Guardianship documentation, what are my options?

When living and working overseas guardianship is an important aspect of your family protection plan to consider.  Temporary guardianship documentation is an agreement either legal or civil which allows someone to look after your children if you are unable to in the interim period until permanent guardians can come in and take over. There are three types of guardianship documentation…

1) A civil agreement.

It is important to know that this is not a legal document, however there is still a need to have at least this as a minimum form of documentation in place to protect your family if the worst should happen. Finsbury Associates and the KIDS Initiative are lucky enough to be able to offer this document free of charge. The only cost to you would be to get it translated into Arabic at your local typing center.We have never heard of a case where this hasn’t been accepted, however it is at parents discretion as to if they want to take it to step number.

2) A legalised document through the Dubai courts system.

The process of making the temporary guardianship document a legal agreement costs around 2,300 AED to appoint one set of guardians through the Dubai courts system. With the costs of drafting and translating this document being 2,200 AED and a cost of 100 AED to present it to the Dubai courts. Both father and mother of the children in question, as well as the guardians stated in the document need to be present at the Dubai courts with their original passports and emirates ID’s. If you wish to appoint two sets of couples as guardians rather than just the one, total costs of the process will fall around 3,300 AED.

3) A legalized document through the DIFC court system.

The recent developments in the DIFC mean that the process of appointing guardians has become a lot easier for non-Muslim expats who live here in Dubai. The process of appointing temporary guardians in a stand-alone document costs around 7,000 AED. To get this document drafted is around 2,000 AED and to get it registered within the DIFC costs around 5,000 AED. You may consider going through the DIFC court system as opposed to the Dubai court systems as within the DIFC there is something called a president case. This means that if there are two very similar situations the outcome would be very similar if not the same. It is important to note that the Dubai court system does not currently have this in place, and the verdict of any situation is highly dependent on how the judge feels on the day, regardless of similarities between circumstances.

The mot important part of the guardianship process is how you distribute this document once completed, regardless of which process you choose. The idea behind this document is for it to be physically presented by the guardians nominated if an emergency situation were to occur. Therefore it’s important to give physical copies to both guardians nominated, a copy to the nursery/school your child/children attend and also to the HR of the company that sponsors your visa as they would be the first ones to find out if something were to happen.