Child Custody / Visitation / Access Questions and Answers

Child Custody Services

Child Custody / Visitation / Access Questions and Answers

We introduced this Child Custody / Visitation / Access Questions and Answers page for you to post questions you may have on the topic. For example, if you want to know if you are entitled to custody, pose a question with some background facts. At the same time, should you be able to assist others who posted questions below, requiring some advice on Child Custody / Visitation / Access, please proceed and reply to their comments. In that manner, we would all be able to assist each other and increase our online knowledge base. Therefore, although we a are legal consultancy, specialising in family law, you may have problems or experiences that we have not encountered. Let us share in our knowledge of Child Custody / Visitation / Access.

We are conveniently located in the Pinnacle Building, in the Cape Town CBD. Click here to call us on (021) 4243487 or send us an email.

Other family law resources on this website

There are various other family law resources on this website that you may find useful. For example, there is a downloadable child maintenance calculator. The resources may assist you with whatever questions you have, or information you require on Child Custody / Visitation / Access. Therefore, after posting your question, or any time after, have a look at the useful resources and information on our website. Some of these resources are listed hereafter.

Articles and Q&A

There are a range of legal articles on this website dealing with various family law issues. Some of these articles are straight forward, outlining the legal position on a family law related topic. For example, how to apply for child maintenance, or how to get divorced. Other articles are written in the form of answering a specific legal question. For example, do I pay maintenance if I am unemployed, or what do I do if I want to leave the country with my child, and the other parent does not want to provide consent? Those articles are in blog format. This means that you are welcome to comment or pose questions to increase our knowledge base. The clear idea behind our website is that we want to make family law legal information more accessible and available to the public.

Downloadable resources

We created some downloadable resources for free on this website. They are:

1 Free Basic Will Tool Kit

2. Free Shariah Will Template

3. Free Divorce Starter Tool Kit

4. Free Child Maintenance Calculator

5. Free DIY Urgent Child Contact Toolkit

Feel free to download these useful resources. Click on the links above, and complete the online purchase process. The purchase price is R 0. Thereafter, a downloadable link would be emailed to you. Once you received the email, download it as soon as possible as the link would expire after two months. We hope that we assisted you with any queries you had on Child Custody / Visitation / Access. If not, feel free to arrange a consultation with us.

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This and other articles and posts found on this website are written by Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf to assist people with various family law related issues they may have. If you find any of our articles, free resources and posts interesting, or possibly useful to others, please like and share it on Social Media by clicking on the icons below. For more interesting articles and information on Family Law, view our articles and Q&A page. If you have a family law related legal issue and you want someone to answer or reply to it, feel free to post it on our Family Law Blog. Therefore, kindly like and share.

Should you require any other legal services and advice, not related to family law, visit Private Legal.

 

 

 

 

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96 thoughts on “Child Custody / Visitation / Access Questions and Answers

  1. Hi I have a 5 and 2 year old and divorced to their dad. He has visitation rights. And Takes them for the day. He demands that I provide milk nappies etc when he takes them because he pays maintenance. He says that because he pays I should be providing him with every essential item. Is this true. There are times I send stuff and he doesn’t return with it and doesn’t care if I have nothing at home for the girls.

    1. Parents must support their children according to their means. The child’s best interests are the most important. We advise you to approach the maintenance court to obtain a Maintenance Order.

  2. My Ex Husband has been dating a woman less than 5 months, I had asked him to wait 6 months before intorducing new partners to our 6 year old Daugther, this he has ignored. He didnt inform me he was introducing our Daugther to this new woman and on the first day of meeting my daugther told me that he let her wash our daugther in the shower. For protection we have always told her that only mummy, Daddy , Ouma and the Dorctor will be the only people to see her naked. Now he has allowed this. what are my rights?

  3. Good day

    Is there a minimum age with regard to unsupervised visitation for the biological father of a child. There was a co-habitation before the mother moved out. A maintenance agreement has been reached. The child, a little girl,will be turning 3 in January 2020

  4. The father of my child and I are unmarried. Our daughter is now 1 year old. He is abusive and threatens to beat me and kill me and my family regularly. He associates with criminals and gangsters and uses that to intimidate me when he threatens me. we live with his family and the environment is not suitable for a child according to my standards. I want to take my child and leave. But I don’t know what the consequences of that could be. Can I just take her and leave? He refused to let me work since my daughter was born and now he threatens me that he is going to kick me out and keep my daughter because I don’t have the means to look after her financially. I am her only caregiver. She spends all day with me everyday. He only sees her for max 30 mins per day as he is always out with his friends and staying out all night and day. I want to leave asap. What legal steps do I need to take? What legal advise do I need to know about regarding my situation? Thank you

  5. Been separated from wife 2 years being in divorce process two years. Daughter is 4 and refused calls or visitation rights. My lawyer I feel has been misrepresented me allocating incorrect funds and not advising on whereabouts of pre nup, not being able to see daughter and wife taking all furniture while at work leaving behind kit bag. I gave my car to the wife and due to not having car and her refusing to return it I haven’t been able to find a job. My wife’s father left when she was a baby and even through this feel she is keeping me ftom seeing my daughter knowing the damage it did on her as a child. I am waiting on feedback from attorneys on above which has been 6 months of no reply. Wife is employed and living with her parents and recently found out my parents have signed the car over to her which was in my name to secure visitation rights without me knowing. Please advise how to proceed

  6. Hi my husband and I went through a divorce about 7 years ago, we had gone to court and agreed on a parenting plan for our two kids. He never kept to the plan I had just started a new job n place to stay I cud not get off from work to go back to court and lay a complaint. Since then he has done everything possible to kp me away from my daughter, she ended up living with his mum who allowed me to pic her up every Friday n drop her back every Monday on my way to work . His mum passed away 3 years back so he secretly sent my daughter to live with his sister very far away from me. I’ve tried getting her back from them they refuse n say they have papers for my child which I have never signed, however I do think he has forged my signature cos we share the same initials. In the past 3 years I’ve seen my daughter abt 3 times and every time they gave me a whole lot of stories. I had another child and my elder son from my first marriage and my youngest child from my other relationship live with me. I want my child back what do I need to do in order to get her back, her father has no communication with her or our son. I knw it’s been a long time bt I’ve tried my hardest to get her back and they refused to give me the transfer papers for her school now they have moved and I don’t even know where they living

    1. Good day
      We strongly suggest that you see a lawyer on this issue. If the father does not want to give you what you want in relation to the child, then you may want to try mediation. If that does not work or take place, then you would need to approach the court. The court would then decide what is best for the child.

  7. Hi, I need some advise please. My son is almost 1 on the 04/03/2019, me and my son’s father were together for 4 months till I fell pregnant and he walked out. I heard from him twice during pregnancy and then when our son was born he asked to try our relationship again but after 2 months did not work out. I have never denied him visitation to our son, we constantly fight because he wants our son every second weekend which he is in a new relationship, however he never phones any more to know how our son is doing nor sends me messages. He often made arrangements to visit our son and then never pitch or advise that he can’t make it. He then approached a lawyer and application to the children’s court for unsupervised / every second weekend visitation, but I’m not comfortable with it as I hardly know him found out whilst pregnant that he was a substance abuser for 17 years and only clean for 2 years, his been very aggressive with me since day one, and in the presence of our son even abused me, I don’t know the new women from a bar of soap and we have our court case on the 13th of March. What do you think how strong my case, as stated I will allow him unlimited access / visitation to our son as since he was born but don’t wish for our son to sleep over. What factors does the court or social workers look at and is my case strong enough to my decision. I urgently seek professional advise before the court case please. Thank you so much. Kind Regards

    1. Good day
      We strongly advise that you set up a consultation with a lawyer to discuss your matter and advise you accordingly. The Court would listen to both sides and then decided what is best for the child. Obviously, we do not want to guess what the outcome of the case would be or give you blind advice. If you are interested, feel free to set up an appointment via this link http://www.ourlawyer.co.za/advice

  8. Good evening,

    My 10 year old daughter’ s biological father and I have been divorced for 9 years now. “Care of the minor child was awarded to me and he was to pay maintenance”.He hasnt seen my daughter since she was 11months old and he hasn’t paid maintenance at all as stipulated in the divorce decree. We have asked permission to change her surname to my re-married surname as she is the only one in the household with a different surname, but he refused. We have also asked about the maintenance but he is still not paying. Out of spite he approached the children’s court for contact rights but the family advocate’s report did not approve of it in my daughter’s best interest and stated that should he wish to continue, social workers will have to be brought in to assess the situation but he has made no further attempts to obtain contact. He is also now going to trial for outstanding maintenance soon. I have asked for permission for a passport but he is also not giving it. My current husband and I wish to travel and perhaps consider emigration. Can we approach the high court to have my ex’s rights and responsibilities revoked so we can plan a future? If so, what is the process and how long does it take?
    Thank you

    1. Good day
      Yes, you may approach the High Court for an order that the father’s consent is dispensed with. You would file a Notice of Motion with a Founding Affidavit and serve it on the father. He would then give his version of events etc. The Court would then decide what is best for the child. This is the long and short of it.
      We advise that you make use of an attorney or get legal advice first. Depending on the urgency of the matter, it can take from a few months, up until a year to finalize. Feel free to call us on 0214243487 should you wish for us to refer you to an attorney.

  9. I have separated from my ex partner whom i was never married to 3 months ago. We have an 18 month old baby girl. My ex is a heroin and cat drug abuser and has been for the past 16 yrs. He took me to children’s court in Belville demanding visitation rights to his child. i informed the court that he abused drugs. The court instructed him to go for a hair follicle test as he denied being a drug abuser. He ignored the request and said that i am the drug addict. To proof my innocense i went for a hair follicle test and my tests proved all negative because i do not use drugs i was tested for 18 different drugs.
    However the judge ruled in his favor to have visitation rights to our daughter without professional supervision. and refused to take a look at evidence i provided of his abuse to me and his child. He is abusive to women and children and is not a fit father and can not be trusted to take care of my 18 month old daughter, The court made the decision that his parents who are his enablers be the supervisors.
    The social worker appointed by the court never met him for an interview however spoke to him over a telephone and recommended to the court that his is fit to see his child, This in my mind is biased and unconstitutional what qualifications does this social worker have to make such a decision without even speaking to him face to face and find out about his drug habits and behavior. She interviewed me face to face on her insistence in my house. She does not even know how heroin affects peoples brains and have no experience about illegal drugs. The judge treated me like i was the drug addict EVEN though my drug results were all negative. And even after he admitted to the court that he is in fact a drug addict and has been for past 16 yrs she ruled in his favor.
    I fear for my child’s well being and life as he is totally unstable and reckless he wrote off 2 vehicles already being under the influence of drugs. (however he is allowed to drive my daughter around in his car)
    He abused me mentally, physically and verbally and i have witnesses as well as affidavits from people in my community to proof this. i am also seeing a clinical psychologist for the abuse i have endured. He used to scream and hit my baby when she cried as he could not tolerate her crying and she was not even 1 years old. When i protected her he used to beat me and choked to me. i explained all of this to the social worker and my parents also met her and told her what happened however she did not say anything to the court about this. She highly recommended that his has visitation rights to his child without professional supervision.
    I am not prepared to attend this court again where this judge makes decisions as i feel that i will not be given a fair trial because she is not interested in facts and evidence. Please can you help me this man and his family is now wanting to fight for custody of our child since they realized that the court does not care about the fact that he is a drug addict.

  10. Hi , I wanted to ask if is it possible to change a court order without a lawyer representing me or do I need a lawyer to change the court order, the court order is not in a favor of the child. When can a child start visiting his father , i mean at what age?

    1. Good
      The law does not prescribe that you must use a lawyer. If you know what you are doing and know the law, you can do it yourself.
      There is no age for which a child can start visiting the father. The law looks at what is best for the child, and not the parents.

  11. I have a son which is almost 2 years old. I was not married or dating the mother of my son. I was there on the day of his birth and been visiting him every week. We have been to the maintenance court because she demanded more than what I can afford, we then settled on an amount infront of the court. I have never skipped a payment for my son. I have also recently increased the maintenance. I always provide what is needed for him which I then buy on top of the maintenance. I have had the right to pick him up and see him for a full day and then take him back to his mother. He has also recently slept over for one night. The last couple of times I have dropped my son off, I receive a message the following day saying that he is sick, his ears are bothering him, he has chest problems etc. (Note that he is in the phase of cutting teeth) She then says it is because he was around smoke (cigarettes, because she knows I smoke) I will never and have never smoked around or near my child. When I do I always sanitise before touching him. She claims she is going to refuse me visiting my son ever again without her supervision. What is my rights and what can i legally do to keep on seeing my son on a weekly basis, and also taking him once every weekend?

    1. You do have rights to your child. We advise that you approach the Children’s Court to assist you in formulating them. The court would look at what is best for the child.

  12. My daughter is 12 years old. I have had to convince her for days ahead of a visit that it will be ok and that seeing her father will be ok.
    Her father has moved in with his girlfriend and refuses to give me the address and restricts how much contact I have with her while she is there. He or his girlfriend take my daughter’s phone away from her when she arrives and she isn’t allowed to contact me until the time that he says. His girlfriend has children and often singles my daughter out whether my daughter is wrong or not. She feels betrayed because her father never defends her and doesn’t ask for her side of the story.
    She does not want to visit there anymore but she is manipulated with threats that she will not see anyone else in her family if she should decide not to see her father.
    The divorce went through High Court and was final several years ago.
    Her father does not agree with anything I say so mediation is not possible. My daughter is depressed and sad when she has to visit and it is becoming worse.
    Is there any way that I can approach a lower court to assist? The divorce was done in High Court.
    Is there any way that my daughter can explain why she doesn’t want to go?
    Is there a way that I do not have to force her to go when she doesn’t want to?
    Is her father allowed to limit when I can speak to her while she is away?

    1. Good day
      If the Court order changes, then everything else would be resolved. You may approach the children’s court. They would decide what is best for your child. In their investigation, your daughter would be consulted.

  13. hi, When I was 3 weeks pregnant I told my ex boyfriend, we had been broken up for about 2 weeks but should still speak, the day I told him i was pregnant he was very excited and I knew he would be happy, but when I told him i’m not marrying him he started to get aggressive and threatened to file for custody, I was only 3 weeks pregnant so I was very alarmed and worried if he tried to take my baby away, who wasn’t even out of the first trimester danger zone. I wanted to share my pregnancy with him because i knew this would be something he would want but he started getting very emotionally abusive which is the reason I ended things with him, he messages me daily I am now 3 months pregnant but his behavior has scared me, first he used to speak so negatively about me and now he speaks as if we are going to get back together, i keep telling him we wont get back together but he ignores me. He has hacked my Facebook and Instagram and I had to change my passwords, he is keeping track of everything my family and I do and I even told him I’d call the police because he kept threatening to come to my house and i don’t feel safe around him anymore. He is constantly attacking me as an individual and I spoke to legal aid over the phone who advised me to get a protection order against him because of his behavior but because the baby is not here as yet there is nothing else I can do and because it was a free call they could not assist me further. My ex boyfriend has been in and out of work since December last year, he has relied on my financially and i did my best to be supportive and there for him which is when he started the emotional abuse, he has had approximately 6 jobs so far and is now out of work again and says he is working on his business, I requested him to pay my medical aid as i am pregnant just so i can see his level of responsibility towards our baby, first he refused to pay the he asked for the banking details, he kept saying tomorrow, tomorrow, and eventually after 5 days he says he doesn’t think the medical aid is worth it and i should look at a birthing plan as it is a better option, which it isn’t, so now even this one this one thing i gave to him, he could not do and has refused again and doesn’t bring up anything. When we were together and I wanted to leave he threatened to kill himself several times, Now that I am pregnant i know that is not an environment I want my baby to grow up in, but he keeps telling me to stop thinking of myself and think of the child, I worked with children for many years and i am continuing to work with kids so I know by not being with him is the best choice, but I truly am scared that he will fight for our baby even when he is in no situation to look after a child alone. I have a stable job and an income, i also have support from my family who are 100 % behind me for financial and emotional support if i need any, I am concerned he wants our baby only because he wants me back. I still want him to see our child but I am so worried he would start using the baby for his selfish gains. I’ve kept every email and sms, all social media ,messages and i have an app on my phone that records all my telephone conversations. is there anything I can do before my baby is born to get him visitation rights as it would make me more calm that my baby is safe because I will be able to be there.

    1. Good day
      When it comes to children, the law prescribes that the child’s best interests are always given priority. There is nothing you can no now as the child is not born. Once your child is born, then you need to act in your child’s best interests. If he takes you to court, the court would assess the matter and decided what is best for the child.

  14. The father of my baby keeps insisting to have his details on our son’s birth certificate and he has threaten to take my son away since i was pregnant so my concern is that he might take my son to his family in Nigeria and never bring him back. He is married to another woman pregna t with triplets so he says, and insists my son comes over for weekends and he is only a year old . I don’t want my son to visit him cause I feel he is a flight risk and my son is still to small to be visiting him in another woman’s house without my presence. Should I have his details on the birth certificate or not cause he is forcing me

    1. Good day
      You need to act in your child’s best interests. We advise that you obtain the advice of a social worker regarding the contact the father wants. As for the birth certificate, it is up to you. The father, however, does have a right to approach the Department of Home Affairs to effect the change.

  15. Hi, i need advice I have a 4 year old boy me and him have a great bond so but unfortunately her mother has a problem. We no longer together unfortunately me and his mum, so she always tells me that she wishes that we can be together again but unfortunately I will tell her that I already moved on I have a girlfriend. So last time I wanted to see my son she give me him for weekend then i spend the whole weekend with him and my girlfriend visit me so the whole weekend we’re together at three of us so now I think she knows that I spent the whole weekend with her and my son so she just kept on threatening me that I can no longer see my son, until he’s 18 years old and now every time I’m speaking with my son on the phone, my son always say I want to see you dad and I will I will tell you ask your mum to bring you to town, and I’ll wait on the phone what is asking her but she’s just keeping quiet like as if she doesn’t even hear the child , so now I feel like it’s no longer punishing you only every my son is being punished, so I thought of taking this to court but I just told myself she will come around but now I feel like she’s just being stubborn she just want me to suffer or something like that so I just need an advice on what to do before I take this 2 quart of something but take a little away because I love my son. I cant bond with my son over the phone only I need to see him and I spent much time with him, I’m dnt want to take him away from his mother because he also need her. All I need is her to stop threatening me about seeing my son and also I can be able to see you anytime or if it’s weekend it’s also fine. Please help me what do I do??

    1. Good day
      We would advise that you approach the Children’s Court. However, if you do not wish to follow that route, you may consider employing a lawyer to write her a letter regarding visitation.

  16. Good day
    My ex spouse has primary residence of my two children. She is now relocating to another province. Currently the court order stipulates that I have reasonable access to the children, alternate weekends with the children and holidays to be shared. I cannot afford to stick to the alternate weekend visitation due to her relocation. Should I not comply, will i be held in contempt of the court order?

  17. Good Day…

    My fiance and his ex girlfriend have a 3yr old they have not been to court at all over visitation rights or anything… she refuses that he see his child or that the child visit us…. what can we do

  18. Hi,
    I am a father of two kids staying with their mom. I have visitation rights to see my kids through a parental plan we co-signed with the mother of my kids. The mother of my children is not flexible with alternatig visitation weekends. Furthermore, I am contributing almost 90% towards the financial welfare of my 2 kids. Being foreigners, the 2 kids have their passports stamped with my SA permanent resident status as to reside under their father’s custody. What are the chances of contesting for the custody of the children to live with their father?

    1. Good day
      You would have to prove that it is in their best interests for the father to have custody. There are many factors to consider and the matter is not that simple. It may be best to actually consult with a social worker or a lawyer in that regard.

  19. Hi, my baby is 2 months old, the father now wants to get visitation rights , which I’m not opposed to, but where will it take place and does it mean he takes my baby for the visits without me being present? I don’t feel comfortable with him taking my baby without me. I have initiated all visits so far and taken baby to him.

    1. Good day

      Parents must act in the child’s best interests. Considering all factors, you must decide if it is best for your child to have unsupervised visits, or visits away from you. In some cases it would be fine and in others not. Best to discuss it with the father and decide what is best.

  20. So i also have a very long story . i turned 16 this year and i had a baby girl when i was 15 , the father of my baby is 5 years older than me , when i had my baby girl my babys father and i weren’t aloud to stay together or continue our relationship , my mom forced us to leave each other . its a year later and we are still together coz we do love our daughter and each other a lot , we have tried so many ways to get my daughter and I to go and stay with him but my parents won’t allow it and there is no other way ,but we both made peace with that . my parents abuses the fact that they have complete say over my child and my boyfriend and I have no say at all, my daughter recently turned a year and my parents made lots of promises that my daughter will be allowed to spend weekends at his house after her first birthday . now that
    she had her birthday they are refusing her to go visit her father and I want her to go and visit him and have that special bond with him but I can’t do anything about it , they allow him to visit her throughout the week in the mornings for 2 hours but they won’t allow her to go anywhere with him ,and he works nightshift and some days he simply cannot stay awake long enough to come and see her so he maybe sees her 3 times a week,he does not pay money but he does buy her everything she needs every en of the mont I send him a lost with her needs and he gets KT for her . now my parents want to take him to court to make sure he only gets to see her maybe 2 times a week and will not be allowed to visit him at his house and they want to him to pay money . I want to know if there is anything I can do to help him win and if I’m allowed to be on his side and against my parents , I would also like to know if they can make him pay child support or is that decision up to me ,because at the current state she does not feel like my child because I have no parental rights over her

  21. My daughter is 8 years old. Her father left when she was 1 year old. He moved to the USA. He does pay maintenance monthly but now wants her to visit him in the USA. Can I say no? Must I accompany her? I won’t let her fly on her own. He refuses to come visit her in SA.

    1. You must decide what is best for your child. That a lawyer cannot answer. Maybe speak to a social worker. As she is 8, it may be best you accompany her.

  22. Hello, I would like to know if visitations can be forced on the other parent? In this case, I want the father of my son to have him every 2nd weekend and a few days during the week. Does South African law allow this?

    1. The Court can orders so if it is in the child’s best interests. But if a father does not want to spend time with a child, that is an important factor.

  23. I’m single and my son 6 years old. His father involvement thus far has been minimum even though his paying maintenance. His visits are about 1 – 2 per year, birthday or christmas. Out of the blue he informed me should anything happen to me he will his son to live with him. My son estranged from his family, they never made an effort to get to know him and neither did he. He doesn’t know his like, dislikes or allergies nothing. My question does he have the right to take him away from the only family her knows and how can I protect my son from this happening

    1. At any point, the child’s best interests is of paramount importance. Should anything happen to you, then the first person to look at would be the biological father. If at that point, lets say your parents have an issue with that, then they can have the court look at it.

  24. Hi,
    Recently separated with my 2y6m daughter’s mother. When we were together, I used to provide all the primary needs of my daughter including sometime washing or changing nappies as well other daily activities such as taking her to creche and other extra mural activities. I would love to spend sometime with her especially over weekends so that I can continue to build her well being but her mother doesn’t want to let the child come with me. My question is do I have rights for the 2y6m old daughter to visit me over the weekend? Can I take her for a drive without the mother coming with? Can I go with her and buy her clothes without the mother having to come with?
    Please point me in the right direction.

    1. You and the mother must act in the child’s best interests. If the mother is unreasonable, then we advise you approach the Children’s Court for assistance.

  25. good day
    i am a divorced father of a 11 year old son, all visitation to my son thusfar has been supervised, i am not allowed to take him for a weekend, overnight or even for the day. my ex has now remarried and still denies my right over my son, is she allowed to deny me unsupervised visits and weekends, she does not allow him to spend any school or religious holidays with me. what steps should i take in this matter?

  26. Good Day

    I was married (traditional – islamically) and have a child aged 1 year 7 months, i have gone through with a traditional divorce and wanting to know the visitation rights for myself.
    I am the biological father.

    The mother has advised/stated that i am only allowed visitation on property for now, is this correct ruling ?

    Regards

    Ifthiqar Mahomed

    1. Good day

      The is no rule or law that states what contact you can have. If you and the mother can come to an agreement, that would be great. If not, you need to go to court and they would decide what is best for the child. It is even possible for you to get custody if it is best for the child.

  27. Hi. M 29yrs nd having a child with 52 yes old man. I got the child in 2012 nd decided to take her to her father. So he stayed with the child but now he don’t want me anywhere near my daughter. Nd he don’t want me to see the child.I now want my child back, he deny. So what must I do to get my child back

  28. Hi….my galfrands mother is refusing to give my family a chance to be with my bby…but I paid damages to them (customary law) wat steps do I take

    1. So i also have a very long story . i turned 16 this year and i had a baby girl when i was 15 , the father of my baby is 5 years older than me , when i had my baby girl my babys father and i weren’t aloud to stay together or continue our relationship , my mom forced us to leave each other . its a year later and we are still together coz we do love our daughter and each other a lot , we have tried so many ways to get my daughter and I to go and stay with him but my parents won’t allow it and there is no other way ,but we both made peace with that . my parents abuses the fact that they have complete say over my child and my boyfriend and I have no say at all, my daughter recently turned a year and my parents made lots of promises that my daughter will be allowed to spend weekends at his house after her first birthday . now that
      she had her birthday they are refusing her to go visit her father and I want her to go and visit him and have that special bond with him but I can’t do anything about it , they allow him to visit her throughout the week in the mornings for 2 hours but they won’t allow her to go anywhere with him ,and he works nightshift and some days he simply cannot stay awake long enough to come and see her so he maybe sees her 3 times a week,he does not pay money but he does buy her everything she needs every en of the mont I send him a lost with her needs and he gets KT for her . now my parents want to take him to court to make sure he only gets to see her maybe 2 times a week and will not be allowed to visit him at his house and they want to him to pay money . I want to know if there is anything I can do to help him win and if I’m allowed to be on his side and against my parents , I would also like to know if they can make him pay child support or is that decision up to me ,because at the current state she does not feel like my child because I have no parental rights over her

  29. Hi. My ex and I divorced 10 years ago. Three years after the divorce I found myself and my children about to be homeless and approached the Family Advocate to mediate as I requested the children live with him. He had a house and could take better care of them. It broke me but it meant they would have a stable roof over there heads. He EVENTUALLY agreed but refused to take the youngest. It is seven years later and in the passing years I remarried and saw my kids whenever I was able to. (He would not allow me using public transport to fetch them) I saw them almost every alternate week ends and half the school holidays most of the time even more than that. In January this year he denied my access/visitation until such time that I give him a lawyers letter in which I agree to all his demands. Previously, at the family advocate he also refused to negotiate or compromise on his demands, eg I must have them back home at evening prayer time or that I wasn’t allowed to leave Cape Town under any circumstances with them. I would not agree to this as I also wanted the right to eg go on holiday with them. The parental plan could not be drawn up. Now he wants me to legally agree to all his demands before I can see my children. I do not have money for a lawyer or High Court, so I approached the Family Adv again today. They advised all they can do is mediate. I have the right given to me by the country and my God to see my children and he is withholding that right. It’s been four long hard and dark months for me and my children. He bad mouths me all the time and tells them I don’t want them. The funny thing is I have four children with him two of which a now majors…20 and 18(in July) so while they were minors he did not bother to do this. He threatens the eldest, my daughter that if she goes against him he will disown her. All I want is access to my children. We have a very good relationship and are very, very close and I can hear how much they miss me. In the past my ex would excercise his visitation with the youngest every couple of months but he hadn’t seen or spoken to the youngest since September so it means he has also not seen his siblings in the past four months. All this has a deep impact on them and on me.
    After today I am even more dispondent and depressed…I have a right but it seems only to be in writing. My head has been so messed up that I don’t even think I could represent myself adequately.
    What do I do? Where do I go? All I want is my right.

    1. Good day

      Your visitation and contact rights would only apply to the children under 18. We advise you make use of the children’s court. There is no need to make use of a lawyer if you cannot afford one.

  30. hey i want full custody of my 5year old girl me and the mother has been 2gether 4 10 years we broke up recently c is a heavy drinker i dnt drink c got a new bf nw that has been 2 prison c washed my girl naked infront of him and c sleep with him with my girl next 2 her there is never food 4 my child 2 eat bt c works i must make sure my child eats every day i feel my child would be safer living with me

    1. Good day. We advise that you approach the children’s court in this matter. They would assess the matter and decide what is best for the child.

  31. Good day,
    I am a single mother of an 18 month old girl. Her father and I are not together anymore and we were never married. I normally drop her off at his house when I have to attend classes or work. He wants her to sleep over my him for a weekend but I don’t feel comfortable with it and I feel she is too young. What does the law say regarding this?
    Kind regards

    1. Good day
      There is not hard an fast rule as to what age a child can sleep at a parent. This issue is what is best for the child. If the child would be properly cared for, then the law would allow it.

  32. Hi
    I have quite a big story. I am the girlfriend (soon to be wife). My fiance and his ex wife got divorced more or less 4 years ago due to the fact that she cheated on him with his best friend, while they were busy in court sorting out the divorce and custody rights, she fell pregnant with the other mans child, I presume they are also married now, my husband wasn’t in very stable financial space when they got divorced due to the fact that he made bad debt in providing for them and she left him with all the debt, he had to stay with his mother as he could not afford his own place and therefore he could also not fight for full custody when they got divorced (we own a home now). My fiance’s ex wife has full custody of their daughter who is now 5 years old he only sees her every second weekend, I also have a daughter from my previous marriage who is now 4 years old. My fiance agreed out of court to pay R 1600 a month and also contribute to any school activities his daughter may want to participate in. From 2018 he started paying R 2000 a month and is also still willing to pay any contribution to a school activity. Since the beginning of our relationship which started May 2017 the mother came with request more than ever, thinking I have a lot of money which I don’t. She phones him and saying that their daughter, now grade R, should get speech therapy and it will cost him a R 1100 a session (baring in mind that he pays all the money directly into her own account). She first asked him if he has a medical aid, which he doesn’t as we cannot afford it, then she asks him if I have a medical aid and he said yes, she then asked him why doesn’t he marry then just because I have a medical aid to support their child. I treat her as my own and is willing to support the child where I can, but technically I am not responsible for her. We don’t earn a lot and we contribute where we can. He has never missed a monthly payment to her. I then took the opportunity in phoning a speech therapist and I got hold of the speech therapist who is working on the school premises where his daughter attending. She said that the session are R 243 a month and definitely not R 1100 which made me think now why would his ex say R 1100 (also thinking that he pays the money into her own account). I suggested to him that he phones the school and making an appointment with the teacher who suggested the speech therapy so that he can get peace of mind on what is really going on and then we can take further steps in getting the right treatment for his daughter.

    Then with this every time his daughter visits us (also we made up her own room in our house with clothes, toys etc. so that she can feel at home) she doesn’t want to leave, she cries continuously that she doesn’t want to go to her mother. We heard her saying the one night to her grandmother who also visits us on the same weekends as her that her mother and her husbands talks badly to each other and sometimes they also hit (physically hit) each other in front of the children. Most of the time when we collect her on the Friday she wears torn clothes and can smell that her hair is dirty. I can’t confirm that what she says is true, but I can pick up in her behavior sometimes that she might be telling the truth. I have never confronted the mother about the situation, but I seriously want to try and get full custody of her. I need advice please? Anything to point me in the right direction? I really want the best for the little girl.

    1. Good day

      As there is a court order, such order needs to be changed to give primary care to the father. That would entail a court application where both parties would have their say, and the court will decide. What we do suggest is for you to consult with a social worker or child care expert to look into the matter and advise you if having primary care would be in the minor child’s best interests. You can then take it from there.

  33. I have primary residence custody of our 13 year old son as per a court order granted when he was 2 years old. The father now wants primary residence which I don’t believe is in the best interest of my son. The father approached the Family Advocate but unfortunately they have refused as there is a final court order in place. He now wants to go to mediation in order to get primary residence changed. We previously attended mediation in order to get a parenting plan in place however the mediation was declared failed due to the high conflict nature of the situation and no parenting plan was finalised. I am scared of the father and don’t want to be put in another situation where I am verbally abused and bullied. My son sees his father every second weekend and holidays as per the court order and I try and limit my contact with the father as much as possible. Do I have to agree to mediation? Are their other options?

    1. You do not have to agree to attempt mediation unless and order forces you to. The other option is for him to take you to court.

  34. Hi. I would like to know the following. My husband and I separated in sept 2017. 3 weeks after I moved out of the house he had a girlfriend. We are not even divorced yet. We haven’t even been to court yet. Now he keeps suggesting to my son that he meets her. He had even gotten my son to chat on what’s up to this woman using his dads phone. Can I stop any contact between my son and her. My ex husband is teaching my son wrong morals in life. What can I fo

    1. The Court would have to decide if his conduct deserves interdicting. We advise that you approach the Children’s Court in your area and determine if they would be willing to start the process.

  35. Good day. How does one stop the ex foster parents from harassing you? the social worker in the case is assisting them? after a year and 6 months of fighting and having to pay out thousands to have the corrupt social workers report countered by another social workers report lawyers and play therapy and physiologist the child was placed back in out care, but it never stopped there, if the child bumps herself and has a bruise they accuse us of abuse, if the child goes and visits them (court order says she must) she is emotionally manipulated to reveal every detail of our house hold, the childs mom died and the sister of the mother took the child from the father under the excuse giving him time to grief, when he went back to get his child, he was told no shes been placed with them for safety and that the he cant have her, the social worker never ever approached him seen him or spoke to him, after hearing this he went to the social worker and asked what now, her answer was yes due to you being emotional unstable, 6 months after this he was called in to court the child was placed with the sister in law in foster care, up-to that point nothing was discussed with him he went and got the report she their social worker placed before the court and it was pure lies, our social worker who cost us lots of money did n counter report and investigation and found the first report to be utter rubbish and proved it, so the child was placed back in our care, since then its been almost two years its been just hell, we are financially bankrupt due to the cost of counter fighting social workers, forensic social workers, play therapy, physiologists, , i have lost my job due to the fact i had to be in court every week almost to counter their attacks my husband lost his for the same reason, we are in complete melt down and the attacks just keep on coming . if she bumps herself its abuse, we lost our home due to the financial strain and job loss, and current live with my parent, that is a problem too now and we are back in court, PLEASE WHAT CAN WE DO. I have placed my two kids with my ex in laws to keep them safe as they were made a problem all the time. I am at a loss, is there a way to stop this.

    1. It seems the court have already been approached an are involved. If you really wish to stop them, you would need to see an attorney and look into obtaining an interdict. But this is something you need to properly discuss with an attorney.

  36. I was in a relationship and has fallen pregnant then they guy started to choke me and pushed me that I was airborne so he and his brother in law that is his lawyer also took me with all my things and dropped me of by my mom so I stay by her and when year end 2016 came he came and say he want to be part of my sons life when he is born so I said its fine when I gave birth my mom invited him to be part of it but before that his brother in law made calls to me and said to me that how do they know it is his son so when I came out of hospital I went home where I stay by my mom so when my son was 7 days old we got a flat where we pays rent half had me and my baby boy stay in one room and he had his own room again the abuse started this time with my son in my arms he through us over the bed that my head hit the wall and then he locked my son in his room and pushed and pull me around in the hallway he locked me outside the flat and called me bad names and things after an hour he let me back in then I went to my room he bring my son to the room and he put him on the other point of the bed ad he went on fighting with me on the other side then my son fallen of the bed and he picked him up and after a while he gave my son back to me my sons was not yet 3months old so me and my son went back and stay with my mom a made a protection order against him and then he went and make one against me that I’m harassing him witch I did not do so after a couple of times in court the protection order was throughout of court when I applied for maintenance he ask for DNA test so we did it the results came back that he is the father of my son he went and put him on debt review so I only get R2000 for my son and himself his brother in law made arrangement with the legal represent that he will bring 4 packets of pampers because my son is allerged to Huggies and 4 tins of isomel milk every month he never bring in and they did not put it on the paper because they said it will not be nessesary because he will bring it till today he did not bring it he never came to see his son and I never refused him to see his son they want to take me to the high court for I don’t know what I don’t know what to do anymore so please if anyone can help me with advise I will appreciate it a lot and can I go and move up the maintenance I’m paying for me and my sons rent electricity maid and his school that is R1850 alone for the chresh

  37. What can I do if my ex husband who cheated on me refuses to support and see out sons.he lies to the judge and social worker. He denied his sons to go say to goodbye to their grandmother who passed away. He demands to see them 2 hrs after school and 12hrs for one day on a weekend. He doesn’t call. He doesn’t see them and he refuses to support them. He also says he is not working but he is. What can I do. We have court on 14/02/18

  38. Granny and Grandpa not seeing their grandchild. Being denied access. How can they be helped to have access ti grandchild. They live in the same city.

    1. They can make an application to the Court for contact rights. The law allows for it. They must prove it is in the child’s best interests.

  39. Hello

    I had an affair and divorced my wife. I was awarded joint custody of our 16yr daughter. I love my daughter very much and make every effort to see her and be part of her life over and above the visitation agreement. I recently married the new woman in my life and now my daughter no longer wants to talk to me or see me. I have explained to her numerous times that I want to be part of her life but she is not listening. Her mother is not much help either and I suspect she is quite happy that my daughter is alienating me..What can I do ? Any advice?

  40. Hi i have a 2 year old son. His mother has been on drugs since he was 3 months old. I had him with me ever since, I’ve been to courts, social workers in my area but no help. Is there another way to gain full custody of my son?

    1. Good day

      An application would have to be made to Court. If you made an application to Court and it was unsuccessful, they of course you should appeal the decision.

  41. Good Day. My son is 1yr and 6 months old. I never refused his father visitation rights. He doesn’t make an effort to see his son and he only paid 1 month maintenance. He’s a substance abuser and drinks on a daily basis. When my son was 3 months old his father came here under the influence. I addressed him about it he made as if I was at fault. His now threatening me with the court. What is my rights?

  42. Hi

    I have a 5 year old son who’s father has passed away nearly 3 years ago.His deceased fathers mother wants to know threaten me with family court , what rights does she have as a grandparent?

  43. I have a minor who is currently 2months old the fathers involvement thus far has been minimum with all visitations being initiated by me,there is a complete breakdown of communication between the father and I where I am even contemplating getting a restraining order against the father to stop him from using degradotory language against me,his living conditions are also suspect where he brings in different women into his house i would not want my child to be exposed to such no matter how small,there was a situation where the child fell sick and the father could not be reached,he changed his place of residence and didnt inform me,is this grounds for me to apply for sole guardship for the child?

    1. The Court not not lightly take a parents parental responsibilities and rights away from a parent. It would be best that you approach a social worker for advice on this issue. If you are advised that it would be in the child’s best interests, then you would have to approach the court, who would assess the matter after hearing what the father has to say.

  44. Hi, my husband and are are estranged and going to get divorced in the new year. Now suddenly he is saying that he wants to take my one year old on holiday over Christmas without me and gets very angry at me when I say no. Am I allowed to stop it because my baby will not cope as he has never been away from me and hardly sees his dad.

    1. You are both parents and both need to act responsibly. What needs to be decided is what is best for the baby. This is sometimes hard to decide between the parents especially during a divorce. Best you see social worker to advise you as to what is best for your child.

  45. My son is almost 7 years old. He lived with the mom and her parents all his life. She recently remarried and moved out of her parents house. My son now lives with her mother and father in their house. I am concerned about his well being as there is no parent with him which he was accustomed to having and this is starting to have negative effects on his well being. I play a very active and extremely supportive role in his life. I am now looking at the option of applying for custody of the child to come and live with me.
    As the biological father, not married and with a stable job, can I apply for custody of my son?
    Please advise,
    Thank you

    1. We suggest that you first discuss the issue with the mother. If you still feel that the child would be best cared by you, and she disagrees, then you may want to consider seeing a mediator. If that does not work, then you would need to approach the Court. The court would decide what is best for the child. As a parent you have a right to apply for primary care. As to whether you would be successful, that cannot be guessed on the limited information provided.

  46. Hi , i am divorced with two kids, i got custody of our kids and my husband agreed to collect them every weekend, he signed the court order . Since then , he has not stuck to the court order, he always has excuses not to collect them, and this has affected my kids in a bad way. He always has to work, and he keeps changing cell numbers, meaning the kids cant even call him when they want. Is there anything i can do for him to adhere to the court order?

    1. Good day. If the wording of the court is is that he must have contact, then you can make a case for contempt of court. If it says, is entitled to have contact, then it becomes difficult. The law cannot force a parent to want to spend quality time with a child.

  47. Hi me and my kids father already have an custody agreement I have physical custody and he gets every other weekend and some holidays but now he’s telling the kids he wants full custody of all of them and it seem like we can’t compromise on anything unless his wife agree with it.

    1. Good day

      It is always best that a reasonable and amicable agreement be reached when it comes to children. However if you cannot do so, then the Courts would have to get involved. This is best avoided unless very necessary.

  48. My son has a child but is not married to the mother, she isn’t allowing him to see his son. How does he start a case to seek visitation so he can see his son? Also I’d like to see my grand child. What rights do I have?

    1. Good day. We would advise you and your son to approach the Children’s Court in your area and make an application for contact to the child. You as grandmother have a right to apply too.

      1. Good day i would just like to know how long does the application take at court

        1. Good day

          It all depends which court it is and if the matter is opposed. If all goes well, it can take about a few months.

    1. Dear Kouthar

      If you do not have Custody over your child, and the other parent does not want you to have it, then you would need to approach the Court. Here you may approach the Children’s Court or the High Court in you area.

  49. Hello. My daughter is 19 years old and does not want to visit her father? What can I do under the circumstance. The father is threatening to take me to court. Thank you.

    1. Good day
      Your daughter is a major in law, meaning an adult and she decides who she wants to visit. The father has no legal right to force your daughter to visit him.

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