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Child Custody – Frequently Asked Questions South Africa

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Child Custody – Frequently Asked Questions South Africa

Frequently Asked Questions on Child Custody

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Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf - Advocate High Court Cape Town

Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf – Advocate High Court of South Africa

We proud ourselves on our knowledge of family law, and related matters in relation to South African Law. This includes issues and questions surrounding child custody, divorce and child maintenance. Feel free to browse through this question and answers sections below. Should you not find the answer to a child custody question you are looking for, feel free to post your child custody question at the bottom of this post.

What does it mean when you have primary residential custody?

It means that the child primarily resides with you. For example, the child will only visit the other parent every second weekend.

What is a joint residence order?

The child resides with both parents. Usually on an equal basis.

What is joint custody of a child?

This is the situation where both parents care for the child.

How can you get custody of your child?

If you want custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do I file for joint custody?

If you want joint custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do you file for visitation rights?

If you want visitation rights over your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do you file for full custody of your child in Cape Town, South Africa?

If you want custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do I file for joint custody in Cape Town, South Africa?

If you want joint custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do you file for sole custody of a child?

If you want sole custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

What is sole legal custody of a child?

If you have sole legal custody, it means that you alone make day to day decisions regarding your child’s life.

Can you get sole custody and child support?

Yes, you can.

Can a father get full custody of his child?

Yes, he can. All that he must prove is that it would be in the child’s best interests.

How is child support affected by joint custody?

If one parent earns more than the other, then he or she may have to pay child support to the other parent. This is so even if they have joint custody.

What is shared custody?

This is when both parents care for the child and have a say in the child’s life.

Who will have to pay child support?

Both parents have to pay child support.

What is considered joint custody?

When both parents care for the child jointly.

What is joint custody with primary residence?

Where the child primarily resides would be her primary residence. Joint custody would mean both parents care for the child and have a say in her life.

Can both parents have primary custody?

It is possible in theory, but not practical.

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What does it mean to be the primary custodial parent?

It means that you decide the day to day affairs of your child’s life. For example, the school he goes to, and the extramural activities he does.

Who would be the custodial parent?

Both or either parent can be the custodial parent.

What is the difference between full and sole custody?

Full custody would mean you have just as much custody rights as the other parent. Sole custody would mean you the only parent who has custody rights.

What does sole custody mean in Cape Town, South Africa?

Sole custody would mean you the only parent who has custody rights.

Is primary custody the same as full custody?

No, not necessary. Primary would mean the child primarily lives by one parent. The other parent may still see the child on weekends, school holidays etc. Full custody could mean the same as sole custody.

What does it mean to have joint physical custody?

This would mean that the child is in the care of both parents. Basically on an equal basis.

What is joint sole custody?

Joint custody is when both parents take care of the child.

Do I have to pay child support if I have 50 50 custody?

If a parent earns more than the other parent, he or she may have to pay more towards the child’s expense. A good example would be school fees.

What does it mean to have 50 50 custody?

This means that the child resides with both parents most of the time. Both parents also have a joint say in the child’s life.

What is the definition of joint legal custody?

Joint custody is when both parents have equal say in the child’s life.

What is primary custody of a child?

Primary custody is where one parent cares for the child primarily.

What is primary caregiver mean?

A primary caregiver is a parent who primarily takes care of the child.

What is split custody of a child?

This is the case where the child spends an equal amount of time with either parent.

What is the definition of a caregiver?

A caregiver is a parent or person who cares for the child.

What is the caregiving?

Caregiving is caring for a child. This includes the provision of food, clothing and shelter.

What are the responsibilities of a caregiver?

To care for the child. This includes the provision of food, clothing, education and shelter.

What is the job description of a caregiver?

To care for the child. This includes the provision of food, clothing and shelter.

What are the skills of a caregiver?

There are no specific skills. However, he or she must be able to care for the child. The child’s best interests should always be upheld.

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceWhat are the qualities of a good caregiver?

Who ensures the child’s best interests are met.

What does it mean to be a custodian?

It means that you take care of the day to day needs of the child.

What are my rights as a father?

To be part of your child’s life.

How can a father get custody of his child?

You would need to apply to a court.

Who has custody of a child when the parents are not married?

Primarily the mother. However, the father acquires such rights if he forms part of the child’s life.

What rights does a father have to a child born out of wedlock?

If he forms part of the child’s life and pays support, then he acquires parental responsibilities and rights.

What are your rights as a father?

To form part of his child’s life.

Please share. Someone may find it useful.

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149 comments so far

Dikeledi metsingPosted on11:03 am - Sep 23, 2017

I have a question my son was born on 2015 oct his father never supported him until 2017 march.through i felt like i got an unfair deal.because the amount he pays is not enough.and he only buys clothes on june and december.he is still young and grows everyday which means the clothes get small after every its summer and he has no clothes for summer,he only brought clothes for what i want to know is y does the court rule like dat.knowing im unemployed as a mother and cnt support the child.and y do they say i will R380 of social grant with maintenance.whats the use of going to court for the benefit o the child bt still the matter goes according to the benefit of the father.

    Our LawyerPosted on4:52 pm - Sep 25, 2017

    Good day

    The court should have given reasons for why it made such an order after listing to all the facts and evidence from both parents. If you feel the court was no correct in its decision, then you should appeal the order. It is best to have an attorney assist you with it.

Lauren Du PreezPosted on11:59 am - Jan 23, 2018

Hi There. The father of my children has been unemployed for 3.5 years. We got divorced as he became addicted to drugs. He still does not contribute anything or work, however I think he is off the drugs. The high court ruled that he should pay R500 per child per month, he does not do this as he does not work. I would now like Sole Custody over my children and I would like to change their last names to my maiden name. What should I do?

KaylenePosted on8:10 pm - Jan 26, 2018

Good Day, I got divorced on the 16th Nov 2011. I was very young and didnt know better however my ex jad a lawyer that his family paid for and pleaded poverty on maintenance. At the time I was unemployed as I just had our last child and struggle for 2 years to get divorced. After all the struggle I eventually got divorced and was forced to sign a parenting plan I never agreed or dicussed but was told to sign it. We have 2 kids who are now at the age of 13 and 8 and since the divorce he only paid R250 per child per month till I applied for an increase in 2014 and it was then increased to R600 per child per month. Since then I have worked very hard to better my lofe and the wellbeing of my kids as they are taken good care of they have medical cover and go to good achools and have a very balanced life. All of which I pay and have been paying for years. He only pays his R1200 per month for the last 4 years and has never increased it. He doesnt contrabute to schoolfees, travelling, school clothes, stationary, Summer or Winter clothes, entertainment, medical aid etc I cover all these expenses and I have a 15 year old daughter I need to see to as well. His R1200 only covers part of my electricity per month thats it. My partner and myself covers all the kids expenses as he refuses to assist. According to the parenting plan I am the primary custodial parent but he gets to see his kids every 2nd weekend and holidays which he has failed to do or detch them since Oct 2017. My 13 year old doesnt want to go there anymore as he says when they go to their father they are dropped off at strangera homes and he leaves them there all weekend. I dont know where they are and not allowed to call them or make any contact on their weekends with him. He has remarried and begged me to lower the maintenance as he needs to get married and buy a house. However he lives in a very dangerous area where ppl are killed, shot, raped and murdered everyday. I feel that he is not contributing to their wellbeing or giving them a better quality of life. I can and I have been and frel that they dont need anymore distractions yet they need to be supported and have a good role model. He causes so much anamosity and emotionally wrecks these kids as he has violent tendancies as to why we got divorced. How do I go about applying for sole or full custody of our kids as this seems to be in their best interest. Thanks

GlendaPosted on11:34 am - Feb 1, 2018

Hello, the father of my 2 daugters (12 and9), were ordered by court in 2010 to pay 1400- back then he earned R5000. He made payments via debit order and left his job in 2012. Since 2012 he did not made any payment for 5years but he had a carpenter job for that time. In 2016 he got a job at Anglo Americas and only in 2016 Decembr he started making payments now and then and bought the kids clothing 3 or 4 times. Since last year he always had stories of not getting salary and only pay R1500 every other month. He has no interest in the kids whatsoever, as he told me some time ago to please keep them away from him as he wants nothing to do with them. He blocked their numbers on whatsapp and calls. I asked him to give more towards maintenance but he refuses to do so. What is my chances to get sole custody for my 2 girls as he shows no interest in knowing them. He dont know what grades they doing, their birthdays or any detail about them, the only thing he knows are their names. I would also like to know what the chances are to change their surnames to mine. Please help

DadPosted on8:49 am - Feb 12, 2018

Hello. Father of 1 – Divorced for 5 years. Child has been with mom mostly, and with Dad Wednesdays and every 2nd weekend since divorce.

dad pays R4000 pm with a 10% annual escalation

arrangement has now changed at moms request – Dad has child 7 days, then mom has him 7 days.
a 50/50 split.

School fees, aftercare and medical = R3200 pm total.

can dad ask to reduce the maintenance to 50% of the childs costs = R1600

Mom earns 50% more than Dad – lives a life of luxury – and Dad struggles to get by, but never misses maintenance payments.

KimPosted on4:18 pm - Feb 12, 2018

I have a question regarding divorce.

How long will my divorce take if its an uncontested divorce?

please help!

kaylaPosted on6:40 pm - Feb 17, 2018

Hi. I am thinking of separating from my husband. We have a child aged 1 year 3 months. He is threatening to take me to court if I leave. If he dones take me to court for custody of our baby, I am unemployed and cannot afford a lawyer. Is it necessary for my to have a lawyer or can I defend myself. And Is going to court and defending myself, going to cost me anything? I have no source of income. And he is threatening. Me with this cost in order to make me stay. Please advise.

DianaPosted on8:55 pm - Feb 18, 2018

I have a son who was born in 2015 and then I got married after and I have kids in my marriage and my son was staying with my mother sister after my mother passed away . I always have a problem with my child’s father for not wanting to support my child and he working he is a principal he even denied the child is his and after some time he agreed that the child is his, me and my aunts we taken him to court and the date was given but he never came and we just things as they are and raise my child without him. After some time he agree to do some responsibility even though it was not enough we accept what he gave us and the child was visiting him also. Now he stopped the reason being I asked when is he returning the child when he was visiting him. This year January my Anty ask if he can assist him with the child schools fees and books and sent him school quotation he only paid R 500 out R2000 we asked for. Now “I ask if he knows if you don’t pay for child mantainance you will be blacklisted” jokingly he replied that he will send me court for full custody of my son because I’m staying with him. I want to know if is it possible that I could lose custody because I’m not staying with my son and I always visit him and buy things for him even though I am not working but he failing to do that as a father even though he is working

    Our LawyerPosted on7:13 pm - Feb 20, 2018

    It a matter like this goes to court, the court would have to decide what is best for the child. We do not want to guess and tell you yes or not based on the limited information. It is best you speak to a lawyer to fully assess your matter.

BrycePosted on9:20 am - Feb 21, 2018

I have a child out of wedlock, the mother of the child is the child’s legal guardian, however she uses the child and keeps him from me whenever she feels like it… i have supported the child from birth and have been consistent in his life, i’ve grown weary of not being able to see the child based around the mother’s moods and am considering taking the matter to court seeking joint custody or something similar which will enable me to see my son regularly, i support my child regularly and can prove it. What are my chances of succeeding? Thank you

    Our LawyerPosted on8:29 pm - Feb 21, 2018

    We would not advise based on an email what your chances are. But if you feel that it is in the child’s bests interests, we would advise you to proceed. It may be best to speak to a social worker on the topic first.

NicholasPosted on8:32 am - Feb 23, 2018

Hi! I have a 17 month old daughter. My wife is filing for divorce now. My daughter is very much daddies girl and I am basically the mother you could say. We decided to settle on joint custody or 50/50 shared custody but her lawyer says it had to say on the contract that she is the primary care giver. What is the advantages of being the primary care giver? Can she decide for instance to move away out of town and I would then not be able to see my daughter? She has bipolar but is a good mother. She has unfortunately also been committing adultery. Is it worth fighting in court especially if she grants me shared custody? Would I benefit from being primary care giver? Neither of can really afford a fight but I’m willing to do whatever it takes that will be in my daughter’s best interest. Please advise?!

    Our LawyerPosted on2:24 pm - Feb 27, 2018

    Good day

    We would advise that you see an attorney as soon as possible to assist and advise you accordingly.

    The Primary Care giver is the parent with whom the child primarily resides with. Usually the settlement agreement or consent paper or parenting plan will deal with issue of moving decision making etc.

Clarina Du PlessisPosted on12:15 am - Mar 11, 2018

Kindly advise

I am a therapist seeking advice for a client.(with permissions)
Parents divorced agreeing on shared custody of minor child +- 5years ago where the mother holds primary custody.
However, the child has never resided with the mother.
The father and his mother has been the minor child’s primary caregivers, nonetheless the father has always paid child support as agreed by the court.
Where the mother only takes visitation of the child periodically, when she wants to- for a weekend or holiday.
1.How should the father proceed to change the ‘akte van dading’ in order to receive primary caregiver status.
2.Can the mother legally remove the child from the home?
3.How can my client get ‘temporary custody’ to prevent disruption of the child current living situation and schooling (if the mother wants to enforce their agreement now) while he’s filing?
Thank you

    Our LawyerPosted on3:39 pm - Mar 11, 2018

    Good day

    Your client would have to apply to court for the variation of the Court Order. He would then apply to be the primary care-giver.

erikaPosted on11:03 am - Mar 24, 2018

Been divorced for 6yrs. Got divorced after being married for 15 yrs then he told me he is gay!. I never refused him access to our kids now 14 and 9. He has always pd maintenance. We were always on good terms. The live with me and they visit him and his new husband every 2nd weekend. I remarried and also has a son of 4. My husband is german so he tends to get loud when disciplining the kids. He at times also swears as when he gets angry he speaks with out thinking. He absolutely loves my kids. Does alot for them he always makes sure that they taken care of. He takes the oldest 14 my son fishing etc boys stuff. As his own father being gay is not big on outdoor activities. Now my ex has gone to court and asked that the kids live with him because of my husband being verbally abusive. Everything has been dragged totally out of proportion by the ex.both kids doing very well at school. Social worker was appointed. My question is what can i do? And my daughter 9 refuses to go live there should it be so decided. She absolutely adores her step father. I have always told my son that he can go live by is father anytime he wishes to do so as my son is like his dad very materialistic and dad and the new husband has a much more luxurious live style than us. What can i do? Once social worker hands her reports in? Will i be notified of court date how does it wor k and would i need i lawyer?

    Our LawyerPosted on6:11 pm - Mar 26, 2018

    Good day

    We advise you to see a lawyer. If the matter is in court, you would be notified of the court date. Also, you should get a copy of the report. The court would have to assess the matter and decide what is best for your kids.

Jeanne BredenkampPosted on10:43 pm - Mar 28, 2018

My daughter has sole custody of my granddaughter. She could only find work in Cape Town. The father gets the school reports etc. but he is withholding maintenance and medical treatment for the child because he demands to know where they live. He lives in Vanderbijlpark

    Our LawyerPosted on8:57 am - Mar 29, 2018

    The father has a right to know where his children lives. Be that as it may, if he does not pay support, the mother should approach the Maintenance Court.

EricaPosted on12:50 pm - Mar 30, 2018

I was never married and after giving birth to my son , the father and I split up. We live in South Africa and my child is now 7 years old. The father pays maintenance but only sees the child about twice a year. I am applying to immigrate to the U.K. to give my son a better future as further studies in South Africa would not be a possibility on my salary. The father has given his full consent for us to go and agrees it will give my son a better future. I live with my parents as I cannot afford to rent a place of my own They are getting old and are wanting to move into a smaller place and retire, but cannot do this with my child and myself living there. I have a very low paying job with no promotion possibilities. The father of my child stays at a boarding house. Would full custody be given to me if the father gives his consent to giving me full custody as it will give my son a future and I will be granted residence into the U.K. I have been told that full custody is the only chance I have to be able to take my son with me and live in the U.K. My brother lives there and he will be sponsoring us and I have had numerous job offers. Your advice would sincerely be appreciated

    Our LawyerPosted on5:18 pm - Mar 30, 2018

    It seems that you already have full custody as you care for the child all the time. You would require the father’s consent for the child to leave South Africa. But once you there, then you would be exercising full custody.

SallyPosted on10:39 pm - Mar 31, 2018

1. If a child lives with his mother and great grandparents in great grandparents house, from Monday to Friday and is cared for by great grandparents as mother works, and great grandparents are retired on a small pension, father earns double the mothers salary, is child maintenance paid to great grandparents by both parents of the child?
2. Are the great grandparents considered the primary caregivers?

    Our LawyerPosted on5:38 pm - Apr 2, 2018

    The mother is the primary care giver. The Great Grandparents are assistance.

      SallyPosted on5:16 pm - Apr 3, 2018

      And who is child maintenance paid to by the father, to mother or great grandparents? As great grandparents are supplying the child with all his needs and child lives in their house?

        Our LawyerPosted on6:07 pm - Apr 3, 2018

        That issue must be discussed with the great grandparents and the mother. If the grandparents are paying for all the needs of the child, then it would make sense that the monies should be paid to them.

AndrewPosted on6:10 pm - Apr 5, 2018

Good day,
I had a son out of wedlock who is now 12 years old. The mother has not worked for the last year and a half so i have paid maintenance, school fees, after care fees clothes etc . She is now taking me to court for more maintenance but has not paid her share for approximately 4-5 years. My son doesnt want to stay there anymore and would like to come and stay with me permanently. She has in the last year got engaged to a man many years older than her who, i believe can not handle my son and my son does not get on with him. They decided among themselves at the end of last year to change his school without me knowing and he is struggling a little.
I have two questions
1. Is my son old enough at 12 years old to make a decision on where he would like to stay?
2. he is really unhappy there at the moment and i think it is in his best interest to stay with me where there is more stability and guidance as a young man going into his teens.
Thank you

    Our LawyerPosted on4:20 pm - Apr 6, 2018

    Good day
    Your son is old enough to give his views. However it’s one of the factors that must be considered. At the end of the day what is in eve best interest must be upheld.

Abigail AdriaansePosted on10:34 pm - Apr 15, 2018

Evening, I am legally divorced but I want full custody of my kids. I have a 6vyear old and a 2 year old and by the looks of it they are not happy having to sleep over every second weekend. How do I go about getting fill custody of my kids. Do I have to go to the children’s court with regards to this, any other suggestions…

Kind regards,

    Our LawyerPosted on10:57 am - Apr 16, 2018

    You may approach the Children’s Court or the High Court. We advise you make use of an attorney. Either way, the Court would look at what is best for the children.

jacquiPosted on1:18 pm - Apr 16, 2018

Good day

I am the primary care giver to my two children. My ex has moved two a new home and has not informed me where. Do I not have a right to know where my kids are going to. I do not know if the home is safe and whom he is living with. Can I withhold the kids until he informed me of his new address.

    Our LawyerPosted on4:44 pm - Apr 17, 2018

    It will be wrong for us to advise you to without contact based on the limited information you provided. We advise that you see an attorney ASAP.

xoliswaPosted on3:06 pm - Apr 16, 2018

hi i am Xoliswa i have a problem with my baby daddy i have a 8 month baby girl he has not been supporting her for since she was born, when i was pregnant he was supportive the problem persistent when i gave birth he only gave 500 that all every time when i am asking for cash for the baby he will promise to give when the month end he will come up with different stories,than it changed and said it not his child i told him to do a DNA test he promised to do it but he never did i went in one of the court here in Johannesburg to request a DNA i was told that i will have to apply for a maintenance 1st they gave a maintenance form to take home and fill in and i told the baby daddy that because he does not want to support his child am putting him on maintenance he apologized and promised to support the child he supposed to start supporting the child last month the month ended he came up with stories saying he is sick i told him i will take him to court he said it fine with him i advised him that if he want a DNA everything will be on him but he did not reply

KgaboPosted on12:52 pm - Apr 17, 2018

I married a woman with a five year old boy and currently living with them. I’m fully taking care of the child with everything inclusive of school fees, medical, transport, etc. The biological father requested the court to assist him with custody of the child. The mother of the child said that the child father has never been supportive to the child. The mother and father of the child were never married, they were just partners until the separated, What are the chances of him acquiring full custody of the child considering that the mother is now married to someone else. Please advise

MariaanPosted on2:58 pm - Apr 23, 2018

I am the mother of 2 kids aged 9 and 8. Their father and I seperated in 2014 (we were engaged to be married), when they were 5 and 4 years old. We drew up a settlement agreement back then which detailed what my responsibilities were and what his were.
Since the split he has gone south – spent ridiculously and has since been blacklisted / busy losing his house / never paid any of his own bills etc etc. He has since moved in with his family whom I do not speak with and cannot trust and is in the process of sequestrating himself.
The agreed amount was R5000 per child for maintenance.
After a year of paying fine, he came to reduce the maintenance, which I thought was fair as it was quite a high amount (this is an amount he suggested initially) The maintenance was then verbally reduced to R8000 per month.

Other details of the responsibilities he had were:

1> He needed to take out an educational policy for them for R500 per month.
2> He needed to have life insurance

He then lost his job because of theft last year August, which has caused me to be forced to move in with my boyfriend, even though his house was not large enough for all of us.
He very quickly got another job, and then knew that he was going to be fired at the beginning of December already but only ended up telling me this news on the 5th of January this year. (I had moved into my own cottage at the beginning of December as me moving in with my boyfriend was putting too much pressure on our relationship)
I was then forced to move back in with my boyfriend at the end of January.

From August last year I obtained a court order for him to pay maintenance at an agreed amount of R6000.
He has since decided to start his own business at my expense.

The childrens expenses are R14 000 per month, and he only needs to pay R6000 of that. It seems he has made this clever move to “start his own thing” so that I am unable to keep track of his finances (He will do jobs for cash – money that will not appear on any payslip anywhere)

I have recently come to know from a very reliable source that he is abusing drugs. This would be the last piece of the puzzle for me and explain why he has spent so drastically, never paid any of this own accounts, his health has deteriorated significantly.

The kids were going to him each Thu and every second weekend.
I have phoned him and told him that he is not allowed to have them sleeping over there anymore until he can prove to me that he is not on drugs. He says I should obtain a court order for this (which to me means that he obviously has something to hide)

Am I within my rights to do so? I have told him that he can let me know when he would like to see the kids and he can then have a supervised visit.

He has not kept to any of the agreements – ie doesn’t have life insurance, doesn’t contribute or save for their education….

(Other things to note is that when they are in his care there isn’t any form of discipline – ie they watch TV, {They have even watched a sex scene on TV when they were 5 and 6 because he just leaves them with his hard drive whilst he is sleeping}, to me he really is not a good example for them as he seems to think that it is ok to sleep till 11 and then go to work etc)

    Our LawyerPosted on5:22 pm - Apr 25, 2018

    A parent must act in a child’s best interests. But sometimes, the advice of a social worker would be best to follow. On this issue of contact, please speak to a social worker about it. If they advise that you should refuse, then you have an expert third parties’s advice on the issue.

GeoffPosted on6:53 pm - May 13, 2018

I have a step son of almost 18 years old and is a massive problem.He has been kicked out of three different schools and out of two jobs in the last three months.He says he is untouchable and the law protects him.He was in court for damage to property and pushed his mom around and now he does not want to go out and look for work.This guy is destroying our marriage and our health.We have been to 5 different social workers and two pshycologists and nothing has worked.Is there any legal way we can ask this guy to leave home that we can try to get our lives together

politePosted on11:07 am - May 14, 2018

Good day
Im a mother of 3 kids, I separated with the father of my 1st born when he was about two years old. the father has not seen him or supported him financial. my son is now 9 years old.
Im now married and my husband is a foreign national. we would like to take my son with to visit my husband’s family like we do with my other two kids.
the Dept of Home affairs requires both parents when applying to a Passport and the father must also give me his rights for travelling with my son. I have tried to contact the father but he doesnt want anything to do with any of my requests.
This is breaking my Son’s heart as he always asks why he is left behind whenver we visit my husband’s family.
I dont know where my Ex lives, all I have is his cell phone number that I got from his brother.
what must I do in this setuation?
Please help

    Our LawyerPosted on2:46 pm - May 14, 2018

    Good day

    It is best to seek a lawyer. The court can give the consent for the passport and for leaving the country. You have a strong case.

RiaanPosted on6:35 pm - May 18, 2018

Good day. Im devorced. I have joint guardianship of my son but not joint custody. His mother moved out of the house one week before he was born. He is now 7 years old

She has been living with a new boyfriend for two years now. I have noticed that she would refer to her partner/boyfriend on certain documents as the stepfather. They are not engaded.

Primary resedance is with his mother and he visits me every second weekend.

Two Q’s

1) what is my chance of changing the legal custody to joint. The physical custody will remain as is.

2) whay does the law say about the fact that there is referance made to her boyfriend/partenr as the stepfather enven though they are not engaged or married.

    Our LawyerPosted on7:32 am - May 19, 2018

    Good day

    Custody is a factual issue. So changing the wording would not affect anything. However, if you wish to change, it you would need to approach the court who granted the Order. Regarding the use of the term step father, I cant see that the law would have an issue with it, unless it is detrimental to the child.

pheliswaPosted on5:34 pm - Jun 1, 2018

goodday, my daughter was born october 2014, and wa staying with me untill she was about5months, she then moved to my sister but got ill and came back home. her father was given me some money but not much less than 1000 every month.
in agust 2017 my daughter moved in with her dad because of school, they travel together everyday for school and see her on weekends, her school fees is 3210 a month that her dad used to pay, and since january 2018 i have been paying her school fees, i am currently unemployed but do small jobs that help me put the money together to pay her school fees. he now has full custody of the child hoever she visits every weekend.
he has threatened me in all sourts of ways saying he will take my daughter and i will never see her again, calling me names. we went to court did a court order and everything, and i told them i am going to dubai to work in a few days and nobodyhad a problem with that, and then recently i gave him my dates of tracelling and he has made it his mission to stop me from going, giving me court maintance court dates that clash with my travel time and i dont know what do. i am stressed and cant believe a man that works and gets pai 3X what i will get wants to get me to court for this….please advise

DeliaPosted on7:47 am - Jun 4, 2018

Ive been divorced for 3 years and live in a 3 bedroom town house with my 4 children

In the near future there may be a chance that i might be moving provinces to a plot that has a bigger house with more space.

Their dad and i have a parenting plan in place he has every second weekend half long holiday and one short holiday but also doesnt stick to it as he never takes the kids for the holidays only the weekends.

There is nothing stated in the agreement about me moving. How do i go about doing this correctly?

KaylaPosted on2:39 pm - Jun 14, 2018

Good Afternoon,

I, mother of a three year old Girl, who’s grandmother (on Dads side) had kicked us out when baby was 4 months old(2015), only recently made an effort to see her(2018), once over December 2017 and once again on her birthday April 2018, he is meaning to come down again by next week but demands that he spend time with her alone, I agreed to this when my boyfriend (form of transportation) was around but is now working abroad and I now cannot get to wherever they’ll be in case of an emergncy, but contacted him well in advance to notify that I will now need to accompany them to any destination during his visit so that I am around for moral support as she does not have a stable relationship with him. He is now threatening me with sole custody and court dates as he has been paying odd maintenance but doesn’t want me around when he visits? The verbal abuse is ridiculous! Am i wrong for demanding that I go along as he is basically still a stranger to her? I feel once a relationship is formed i can allow her traveling via airline to visit him etc. (i reside in KZN and he resides in JHB)

    Our LawyerPosted on2:44 pm - Jun 14, 2018

    Your query is not necessary a legal one, but one dealing with what is best for the child. You would know what is best. Do what you believe is best, and if he has an issue with that, it would be best that the Court resolves the issues.

EunicePosted on12:12 pm - Jun 25, 2018

My daughter (K) decided to divorce her husband after 11 months of marriage. They have a 4 month old baby girl. K already moved back into my house a month ago. The father would come past on Wednesday afternoons and Sundays. He didn’t work during the entire pregnancy, but did start working a week ago.
Now he threatens that he will sue for full custody, should she decide to divorce him and indicates that he will get the baby, as he is the only person working.
My daughter worked before she got pregnant, and supported him.
At the moment, I (grandmother) am paying for a creche (while she’s looking for work) and also pay all expenses regarding the child.

K used to live with her husband at his mother’s house. The house is filthy (rats for pets) and his mother would sporadically turn off the water, etc. if she’s upset about something.
In my house, K and the baby has a separate room and bathroom, and I assist by taking the little one to school in the mornings, help with bathing etc.

Is there a possible chance for the father to gain full custody? The mother has up to now been the primary caregiver and has support from our family.

    Our LawyerPosted on3:30 pm - Jun 25, 2018

    The facts presented clearly is in favor of your daughter. The Father would have to prove that it is best for the child for him to have custody. If the father admits to everything you say, or your daughter can prove it and prove that the father cannot care for the child, then she will most probably win the case.

NicollettePosted on11:03 am - Jun 27, 2018


My son has a son soon to be 4 months old, out of wedlock, the mother left my son but took my grandson with her, my son support everything financially “as she or her parents cannot afford a baby in the house “, however the girl whom he had the baby with lives with her parents for now but their house is up for auction, can my son apply for full custody?
Thank you

    Our LawyerPosted on3:25 pm - Jun 27, 2018

    You son can apply for full custody. However, the success of the application would be dependent on whether he can convince the court it is in the child’s best interests.

Maria da SilvaPosted on1:02 pm - Jun 27, 2018

Good day, hoping i can get some form of clarification. My ex husband is pressing me for split custody one week with him one with me. For the past two years they have been in my care and only go to the dad most weekends, if there’s 4 weekends in a month i have them for 1 if there’s 5 i have them for 2. Our divorce agreement states my children stay with me and go to him weekends. My heart is bleeding at the thought of having my children go to him one week at a time. My daughter is only 3 years old, my son is 9. Today he sent me a calendar with the weeks marked his and mine. Am i obligated to agree to his demands two years later? The divorce agreement is as he requested, i didn’t argue any of his requests. Please advise how i should handle this :(

    Our LawyerPosted on3:24 pm - Jun 27, 2018

    The Divorce Agreement is what you both should follow if you cannot come to an agreement otherwise. If he is then not happy with the divorce agreement, he should go to court and ask for it it be varied. he would have to prove it is in the children’s best interests.

Lutho MtimbaPosted on10:00 pm - Jun 30, 2018

Hi , i’m a father of 5year old son , he stay with his mom my ex girlfriend, i give her R500 per month for my son , now she want me to pay R1500 per month for one child and i cannot afford that amount of money , so now what to do.

MathaboPosted on8:42 am - Jul 2, 2018

Can a step mother take on the biological mother in a custody battle, I have been the primary care giver of my step daughter for almost 6 years. The child is now 10 years and Last time she physically resided with her biological mother was when she just turned 4. The child has been residing with my husband and I (with our 4 year old son as well) for the past 4 years- previous two years she was residing with my mother in law and visited us. The biological mother has visitation excess during school holidays. Recently my husband filed for full custody (due to the threats and interference we were getting from the BM) but didn’t go through with it after the court ordered the biological mother to stop.

But now the child is visiting the BM for the school holidays – the BM sent my husband a text yesterday telling him to instruct me to refrain from calling the child for the duration of her holidays. The court order only ordered no “communication between the BM and SM”. Nowhere was it stipulated that I should not contact the child.

I’m now considering applying for custody as the primary residential/primary care giver although I’m the step mother.

Will I stand a chance in court?

    Our LawyerPosted on9:11 am - Jul 3, 2018

    The father would be in a better position to apply for custody. However, you as an interested party can also do the same. If you can prove to the court that your application is in the child’s best interest, you would be successful.

      ASAPosted on2:12 pm - Oct 29, 2018

      I am a child abused my mom she has gotten away with it twice. Signed off my fathers rights. I have been speaking to him he will take me in. Can I file a case?

APosted on9:50 am - Jul 10, 2018

i am divorced & my sons are 3 & 9 years old. their father hasnt paid maintenance or seen them since December 2017.
how can i proceed with getting full custody of my children?

    Our LawyerPosted on10:06 am - Jul 10, 2018

    For full custody, you would have to show the court that it is best for the children involved. That would be a court application. We advise that you see and attorney on that issue.

KobusPosted on9:59 am - Jul 13, 2018

What does the Law say…what is the maximum amount of nights a 4 year old can visit his father?

    Our LawyerPosted on1:35 pm - Jul 14, 2018

    There is no minimum. It all depends on what is best for the child. It is possible that the child can live one week with the mom and the other with the dad. Or stay 6 days with the dad and 1 with the mom. It depends on the circumstances and what is best for the child.

AnetPosted on12:24 pm - Jul 25, 2018

Hi. My husband never married the mom and the mom got married and constantly asked my husband to allow her now ex husband to adopt their daughter ( age 4) as she would never feel part of family with diff surname (although they made sure the daughter was registered under the mom’s name and my husband was not mentioned on the birth certificate ,My husband was denied visits and was never allowed to hug, touch or even mention that he was the biological father. the mom often made appointments and never arrived, this continued to happen although my husband always paid maintenance on time. The grandmother also place us under pressure and then the mom promised my husband that if he allows the adoption, he will be allowed to see their daughter, she then also arrange for my husband to spend some time, so he finally after year decided it would be in the daughters best interest to grow up feeling part of family, then they vanished and told everybody my husband threw his child away. the mom made contact over the years to tell my husband that his daughter wants to meet him, and then after visiting, telling him the daughter does not like him and does not want to see him. they even got a protection order against us because by now my husband and I have 2 daughters of our own and they were in same school than half sister (2010). the protection order was for my kids and us to stay away from the daughter and she also told the court that she worries that we will ask the daughter to get in car with us and we will tell her lies. My husband always respected when asked not to contact anymore and then the sick game will start again, knowing that he will get hurt again he never ever denied or stopped the mom when contacting him as he misses his daughter every day in his live. 2014 ( daughter was 13 ) and yet again after visiting us, the mom decided to block all contact and we were again threatened us to be locked away, the daughter contacted my husband without the mom knowing and also sending him letters that she misses him. we again received message saying that the daughter has now decided that she does not want contact anymore so we respected that. now at age 16 she made contact by help of grandmother and wants to meet the dad. wanted to know why we never tried to contact her.. ( luckily we kept all correspondence) now we want to know… should the daughter want to come and stay with us.. what age can she decide to do so ( my husband no longer her legal guardian) but we received info from grandma that daughter going through difficult time, mom in new relation ship and seems she is in the way. the adopted dad moved on and also new relationship. we want to do the best for her, but just want to know what is our rights ? (2014 the Protection order was set aside as we proven that she miss use the justice system to play games)

    Our LawyerPosted on1:45 pm - Jul 25, 2018

    Good day

    When she turns 18, she can decide what she wants to do as she would then be an adult. The father may approach the children’s court should he want contact. They would assess the situation and determine what is best for her.

LeilaPosted on9:02 am - Jul 26, 2018

Good day, I would like to know what are the procedures to apply for sole custody of my daughter age 15. Currently my ex-husband and myself shared custody and he pays maintenance however, she stays with me and all other necessities I provide, he moved to cape town and never informed me, thus visitational rights was defaulted as how does she spend alternative weekends or holidays with him if he don’t want to give a forwarding address if im able to pay for a bus ticket from Kimberley for visits (as he will never pay for this). Telephonic contact he don’t keep and even don’t try and call on my cell to speak to her never mind send her a birthday card – thus as far as those rights he defaulted. Recently, I asked him via phone he should consider giving me full custody of our daughter and if he does agree and signs whatever documents he doesn’t have to pay R500 maintenance anymore (his always 1-3 weeks late). 25/7 I was handed over a directive from the sheriff of the court to appear in maintenance court in terms of Reg 3(1) read with Sec 6 and 44 of the Maintenance Act99/1998. What does this mean? And where do I go regarding sole custody applications? court date 17/9/2018

    Our LawyerPosted on10:46 am - Jul 26, 2018

    Good day

    For full custody, you need to approach the Children’s Court or High Court. The Court would then decide what is best for the children and hearing from the parents. It i is best to make use of a lawyer or speak to one beforehand.
    On the directive, it is best to call the court and ask why they sent it. It could be an application by the father for a reduction. That is only a guess.

ChristinePosted on6:44 pm - Aug 4, 2018

I have been wanting to leave south Africa for a while, but due to my child’s father I can’t.
He is an alcoholic and yes I have some anger issues (but I teach kids and have never had a problems)
He has now stated that if I give our child his surname he will allow me to travel.
Should I go this route?

    Our LawyerPosted on7:10 am - Aug 6, 2018

    You need to do what you believe is best for your children. We cannot advise you to change their surname or not. This is up to you. But if he refuses, you can approach the Court for consent.

StellaPosted on9:39 pm - Aug 6, 2018

So I have a question .. my boyfriend had a child out of wedlock about 3 Years ago. My boyfriend and the child’s mother does not get allong. Long story short the child lives with his grandmother on his mother’s side because the mother simply is not taking responsibility in letting the child live with her she just has no interest in her child . so my boyfriend appointed a private social worker to assist in his fight for full custody . The mother and grandmother is struggling to keep to the social workers process in this custody case.. the mother on purpose delays the custody case by ignoring and making excuses to delay social worker visit or even a meeting that the social worker can meet the mother. My boyfriend has been fully cooperating with the process. What I want to know is what is the process in a custody case if the mother is non complaint ?

    Our LawyerPosted on3:33 pm - Aug 8, 2018

    This must be brought to the court’s attention by your boyfriend. The court would have to decide what is the best way to expedite the matter.

DylanPosted on10:45 pm - Aug 8, 2018

I pay maintenance to the amount of 3000 per month I have applied to have my name put on my son’s birth certificate and I buy clothes and medicine on an adhoc basis as well as toys entertainment, and contribute towards swimming classes school holidays programs and concerts. My son is 3, I see him on Wednesdays and one day on the weekend from 9-4 what are the chances they court will grant an increas in access in order for my son to sleep over , I have been asking so has my son but his mother refuses. And how is my current situation different from having a 50 50 custody I would like to be able to make day to day decisions regarding my son’s life.

    Our LawyerPosted on7:21 am - Aug 10, 2018

    The principle the court applies is what is in the child’s best interests. You can get anything you want, as long as you show that it is best for the child.

candicePosted on10:11 am - Aug 10, 2018

I have a young child age 3 unmarried and seperated. My childs father has a daughter from his previous marriage and she physically abuses my little one and i have asked the father when he has visitation to have it one on one and he refuses. I do not want my child around her as the father does not supervise and my son advises how she punches him in the back etc. Am in my right to say he cannot be around her

SimonnPosted on12:37 pm - Aug 13, 2018

Good Day,
My ex and i have been divorced for a year. Our settlement is that we have joint custody of our 4 year old son and I am the primary care giver and he goes to his dad every other weekend. He is to pay R3000 pm maintenance AND he fully liable for 100% school fees. However he has only paid R3000pm to which i have been paying the school fees with. The rest i have had to pay for. The father twice now withheld my son from me. The second time around i had the police come with me to fetch him as the father refused to bring him back to me. His mother and him hurled insults at me infront of the police which left me quite shaken. He has always been aggressive and very abusive (verbally and physically) and has a criminal record along with a drug history. My son is busy being diagnosed with adhd which his dad is blaming me for. The school has advised that when my son is only with me he does very well at school and when has been with his dad he acts up and is very angry and aggressive. I want to apply for Sole custody but not sure if i have a case? Please advise how i go about it?

NadinePosted on11:42 am - Aug 14, 2018

Good day I would like to know what is the best way forward for me and my son. He was born out of wedlock and his father and I separated when he was 2yrs . I then moved away from Natal to Gauteng. my son is now 9years and the last time he saw his father was when he was about 4yrs old. His father has not helped me financially all these years . I’m the primary care giver bit have issues due to my son’s surname being the same as his father. I often require his consent for many things and this process is never easy . How do I go about being the only one who makes the decisions for my son ?

    Our LawyerPosted on1:39 pm - Aug 14, 2018

    Good day

    The solution you require might be an order of the court stating that you are the sole guardian of the child. For this, you would have to approach the High Court.

ChrisPosted on10:12 pm - Aug 20, 2018

I have a 12 year old daughter who lives with my ex, her mum. I was there when she was born and we all lived together as a family for the first 2 years of her life. Our relationship suffered and I moved out but continued to stay in contact and ensure my daughter had everything she required. I also started paying maintenance and continue to do so. I have always been a part of her life and she knows who I am. I have always struggled to have visitation as her mum tries to prevent this as much as possible.
I have moved out of South Africa and am trying to get my daughter to come over to visit me here in the UK. Her mum is again restricting any visitation I can have with her, even though my daughter wants to come over.
What rights do I have in this regard? I have been paying maintenance since she was 2 years old and have always kept in contact with her. How does the fact that I live in the UK affect visitation of my daughter? (I have been going back to SA every year for her Birthday, but wanted her to come here now as she is older).
Thanks for any advice/ direction in this regard.

    Our LawyerPosted on3:15 pm - Aug 21, 2018

    As a biological father, you have rights. You would have to prove to the court that it is in your daughter’s bests interests that she visits you in the UK. We advise that you see a lawyer, to assist you with such an application. Otherwise, you welcome to call us on 0214243487 to a legal advice consultation on the issue.

Marié HeynekePosted on2:37 pm - Sep 3, 2018

What is the first step to get sole custody of my 2 children. They stay with me. I am the primary parent as per our final divorce decree dated 2016. Signed and Sealed. I do not get any financial support and he only sees them over December holidays. I now think it will be best to rather obtain sole custody. Kindly advise.

    Our LawyerPosted on4:40 pm - Sep 3, 2018

    Good day
    You would have to make a Court Application to vary the Court Order. If the current court order provides with a different process, like mediation first, then that must be followed.

JohanPosted on9:45 pm - Sep 4, 2018

A month ago my wife informed me that she will be filing for divorce (irretreavible breakdown); she has made it clear that she will not go for couples therapy. She still has to file though.
Our kids are aged 2 and 4, married in COP – my wife has “chased” me out of the house (joint ownership), saying that it is too difficult to have me in the house. This forced me to move into my sister’s spare bedroom, 30km away.
1) How does custody work until the divorce is finalized?
2) How does child support work until the divorce is finalized ?

    Our LawyerPosted on7:04 am - Sep 5, 2018

    Good day
    You have a right to contact your children pending the divorce. It is best you both come to an agreement. There are many factors to consider, the kids schooling, the parents’ working hours, where you stay etc. So each family and situation is unique. The same applies to maintenance. You need to look at the needs of the kids and the means of the parents. If you cannot resolve it, then it must be taken to court.

ElsiePosted on2:57 pm - Sep 5, 2018

Good afternoon, please help me here.
I broke up with my baby father , after our break up he continued supporting the baby until I told him that I won’t allow the child to come to his place since well the child is only 1 y 3 months. If he wants to see the child he must come to my place. He refused and stopped supporting the baby. But I didn’t take the matter to maintenance court since I’m working.
So today he send the police at my place with a letter that state he want to see his child whenever he pleases. Hence I told him that he can see the child only at my place. What are chances of me winning in court

    Our LawyerPosted on4:30 pm - Sep 5, 2018

    Good day
    The Court decides the matter on what is in the child’s best interests. The Court is not really concerned with what the parents think is best. Regarding your matter, it may be a good idea to speak to a social worker to advise what is best for the child. It may very well be possible that contact takes place away from your home.

RichardPosted on9:45 am - Sep 6, 2018

Good day. I have split up with the mother of my 2 year old son. We had been traditionally/customarily married and living together even before the child was born. She has taken the child to stay with her mother’s home (grandmother to the child). She does not stay with the child because she works far away from her mothers house and she only visits the child once a month. I insist that the child stays 2 months with me and 2 months with them and she wants me to only visit the child only on weekends. The distance between where i stay and where the child stays is so far that weekly weekend visits are not sustainable. Kindly advise.

EllenPosted on1:22 am - Sep 8, 2018

Hi. My boyfriend left me when I found out that I’m pregnant. Things changed drastically. At the time I wasn’t earning a salary neither am I on medical aid. I’m 4weeks along. In this time he hasn’t been around. Now and then I would receive a message asking how I am. I’m having a high risk pregnancy and are on bed rest. I have no support structure here. When I’m in pain I need to suffer thru it and has ask him on several occasions for help. My question is. Can I request that he sign over all parental rights

    Our LawyerPosted on5:31 pm - Sep 8, 2018

    Good day

    As long as he is the biological father, he would have certain rights, although it may be minimal or limited. One cannot sign away parental rights. A court of law can, however, take it away. You would then have to approach the court.

EliaPosted on10:42 am - Sep 10, 2018

Good day

I am 28, at 20 I fell pregnant with my son who is 8 now I was never married to him and at the 5ime of my pregnancy I informed him and he tried to force me to have an abortion, as time went on I tried to make him part of the pregnancy and my sons life and he showed no interest to this day my son has seen him twice in his entire life he lived with his parents and they and he only phoned once a year I sued him for maintenance and medical aid for. My son. Now his parents moved closer and only starts making contact around school holidays to try and convince my son to go with them. To his father to visit but between holidays neighter he or. Them shows any interest and this only started when they found out that I have someone new in my lifeand they never ask me directly if he can go with. What are my rights can I refuse and can I get sole custody because of their lack of interest because this hurts my son alot to spend time with them and then not hear from them for. Months

    Our LawyerPosted on3:54 pm - Sep 10, 2018

    Good day
    For sole custody, you must convince the court that it would be in the child’s best interests. We advise that you speak to a social worker on this issue. If the social worker advises that you apply for sole custody, then you should do so at Court.

JanellePosted on10:53 am - Sep 11, 2018

Good Day,

I would like to find out if it will be possible to obtain sole custody for my son via a letter from his father due to the fact he has no involvement in his life. Also he is going to be relocating overseas so will continue to have no involvement. I would like to have the ease of mind knowing that I can make all decisions for his life without having to get approval from his father, with regards to getting a passport as well as changing his surname to mine?

    Our LawyerPosted on4:06 pm - Sep 11, 2018

    Good day
    The letter won’t be of much use. We doubt the Department of Home Affairs would accept it. We certain they would require the father to be present for a passport application, even if you have a letter. What you would require is a court order. It may be best to discuss the legalities with a lawyer.

MariePosted on5:50 pm - Sep 15, 2018

Hi my child( 12yrs) is born out of wedlock and never sees the father. My child and I plan on moving to a diffirent country. I already have secured employment. The father has agreed to give an avidavit of consent. Do i still need full guardianship and where should I go to get it.

    Our LawyerPosted on7:31 am - Sep 17, 2018

    Good day
    If the father is co-operating with the relocation, full guardianship is not necessary as long as he would continue doing so while you are overseas. However, it is always best to have a sole guardianship order in place should you relocate. It may be best to consult with us on this issue.

Gail NaidooPosted on12:10 pm - Sep 17, 2018

My son had a child out out of wedlock. He pays all medical bills for both mom and baby and contributes to the child’s expenses as well. The mom lives with her parents and are not fair and reasonable when it comes to my son visiting the baby, or us as grandparents visiting/seeing the baby. They are very moody and only allow supervised visitation (her parents need to be around at all visits). There is no reason for this as my son has shown responsibility and want to be part of his child’s life in every way possible. He wants more access to his child and be able to spend more time with her. The baby is 8 months old not breastfed and he is more than capable of taking care of her with my assistance for a day/weekend etc. Can he apply for more than supervised time with his child and when the law states it’s in the best interest of the child, is it not in the best interest of the child to get to spend time and know her dad. He loves this little girl and it breaks him when the mother gets moody and verbally abusive towards him when he wants to have a say or be involved in his child’s life.
What is the best way forward ?

    Our LawyerPosted on4:12 pm - Sep 17, 2018

    Good day
    Your son and the mother needs to enter into a parenting plan. For this, they need to see a social worker or psychologist etc. Is she is not willing to do so, then he would have to approach the Court. Looking at the facts, it may be best that he sees an attorney to assist with the process or feel free to contact us for further advice.

AmyPosted on11:02 pm - Sep 19, 2018

Hi, i am a mother to a beautiful 7month baby girl.

Her father & I got a divorce recently as he was abusive and aggressive (had some issues) that I was scared would eventually affect my baby as much as it has me.

I’m looking to move overseas to my family with my daughter but he said he won’t sign for me to take her.

How could I go about getting her out ?

Is it even possible?

I have prove and witnesses to tje abuse which he even did while was pregnant please advise

    Our LawyerPosted on9:27 am - Sep 20, 2018

    Good day
    You would need to approach the Court for an order that the father’s consent is not required for the relocation of the child. It is best you set up a meeting with us or a lawyer to discuss the process should you wish to proceed.

DillemaPosted on11:10 am - Oct 9, 2018


I would like to know if my husband can get custody of our kids because I have moved out the house before divorce proceedings have begun. He has not contributed to much for the kids , he is also emotionally abusive and has the tendency of being physical on odd occasions.

ConcernedPosted on6:55 pm - Oct 12, 2018

Would the court award sole custody to a mother when the father of the child refuses to agree to a parenting plan, is inconsistent with visitation, refuses to divulge his address, has changed his contact numbers without informing the child’s mother, has never paid towards the child’s maintenance and disappears when decisions pertaining to the child need to be made. The father does not respond to any communication from the mother of the child nor the school regarding the child. Are these sufficient grounds for sole custody?

    Our LawyerPosted on5:47 am - Oct 15, 2018

    The Court would only grant sole custody to a parent if it is in the child’s best interest. We do not want to guess on such an important topic. It is best to present your case to the best of your ability and then you would know what the court would decide.

AshleighPosted on1:29 pm - Oct 15, 2018

Hi, will try make this as short as possible..

My Bf’s ex has his daughter. There isnt really a legit parenting plan in place for anything.

Stress points:

a – Child is 6 years old
b – Mother’s landlord called and said she hasn’t paid rent in 1.5 years and he is evicting her, and that she refuses to leave the property. (She now has squatters rights apparently)
c – We have now challenged for Primary Residence
d – Court date is November 9th, and upon attempting to serve the subpoena with police officers on 2 occasions, she has evaded both times. We tried consulting her for a convenient time, to which she said “I do not need to sign anything”, and gave us a runaround and evaded a 3rd time.
e – The child is supposed to be in Grade 1 next year, which she will now be a slow learner since she hasn’t been in school for 1.5 years.
f – The mother does not have a job
g – The state and personal hygiine as well as cleanliness is appalling in the house
h – She is relying on strangers (other residents) to bath and feed the child

Social Workers findings:

We took the social workers there to investigate and caught her off guard. She agreed to meet them to mediate parenting plans and issues, and evaded this last minute too.

– Social workers stated and noted the following against the mother:
• The mother needs psychological evaluation (They say she is angry and displays bad behavior which is bad for the child)
• Unhygienic living circumstances
• Child has had 8 teeth removed due to permanent medication and depletion of 12k medical aid savings in less than a year
• They strongly feel that the mother has pre-recited stories with the child, and has brainwashed her against the father (ie. not wanting to visit daddy etc).
• The mother at her own discretion decided no unsupervised visits at all for the father and child, and often denies him visits to her.
• The mother only allows a 2 hour per week visitation to the father, and often let’s him down on visits.


1. The mother has 2 other children, of which one was removed and given up for adoption due to neglect. The child was very young and should be between 18 and 22 years old now.
2. The mother goes to ICU to nebulise the child every time she has a running nose etc. Eventually we had to mediate with the doctors for authorization from the father first for these visits as it was costing too much for petty things.
3. The mother has run up an additional 7k medical bills over and above 12k medical aid savings, which the father is held liable for and is paying off in cash.
4. The mother feels threatened by me (the gf) and repeatedly sent messages of harassment stating that the child will “Never be a part of our lives”.SW advised this is possessive and narcissistic behavior.
5. The mother has physically stalked me on my vehicle, laughing and describing in vivid detail my every move and wherabouts to my BF 3 years ago. (never met this woman as said)

we have been together for 3 years, and in this time I have never met the little girl, and his family has seen her twice. She is now 6 years old. The child did tell the social workers she wants to go with her dad to spend time alone with him, but that Cinderella had an evil step mother…

Do we have a case for this? What are our chances of winning primary residence?

What happens if she keeps evading the subpoena being served and doesn’t pitch on the court date?

    Our LawyerPosted on2:57 pm - Oct 15, 2018

    Good day
    The court would have to decide what is best for the child. We do not want to guess what the court would decide at this point. The court has ways of getting the subpoena served and will ensure that it is.

Tonny DPosted on8:57 pm - Oct 16, 2018

Good day

i have a child with my ex gf shes almost 4months old.before the child was born the mother wanted to abort the baby and she requested money from me so that she can abort my Daughter and i refused so now she is punishingme because i couldn’t be part of her pregnancy since i refused to give her money to that the baby is born i pleaded with her to be part of the childs life and support my daughter with everything.and i will check on my daughter everyday from her and when i am around il come see her since i work far from everytime i get time off work il come and see her.during the 1st month when the baby was born the mother refused me to be part of the baby’s life until she realised that baby stuff are costly and since shes not working she will need support then 2nd month she told me that she had changed her mind about me being part of the baby’s life and we can co-parent.but now every month when i ask about my daughter shes mostly moody with me and when i ask her to send me pictures of the baby she doesn’t until i have to remind her more than 4to 5 times that i want her to send me my daughters pictures and she becomes angry at me and starts shouting at me and telling me how much she doesnt care about me and she doesnt care if im part of the baby’s life or not and how much shes tired of me.her big problemis that she never admits when shes wrong about something , instead of us working out the problem she opts out for fighting me.its like everytime i have to dance to the drum of her music.truth be told i love my daughter and i want her to grow happy and healthy but lately her mother is making it difficult for me to be part of my daughters life due to her drama she always creates.another issue i am having is that at her house they stay with her uncle who is mentally disturbed and when he smokes what ever he smokes he becomes a threat to the whole family including my daughter. until they have to call police and an ambulance so i feel that my daughter is not safe.

id like to know what steps to take in order to have rights to see my child anytime and support her with everything she needs or what are my chances of having full custody of my daughter because i feel like im limited to my childs life? and my ex keeps on threatening me with taking me to court for child support ?

    Our LawyerPosted on7:03 am - Oct 17, 2018

    Good day

    We advise that you approach the Children’s Court to assist you. The court would look at what is best for the child. So we do not want to guess the outcome. She has the full right to take you to the maintenance court. However, there too, the court would make a fair decision.

SimonèPosted on11:39 pm - Oct 22, 2018

Hi. I have a child born out of wedlock, separated with the father. I consented to him staying with the child (3yrs) together with his parents as I was still studying in another city and they assumed all financial responsibilities, I visit during holidays and all was well. I found employment out of the city post studies and requested the child stays with my aunt (both my aunt and him/his family are in the same city) as I can now afford to maintain the child. I am currently solely responsible for the child’s financial needs, as the condition was they would not maintain the child if they don’t reside with him and he doesnt, although he has full access to the child. Now the father is threatening to take me to court for full custody because my employment is out of town and because my son does not stay with me but my family, and yet he has no source of income. I would like to know the implications of the law on this matter?

    Our LawyerPosted on6:33 am - Oct 23, 2018

    Good day
    If the matter goes to court, the court would have to decide what is best for the child. There are endless factors to consider, those you mentioned and those what the father and you will still bring out. At the end of the day, what is best for the child would be the deciding factor. All we can do based on the information is guess. And we do not want to do that.

NathaliePosted on2:02 pm - Oct 25, 2018

Good day,
My son is now 7 years old, we moved out from where the father and i lived as a married couple when my son was 2 months old. The father was physically and mentally abusive. I have been raising my son on my own for the last 7 years, the father has made an attempt only once to meet his son. He does not pay maintenance (his parents give me R 1000 pm). He is in and out of rehab and is currently in rehab. I would like full custody of my son because every time I need to send him to a school, get a passport (any personal documents etc.) then I need to get consent from the father which I can never get hold of him because he’s always in rehab and his mom does not want to ask him to sign anything because it will upset him and make him use drugs again. I don’t know what to do. He has been absent my son’s entire life, surely I don’t need to ask someone who is not present for authorization to do anything? Please tell me my rights and how I can fight this. Thank you.

    Our LawyerPosted on2:57 pm - Oct 25, 2018

    Good day

    You would need to make an application to the High Court to have sole guardianship rights over your son. The court look as to what is best for the child. It is best to discuss an issue like this with a lawyer first.

RoxannePosted on8:54 pm - Oct 29, 2018

I hope you will be able to advise me
We are busy with an immigration process,
My husband that I am currently married to(for 6 years) ,I have two girls from a previous relationship, but they only know my husband as their Daddy,My husband and myself have a child together as well,I went to children’s court in 2016 and my x’s right where removed by the magistrate, and I have the court order sating that,my x has never contested or ever called my girls,they don’t even know what he looks or sounds like,would the children’s court order be enough to immigrate,or will I have to go to high court? Thank you in advance

Enrico SwartPosted on12:22 pm - Oct 30, 2018

Good day.
My name is Enrico.
Father of 3.
Girl 6 years old
Boy 8 years old
Boy 17 years old.
Would need some advice please.
Me and my wife recently got a divorce.
She is the primary care giver but the 2 kids I have with her, lives with me since May 2018.
I would want to be the primary care giver for my kids as she don’t have time for them
She fetched them after every second weekend sometimes only for 1 day.
Her reasons for that is she works alot and work weekends as well. Well I work alot and I make time for them which she don’t.
What can I do?
Is it possible if I can get some info via sms?
Contact details: 073 626 3372

Thank you kindly.

    Our LawyerPosted on3:08 pm - Oct 30, 2018

    Good day

    It seems that you are currently caring for the children as their primary caregiver. If you want to formalise it with a Court Order, you need to make such an application.

DenisePosted on2:22 pm - Nov 8, 2018

Good day,

I just want to find out the following:

My son who is turning 17 the 20th of November’s baby was born on the 6th of November (we are doing paternal tests now, as he was not in a relationship with the mother, he also just turned 16 and the mother was 19 at the time of conception). I want to find out that if he is the father of the baby, what you would suggest we do regarding his parental rights as well as maintenance ( he does not work as he is too young) I understand that maintenance then must be paid by the grandparents.

DenisePosted on11:03 am - Nov 9, 2018

Thank you. From which age will the baby be able to visit us?

MaggiePosted on7:23 pm - Nov 13, 2018

my Sons father and I currently have a parenting plan in place which was drawn up by my sons father. We share equal custody and I pay for the school fees , extra murals , extra costs for school as well as half the medical. We both buy clothes , food etc when my son is with either of us. I want to know is it fair that we share 50/50 but I’m paying more? Also he put in the plan that he is primary care giver. Nobody witnessed it and it wasn’t set up with a mediator. I moved out and two weeks thereafter we did the plan and set it up. He earns more money than me but has a tremendous amount of debt. Any advice ? Thank you

    Our LawyerPosted on8:19 pm - Nov 13, 2018

    Good day
    You must pay according to your means. If he earns more, he must pay more. It depends on the debt amount, and what it was for. We suggest that if there are issues, it goes to a mediator to resolve.

MaggiePosted on4:44 pm - Nov 14, 2018

My sons father keeps threatening me and saying I abandoned my son ( we share equal custody) when we separated I left the home for 2 days without my son to find a home for us he considers this child abandonedment but I saw him on my scheduled days and continue to pay for his well being.

OttyPosted on11:03 pm - Nov 14, 2018

Good evening,

I need advice regarding my son’s situation.

I have a 6 years old son with my ex-girlfriend, i never paid damages but luckily enough i have been supporting my son from day one till now. The mother of a child is not working/never work before so I’m the only parent who is supporting him.

The problem here is that whenever the is disagreement between baby mom and his granny, they move him to stay with his great grandparents and evertime this happen he have to dropout of the school and go to new school the following year, of which this started in 2016, 2017 it happened, this year it happen again. My concern/problem is that this will have an impact at a later stage to my son and yet his great grandparents were brave enough to say to me “his mother and grandmother didn’t finish school so for him not going to school won’t be a big issue”. That is where i realized that non of them sees the good in him.

I’m supporting him financial, we have a great relationship me and him, i call him ± four times a week, he have strong relationship with my siblings as he normal ask to go to visit them every times school closes or visit me.

His mother have a tendency of living his with her cousin sister who is doing grade 11 and go for a week, and her cousin will always complain to me and i understand why cause she is a school kid not a nanny.

Now what i was thinking and need advice on, will i be doing the right thing for filling for a custody for my son so that he can go to school and stay with people who will have his best interests at heart?

    Our LawyerPosted on6:01 am - Nov 15, 2018

    Good morning
    We agree with you, it may be best for the child if you make an application to the Children’s Court to be the primary caregiver of the child. The Court would decide what is best for the child. A child needs a stable life and also, the focus needs to be placed on education.

VannessaPosted on11:24 am - Nov 15, 2018

Good Day

Please advice on how I can get full custody of my children I have a domestic violence protection order.

    Our LawyerPosted on7:38 am - Nov 16, 2018

    Good day
    We suggest you approach the Children’s Court in your area for such an order. The Court would hear from both parents and then decide what is best for the child.

GizellePosted on1:22 pm - Nov 19, 2018

My boyfriend pays child support towards his child that he had with an ex, the child is now 1 years old and he now wants to see the child every weekend how can he go about this because he use to go and visit every week during the week,, but he now wants to spend weekends at our home with the child and the mother refuses

    Our LawyerPosted on4:23 pm - Nov 19, 2018

    If the mother does not agree, we advise that he approaches the Children’s Court for assistance. He needs to approach the court where the mother and the child resides. They would assess the matter and decide what is best for the child.

Natanya KuhnPosted on4:15 pm - Nov 20, 2018

If my fiance wants to apply for full custody of his 2 girls currently living in Cape Town with an unfit mother, do we use form 2 to apply?

    Our LawyerPosted on7:10 pm - Nov 20, 2018

    We advise you approach the Children’s Court who would provide you with the correct documents, and advise you of what supporing documents you require.

ZaraPosted on3:29 pm - Nov 21, 2018

I’ve been divorced for over 2 years from my 8 year old daughter’s father. I’m the parent of primary residence and the dad is the alternate. We share guardianship according to our parenting plan.. ie making decisions re schooling and life changing events. Although my ex has always paid child maintenance and all school fees, medical (as per divorce decree) couldn’t I afford accommodation for my daughter and myself since I’ve been jobless and unable to find employment. I’d to ask my daughter’s father whether she could reside with him…on the condition that I still see /care for her everyday, has full access/keys to his house and would rent a room walking distance from his place in order to access the child frequently. He travels a lot..and has always requested me to stay over at his house whenever he’d leave for several days. After one month of our verbal agreement (it was never discussed via lawyers or written down).. I basically moved in with him and my daughter and has resided under his roof for more than a year. He was offered a lot of money to “resign” from a high position a few months ago and moved his office to the house. My role of primary caregiver has become “useless” to him … since he is home all the time…doesn’t travel any more and has made it clear that he wants me out of his house. He claims that since he has offered residence to our daughter.. and clothed and fed her … that he now has full rights to keep her under his roof. He threatened to have me arrested if I shall try to move her out with me. He has called my parents and put pressure on them to take me in… and let me live with them. They live in Jhb. Am I allowed to take her with me to live with her grandparents (they live a good life in a safe and stable environment) without his consent? He will NEVER let me leave with her if I asked… and if I leave without her… he’ll apply for full custody on the grounds that I willingly left my daughter to live with him. Please help!

    Our LawyerPosted on5:25 pm - Nov 21, 2018

    Good day
    This is a complicated matter which we advise you discuss with a social worker. Both you and the father must act in the child’s best interests. If it is best for her to say with the father, then that should happen. Otherwise, you may consider going to the Children’s Court to assist in resolving the issue. They will look at what is best for the child.

LouisePosted on12:02 am - Nov 22, 2018

Good day. I am a mother of a 5 year old boy. I need sole custody of my son. The father has not been part of my sons life for 5 years neighter paying mantenance. My son is happy with hiw things are now as he does not know his biological father. What can i do?

    Our LawyerPosted on8:44 am - Nov 22, 2018

    Good day
    It looks like you are already practicing sole custody. If you want it in an order to avoid possible future issues, you need to approach the Court for such an order.

chanePosted on10:17 am - Nov 29, 2018

Good day me and my daughters dad has been living 2 gether for a year and he was always verbally abusing me even infront of my daughter he was always drinking. He came home 1 morning and it got physical the police asked me if I wanted 2 lay charges against him so I didn’t becuz my daughter is 5 and I didn’t want her 2 c her dad like this we were not maried at all he moved out and took most of the things that was his I am working for his mother for 3 years now but I resigned becuz of the situation. He moved back 2 his mother his always drinking and taking my daughter 2 bars under the influence of liquor I even recorded him where he was verbally abusing me becuz he denied it. Am I aloud 2 move 2 a nother town with my daughter 2 give her a better life her dad gets out of control when his drunk and I don’t want my daughter around that

    Our LawyerPosted on11:06 am - Nov 29, 2018

    Good day
    The principle in our law is that you should act in your child’s best interests. This applies to both parents. You are allowed to move unless a court orders otherwise. It is best you discuss this issue properly with the father beforehand.

jacqui taylorPosted on2:11 pm - Dec 2, 2018

My ex-husband is now a resident in Malta. How does custody work (I live in Stellenbosch with my daughter, Lisa who is 15.

    Our LawyerPosted on5:29 pm - Dec 2, 2018

    You and your ex would have to agree on contact arrangements that would work. Maybe Lisa can fly down occasionally or he visits her in South Africa. She can also regularly have telephonic contact with him.

PromisePosted on11:40 am - Dec 6, 2018

Good Morning

My ex wife just notified me today that each and every time i need to spend time with my kids i must sign an affidavit and get it stamped at the police station, according to her she says its the law.
I am a pastor and every time i would ask to take my children to spend time with me or my birthday its a hustle. i am seeking advice as to how can i have time with my kids as half the time its either i am denied the right to see them or be told that they all going away.

    Our LawyerPosted on8:59 am - Dec 7, 2018

    Good day
    If there is an order that you should see the kids at a certain time, the mother must let it happen. She would then be in contempt of court. We advise that you approach the Children’s Court ASAP, or get an attorney to deal with this matter.

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