans and increasing psychological stress for both the guardians and children”.

Simplified procedure

The new mechanism simplifies procedures and reduces burdens. Here’s what’s new, according to Al Ahbabi:

• Guardians can now submit an electronic application for a travel permit through the Dubai Courts digital portal.
• Applications are reviewed quickly and accurately by the concerned authorities, ensuring necessary approvals are obtained in a short time.
• The new mechanism also includes additional security measures to verify the child’s interest and ensure they are not exposed to any risks during travel.

Old and new rules compared

• The old mechanism required complex procedures and the guardian’s approval, causing delays. The new mechanism relies on a quick and easy electronic application.
• The old system increased psychological stress for guardians due to uncertainty in obtaining timely approvals. Now, the new mechanism provides greater peace of mind for both guardians and children thanks to the swift procedures.
• The old procedure could lead to missed educational or medical opportunities for the children. The new process ensures children receive their rights in a timely manner.

Supportive environment for children

This new mechanism will improve the quality of families’ lives, Al Ahbabi said.
” It will provide a supportive environment for children by promoting smart and flexible policies and procedures that prioritise the community’s interests. It is hoped that this step will contribute to greater stability and well-being for families in Dubai,” he added.

Summary of Article by: Angel Tesorero, the Khaleej Times

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