Child Custody and Visitation – Cape Town

Custody cases South Africa

Our law offices are situated in the heart of the CBD in a professional, safe settings. We are family legal experts when it comes to handling child custody, divorce and child maintenance legal matters. Throughout our years of experience, we have found that the legal rules for child custody tends to favor the mother, unless the mother happened to be unstable.

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Email: [email protected]

As time passed, the rules have changed and in turn, accommodates for the rights of fathers as well. With different circumstances constantly arising in custody battles; the law have had to adapt under these changing priorities as well. Today, fathers are more aware of their legal rights and make it their duty to educate themselves about their rights.

Our Lawyer Pty Ltd is a professional legal consultancy that offers legal services and to cater for the layman, we have managed to compile a range of child custody legal articles with expert legal advice. Simply click on the links below:

Feel free to call our law offices today and have our friendly receptionist make an online appointment for you. Are you residing out of Cape Town? No problem Simply make use of national number on 087 701 1124 today.

Child custody for fathers

As previously mentioned, child custody rights are usually awarded to the father if the mother happens to be an alcoholic or substance abuser. Times however, have proven that there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to awarding custody rights. The court will decide within the best interest of the child whilst the Children’s Act will be used as a guideline by legal experts on the way forward.

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At the end of the day, the relationship between the parents plays a crucial role as both parents will need to reach a mutual agreement. A parenting plan is a common way of helping the estranged parents find a common ground. This agreement can be changed along the way as the circumstances or nature of the situation changes. Father however, should have equal access to their child and should be able to have visitation rights as well.

Parental rights in South Africa

The court can grant an order that can limit parental responsibilities and rights, depending on the nature or circumstance of the matter of course. However, when the court does make these changes, they will consider what’s in the child’s best interests.

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When terminating parental responsibilities and rights, the court will:

  • What is best for the child rather than parents
  • The relationship between the child and guardian
  • The dedication the guardian has shown to taking care of the child and
  • Other factors that may be relevant to the court.

For more on your parental rights and child custody legal advice, call our law offices today and have an online appointment made for you for a professional legal consultation. Connect with us today!

About the Author

Advocate South Africa

Legal Advisor for Our Lawyer (Pty) Ltd
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For appointments: https://www.ourlawyer.co.za/advice

36 thoughts on “Child Custody and Visitation – Cape Town

  1. Good Day, I have a court order which was processed during my divorce for alternate weekends for my daughter, however as of December 2023, my ex has stopped my daughter from taking my calls or replying to my messages. I do not pay maintenance because I am unemployed since Covid, my ex and I have had a verbal agreement until I find employment, however I still do what ever my daughter requires (school fees, stationery, clothing, medical bills, etc. I have visited the local child court and they have told me to open a criminal case against my ex for contempt of court. I have told my ex that I have been to court and this is what they told me to do and asked her to allow me to visit my child but she has brain washed my daughter into thinking that I have not worried about her since December 2023 and she doesn’t want me to have visitation with my child, please advise me what would be the best thing to do now. Thank You Kindly.

  2. My ex husband pays maintanance and takes his children for vacations. I have no income atm, and he wants me to pay for their visit to him. We stay 300km apart and kids is legaly with me.

  3. Hello I wanted to find out something my daughter is 18 months and her father wants to take her for unsupervised visitation but she isn’t completely aware of who he is and he only started visiting her twice a month after she turned 1 ,I told him that he can visit but as long as I am around for now till she gets use to him but he has a issue with this ,I would like to know if this is legal? I do not have any court order as of yet. Also he refuses to pay anything more then R1500 a month for her and expects me to pay for the rest of her expenses alone.

  4. good day

    my fathers daughter wanted me to terminate my pregnancy , he hasnt been around at all , until she turned 9 months old his seen her for the first time and again when she was 11 months old, when she was a year and 4 months he decided he now wanted to be in her life and went to a social worker, however out of the 45days he was meant to see her by the agreement we made at the social work his only seen her for 22 days , he now wants unsupervised visits by taken her for about 2 hours on the day his meant to come she her, yet he doesnt really know her nor does she know who he truly is, the social worker has mentioned that he could bath her at my place which i dont have a problem with , however i do have a issue with him coming into my bedroom that my daughter shares with me as that is my private space that needs to be respected. I truly need your advice . is going to court the better solution?

  5. If a 2yr old has only been seen by his father twice in 2 yrs for 4hrd in total, will a court allow him overnight access ?

    The child does not know him at all.

  6. Good day

    My husband has a daughter is Joburg who’s mother refuses for him to see her but wants money every month from him . It seems she she doesn’t want her daughter around me as I don’t think she likes me very much . Her pays maintenance for his daughter but not thru the court when he doesn’t work I pay his maintenance for him , what rights do I have as a stepparent? As my husband is too afraid to go to court with her . What can we do from cape town as we don’t have the funds to travel up and down to Joburg constantly. Please advise thank you

  7. Good day i would like to know what is my rights as a father. I have a 10 month old beautiful baby boy where i pay my child support each month an amount we have decided on. The mother has allowed me to visit my boy when im off. I have asked her if i can get him for the day where me and him spend the day and then i bring him back again to where the mother resides. The mother keeps on telling me his either sick or she’s taking him out and when i do ask again then there is always a story. I have asked the mother over the weekend if i can see him for the day she said no I’m not allowed to see him that’s after she got his child support money.

  8. Hi, I’m a new mum, I’m 19 years old. My sons father and I have separated, my son is 5 months old and I don’t know how to work visitation out of court because he has asked me not to go to court. I have since we’ve separated allowed him a 2 night sleepover and there after thought it’d be better)(due to the fact of my son only being 5 months old) if he rather spent 2 days in the week at his father (Wednesday and Friday) and one night sleepover on the weekend (Friday night) but I do feel like my son is a bit small and to be spending the night. Would it be unfair of me if I didn’t allow a sleepover?

    1. Good day

      You need to do what is best for the child. This is best done in consultation with the father. If you two cannot come to an agreement, it is best to hear what does a social worker have to say on this issue of contact considering the age of the child and whatever other relevant facts that may be at play.

  9. Hi, the father of my child (6 years old) and I are separated and he’s now in a new relationship. We are still trying to get a mediator to draw up a parenting plan. I’ve made a request that we both make sure our child has no contact with his partner until their relationship gets serious and he pays lobola for her. Am I being unreasonable for asking to keep our love lives away from the child until we both know it’s long term eg. Marriage? He refuses to do this and wants his partner to have a relationship with our child. Our daughter has been affected by our separation and will be starting therapy soon.

  10. Good day. I would like to know what is my legal rights if my daughters father won’t give me any proof of where he is living or working but he wants his daughter for holidays.

    1. Good day
      We advise you to approach the children’s court for assistance. It would be in the child’s best interests if you knew where he stays.

  11. The mother of my husband’s son is refusing to give him the child she is threatening to take the child to live with her mum in the farms. We are staying together in Gauteng and he is taking care of the since his birth . What is the first legal step should he take to spend even a weekend with him.

  12. Good day
    I am currently married and have 2 children, and another on the way. I have a daughter born out of wedlock who lives with her mother. I am a shift worker and I am only home one weekend every three weekends. My daughters mother has changed agreed visitation and has demanded my daughter comes to us every second weekend which means I no longer see her. She has advised the court will agree with this as it is is in the best interest of the child. Is the courts concern not of ensuring the child has a relationship with the father and sees the father. I will now not see her at all, as opposed to what I was seeing her, every third weekend when I am off. I work 12 hour shifts and am only home 2 days in a 21 day cycle. I am willing for her to come on these 2 days, which the mother is not in agreement with.

  13. Hi, I would like to know if I who is the step parent of my husband’s daughter can go to court to get visitation rights, in order for his daughter to get to know her siblings, as my husband is to afraid to take this woman to court

    1. Good day
      Yes, it is theoretically possible. The Court would make its decision on what is in the child’s best interests. We advise you discuss this issue with a lawyer.

  14. Good day
    im doing a query on behalf of my husband, His son is 9years old and for 9years he is struggling to see his child, we do not live in the same area but even when he is in the area where the child is, the childs mother is refusing him to see his child, he is paying maintenance monthly and buys whatever they ask within time but yet they refuse to let him see the child. Please advise on what to do it will be highly appreciated. Thank You

    1. Good day
      We advise that he approaches the Children’s Court in the area where the son lives. The court would make a ruling as to what is best for the child.

  15. I just want to find out. My friend is struggling to get a court date for visitation rights. The Head of the Childrens court is his childs grandmother. (Mothers stepmother) so she is holding the case back because his been waiting for a court date. How can he get a court date if she keeps on holding it back and he is paying maintanance but still he is refused and chased like a dog when he wants to see his child…

    1. Good day
      We advise that you approach someone higher up in the court system. You may consider approaching the Department of Justice and lay a complaint. That might get them to give you a date.

  16. Good day, I just wanted legal advice with regards to my daughter. My daughter is 7 year old now and i have not seen her for almost 2 year. I was contributing to her upbringing for the past year however i stopped this year January because i was not given access to playing my fatherly duties. So i wanted to find out what channels can i follow to get visitation rights as i want to be part of my daughter’s life


    1. Good day

      If the mother refuses you contact, you may approach the Children’s Court in the area where the mother and child resides.

  17. Im enquiring on a matter that is been going on for a long time now my son of 7 months has been looked after by my sister in law for several months now an i go an visit him after work by my sister in law my ex wife has taken my son away from her an has not told me where he is going to be an who is going to look after him an now i dont get to see my son anymore which is very hard for me to accept an deal with its effecting me in every way aswell this is her third divorce me being the the third guy her previous marraige she has two kids an her ex husband is going through the same thing as me she uses the children as tools to her benifit an lies in court as her husband before me told me there is more to this than what i can put in this email all i would like to know is you could assist me in this matter i would apreciate it tremendously

  18. I’m the mother of the child and I’m 16 years old I’m currently living with my mom and guardian because I was forced to ,the father of my child and I are still in a relationship but we are not aloud to visit each other or anything , the father of my child has been really helpful in taking care of our child ,he visits her everyday for 2 hours and buys her food diapers , milk etc I’m here because my parents won’t allow our daughter to visit her father , I want to apply for visitation rights so that our daughter is allowed to visit her father and not only have him visit her only for 2 hours at our house but for her to visit him at his house

    1. We advise you approach the children’s court and make an application. They would call in the relevant parties and ultimately make an order in the child’s best interests.

  19. Hi there,
    I am looking for a custody to my 3 lovely children i need really a good advice and assistance as father

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