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Child Custody, Maintenance, Divorce, Relocations and other Questions and Answers

ByOur Lawyer

Child Custody, Maintenance, Divorce, Relocations and other Questions and Answers

Child-Custody-Divorce-Maintenance Relocation

Child Custody, Divorce, Maintenance and Relocation Questions, and Answers

Child Custody, Maintenance, Divorce, Relocations, and other Questions and Answers



Our Lawyer (Pty) Ltd provides professional legal advice to their clients through the following options:

  • Face to Face (At our location in Cape Town);
  • Telephonic (We call you on the South African Landline / Mobile number provided);
  • Video (We make use of Skype, FaceTime, and WhatsApp Video Call)

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceIf however, you have a quick and simple family law advice question you wish to ask, feel free to post it below. There would, therefore, be no need to set-up a consultation and pay a fee.


The question may relate to any of the following:

  • Child Maintenance;
  • Child Custody;
  • Divorce;
  • Relocation of minor children;
  • Change of minor children’s surname;
  • Guardianship rights;
  • Passport consent issues;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Parenting Plans;
  • and so on.


Useful family law Articles

Below are a few useful articles written by us.

Child Relocation, Passports, Custody, Surname Change, and the High Courts – Simplified

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceWhat does Child Relocation, Passport disputes, Custody issues, and surname changes have in common? They are all matters which a court of law resolves if the parties cannot do so. Other than child custody issues that can be resolved by the Children’s Court, disputes in relation to Child Relocation, Passport Disputes and Surname changes for minor children are dealt with in the various Provincial High Courts in South Africa where the child ore parties reside. Click here to read more…

Amendments to the Maintenance Act – Final Changes that took place in 2018 – Know your rights


Parents have a legal obligation to maintain their children. The same applies to spouses who have to maintain each other, and so on. This obligation should be exercised naturally. In other words, even if a parent did not know of the law enforcing child support, he or she should have a natural inclination to do so. Unfortunately, the true reality is that it is not the case. Countless parents are taken to the maintenance court every year due to not supporting, or inadequately supporting their children. And to be fair, there are parents who abuse the maintenance process who takes the parent to court who is already adequately contributing. Now, for the maintenance enforcement process to function, working mechanisms need to be in place. This is where the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998, and the Maintenance Amendment Act, 9 of 2015 come into play. Read on to learn more. Click here to read more…

Child Maintenance Saga: How a mother forced the father of her child to pay child maintenance after battling for 5 years

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceMaintenance Saga: When Jill was 17 years old, she met Jack. He was much older than her, working, and very charming. Jill was in her final year of high school and in love with Jack. One thing led to another, and Jill fell pregnant with his child. When she told Jack the good news, he asked her to have an abortion. She refused. Jack was then out of the picture and nowhere to be found. She did not know where he stayed, nor did she have his work details. All she had was his mobile number. This number was useless as he blocked her. The furthest thing from her mind at the time was the issue of child maintenance. Click here to read more…

Paternity disputes and Scientific DNA Testing in Child Legal Matters

Paternity disputes are not uncommon in our courts of law. What sparks them varies, however, all disputes are messy. For one, the mere allegation that he is not the father of the child may directly or indirectly affect the dignity of the mother, and that of the child. In other words, it is suggested that she had more than one sexual partner at the time, and the child was born from such a relationship. Nonetheless, the issue can speedily be resolved through scientific DNA testing. Click here to read more…

Victory for Muslim Marriages in South Africa – Court gives the State 2 (two) years to enact legislation

On 31 August 2018, the Western Cape High Court handed down a ground-breaking judgment. In effect, it Orders the State to prepare, initiate, introduce, enact, and bring into operation, diligently, and without delay, legislation to recognise Muslim marriages. The High Court gave the State exactly two (2) years to attend to the latter process. This two (2) years would only be suspended if the matter is taken to the Constitutional Court. However, should the matter not be taken to the Constitutional Court for final determination, and the State does not enact the legislation, then by default, Muslim marriages may be dissolved in accordance with the Divorce Act 70 of 1979. Therefore, it is up to the State to action matters urgently. Click here to read more…

Passport Applications for minor children: What you need to know – Department of Home Affairs – Questions  and Answers

Should you require any advice on an application for a passport of a minor, where the co-parent refuses to consent or co-operate;  feel free to set up a consultation with us. You may call 0214243487 or click here to do it online.

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceLeaving South Africa, and visiting another country is something many people do on a daily basis. The reason, therefore, could either be for a holiday, business, a death in the family, and so on. Or it might be to relocate to another country to start a new life, either alone, or with your spouse or children. Whatever the reason is, you require a passport when leaving South Africa. For an adult, all you need to do is visit your nearest Department of Home Affairs Offices, with proof of identity, and the prescribed fees, and take your picture, fingerprints, etc. However, if you are a minor child, under the age of 18, it is not that simple. You would need to go with both your parents, and they need to provide their consent. Click here to read more…

Father battles for 3 years to finally see his child. This he did with the help of a social worker, lawyer and the court. He now has regular contact with his child.

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceCustody, Contact, and Guardianship are parental responsibilities of all parents. Once the child is born, both parents not only have a right but a duty to form part of a child’s life. This is also the right of the child. Therefore, a parent cannot deny the other parent from exercising his or her parental responsibilities and rights. The Courts have a duty to ensure that a child’s best interests are met when approached. It is therefore of paramount importance that parents ensure that parental responsibilities and rights are exercise and enforced where necessarily. This includes the responsibility of paying child maintenance. Click here to read more…



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19 comments so far

SaberaPosted on7:59 pm - Feb 18, 2019

Hi. I am a single divorced female living my 2 year old. Wat visitaction rights is the father entitled to. I would like to request the family advocate to only allow him supervised visits at my premises only,every alternate weekend as I don’t trust him alone with my daughter. He has a sick sexual obsession and has subjected me to his sick behaviour constantly. I fear for my daughters safety therefore want the family advocate to only allow him supervised visits with me at my premises. Only every alternate weekend. Is that possible?

    Our LawyerPosted on12:37 pm - Feb 19, 2019

    Good day
    The office of the family advocate can investigate and make recommendations in matters. They are not the Court so cannot make any orders or tell the parties what to do with legal consequences if they do not. We advise that you set up a meeting with them and see how they can assist you and advise you what is best for your child.

Angelique WernichPosted on9:21 am - Feb 21, 2019

I have a 7 month old out of wedlock. The dad works abroad and is only home 6 times a year for 2 weeks each time. He then wants to take my 7 month old for the entire 2 weeks. And I don’t see it fit. Where do I go to finalize custody?

    Our LawyerPosted on3:52 pm - Feb 21, 2019

    Good day
    You need to attempt to resolve this issue via mediation. Looking up organisations like FAMAC or FAMSA. If you cannot resolve this issue, then you need to see a lawyer and approach the court.

Angelique WernichPosted on9:26 am - Feb 21, 2019

Hi. I am a single mother with a 7 month old boy born out of wedlock. I felt pressured when baby was born and felt like I had to give the fathers surname.

Now I want to change it to mine, but he won’t consent.

He is not part of the raising of my son since he works abroad and is only in the country 6 times a year. My family and myself are raising my son, he will have our roots and not the fathers. What do I do to change his surname?

    Our LawyerPosted on3:51 pm - Feb 21, 2019

    Good day
    You need to approach the court for an Order that his consent is not required for the name change application at the Department of Home Affairs. We advise you to consult with a lawyer in this regard.

MarelisePosted on10:24 am - Mar 11, 2019

I have been in and out from court since 2003 until 2016, without payments from the father. The clerk was never interested in using her power of position to make the father pay – In stead, she gave me a lot of excuses resulting in a lot of suffering and loss over these years.
From 2016 to 2019, the father paid after I made a big scene. This month I get told that the father is not working and there is nothing the court can do. 
Meanwhile, the clerk is doing 3 people’s job, which means she is getting three salaries. The supervisor can’t get reprimanded after telling me if he should take his head off and put it on his desk for me to understand. The manager says that supervisor and clerk must go for training first before he gives warnings. Again, free salaries are paid to people who don’t know their job description. I am sick and tired of all the begging and humiliation at court.
Can I sue the maintenance court department for all the suffering and loss that they caused me and my children? Please I don’t have money for a attorney… 

LindsayPosted on11:05 am - Mar 11, 2019

I have a question: My fiancé and I separated in January 2019 and he promised to pay R7000 for two of our boys. I don’t feel it is enough.
Although I also working, his salary is way much more than what I am earning and he was doing everything for us.
Now I have to do everything, including the renting pf the apartment that we live in.
Can I go apply maintenance because the money he is paying is too little?
He also has a business that brings in extra another income.

KurtPosted on11:15 am - Mar 11, 2019

Good day. My wife and I are separated but not divorced yet. On her part, both her parents and step parents has blocked me on WhatsApp – if I call, none of them answer their phones (even when I call at convenient times). I got hold of my wife through her mother’s phone once, she told me her phone was broken. I sent her a brand new phone through post to stay in contact – I’ve waited a week for her to contact me and that only lasted two days until 2 March 2019 (the new phone is off again).
The thing is, she’s moving to another town with the kids and none of them are answering my calls, nor allowing me to speak to my kids: what are my rights in this regard?
Am I allowed to go and fetch my kids to stay with me and to be stable on one spot, or is there procedure to follow?

    Our LawyerPosted on3:09 pm - Mar 12, 2019

    Good day
    We suggest that you approach the maintenance court in the area where the mother resides and apply for a contact order. The Court would then decide what is best for the child.

TabogoPosted on12:14 pm - Mar 11, 2019

My name Tabogo and I have a problem…

I met a lady when my wife was in Kwazulu Natal a long time ago and after six months we broke up. She then disappeared since then and one day she pitches up, 8 months pregnant and she claims that I’m the one who impregnated her and i don’t that’s true.
She came back with the police and told me the baby is three months and the police came with a maintenance document and ordered me to sign.
On 16 of April I was suppose to appear in court and I have never even seen the child – I was not the only one who was in love with with that woman…can you please advise?

BarryPosted on12:57 pm - Mar 11, 2019

Hi I would like to state a question please…
I am a self-employed guy and work has been down the past year. I do however, have a child with a lady who demands R1000 a month (I don’t have a problem with this). However, if I don’t have it, she wants to reflect back to my other children while her other kid’s fathers hasn’t even paid in a few years and don’t give as much as I am giving.
The child is going on for his third birthday and I’m behind about three months due to lack of work. My current lady sees to our child fully and is helping where she can – I’m sleeping on a friend’s couch as I was unable to uphold rent. She has applied for maintenance for one of her kids but did not go further as she says she doesn’t feel the need to. When we were together and work was good, I even cared for the kids while other fathers have always dodged her with maintenance money.
I have always supported my child but I was in an accident a few years ago. Even though I would work for a firm, the medical tests on my arm says I’m not medically fit to do the work . Please advise me on what to do ?

    Our LawyerPosted on3:05 pm - Mar 12, 2019

    Good day
    You would need to pay reasonable child support to your child. If you cannot afford, you would then need to ask your parents to assist. The mother must do the same.

AishaPosted on12:10 pm - Mar 15, 2019

Kindly advise me on the following as I require an increase in child maintenance.
She has currently started her first year at varsity and she is 17 years of age.
The following is a breakdown of the expenses:

* Her school fees are R 15000;
* her transport is R 2000 per month;
* my salary is R 6000 per month and my rental is R3000 while my
* petrol is R800

Note that her studies are on a monthly basis. Also, her dad earns a salary of of R 16000 per month – he remarried and now has three kids. I have not had an increase in child support for the last 14 years. Please advise as to what legal grounds I have, given the scenario I’ve just outlined?

    Our LawyerPosted on7:26 am - Mar 16, 2019

    We suggest you approach the maintenance court for an increase in maintenance. They will assess the matter, after looking at all of your income and expenses, as well as the father.

RenePosted on11:47 am - Mar 18, 2019

Hi. I am in need of advice… my daughter was taken from me on the 22/06/2018 and placed in a care and protection facility. The welfare worker contacted me via WhatsApp to inform me they want to place her in a foster care – but I feel the need to apply for her to get back in my care as I am stable now. Currently, I’m living in a two bedroom home and I’m not yet working but my hubby is working so I can take care of her now. What are my legal grounds in this regard and what can I do about it? She was taken out of my care at six months old.

LanaPosted on12:09 pm - Mar 18, 2019

Hi. I am a foreign mother to a four year old boy with a South African father. We have a parenting plan in place and he recently started paying child maintenance. However, he already refused for me to leave south Africa for holiday with my child saying – I will never come back as I don’t have any family here.
This is an urgent matter as we are about to sign the divorce papers as a result – my spousal permit is going to be invalid. I can not work with a relative visa. Apparently the new law states that the child must be 18 for me to be able to get a visa through him.

Currently, I am unemployed and my papers are about to be voided which also means I sit with the responsibility of paying more than half of my child’s expenses. The father has visiting rights for four days in a month and half of holidays according to the parenting plan.

What can I do to get urgent consent to relocate with my boy? I have an option to relocate to other countries which I’ve had to put on hold due to his father’s refusal.
Thank you

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