Crime and Courts

Dubai court turns down 'mentally ill' woman's request for divorce, kids' custody Filed on September 1, 2021
Photo: Reuters

Medical report proved the 38-year-old woman suffered from bipolar disorder.

Dubai highest court has overruled a verdict granting a woman divorce and custody of her children after medical report proved that she suffered from a mental illness.

A report issued by doctors at Rashid Hospital and submitted to court stated that the Australian woman, 38, suffered from bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, which causes severe high and low moods and changes in sleep, energy, thought process, and behaviour.

The woman initially filed a case in June 2019 seeking divorce on the grounds that her husband, 40, was abusing her and their two children, aged 5 and 7, verbally and physically.

She claimed he stopped providing for the family since January 2019 and that he threatened to take away their children after admitting her to a mental hospital.

Last October, judges at the Personal Status Court of First Instance granted the woman divorce, alimony and custody of her two children.

The man’s lawyer, Awatif Mohammed from Al Rowaad Advocates, challenged the ruling and took the case to Dubai’s Cassation Court.

“My client loves his family and refused to leave the UAE without them,” Ms Awatif told judges.

“He is concerned about his wife’s health and feared she would relapse which is a proof of his love to her and their children.”

She told the court the medical report recommended children remain with both parents, following which the court overruled the verdict.

Judges were told the wife stopped medications she was prescribed by doctors in Australia which led to a deterioration in her condition.

“When my client asked her they all return to Australia to resume treatment and be with her mother who suffers from cancer, she refused,” Ms Awatif told the court.

The cassation court judges granted custody of the children to the father last month.

Afkar Abdullah

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