How do I get full custody over my child? Cape Town South Africa

How do I get full custody over my child? Cape Town South Africa

How do I obtain contact, custody or visitation to my child? I need some advice and assistance.


Issues of child custody, visitation or guardianship rights are usually difficult for parents to deal with. Parents have an inherent right and duty to form part of their child’s lives. Here we refer to parental rights and responsibilities.  However, it often happens that parents of a child cannot see eye to eye as to what is in their child’s best interests. More often than not, when parents are divorced, separated, or not living together, issues arise regarding the children they share. And then there is the case where parents want full custody over their children.

These issues may range from the amount of contact the other parent may have, the school the child may attend, or what extra-mural activities the child should pursue. Either way, should parents not be on the same page, outside help may be required. Read on to find out more about the law, factors and your rights. With some advice, your situation may become easier.

What are Parental Responsibilities and rights to a child?

Know your rights: The terms used to refer to the rights and responsibilities of parents to their children are referred to as “parental responsibilities and rights”. Parental responsibilities and rights are defined in the Children’s Act.

Section 18 of the Children’s Act of 38 2005 (the Children’s Act) states the following:
18. (1) A person may have either full or specific parental responsibilities and rights in respect of a child.
(2) The parental responsibilities and rights that a person may have in respect of a
child, include the responsibility and the right-
(a) to care for the child;
(b) to maintain contact with the child;
(c) to act as guardian of the child; and
(d) to contribute to the maintenance of the child.

When do parents need to enter into a Parenting Plan?

Mediate the issue: Not going into too much detail, all parents of children should by default have certain parental responsibilities and rights to their children. It often happens that parents who are co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights are unable to agree on how their rights should be exercised. Should that happen, then according to section 33 and 34 of the Children’s Act, they should try to agree on a parenting plan.

See an expert: Basically, they should see an expert like a social worker, or psychiatrist assist them in resolving the issues they have. As long as the person is suitably qualified, they may make use of their services. They may even approach the Office of the Family Advocate. Should all go well, a parenting plan would be drafted and entered into. This parenting plan may either be registered with the Office of the Family Advocate or made an Order of Court.

When should parents approach the Child Custody Court? High Court or Children’s Court

If parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, then a court may have to be approached. Usually, they would approach the High Court or the Children’s Court in their area of residence. In South Africa, one does not have to make use of legal representation. In other words, you may represent yourself in Court. Many times, you do not have a choice as you cannot afford legal representation. If you can afford legal representation, we advise you to make use of it.

What is the Children’s Court?

Each magisterial area has a children’s court dealing with Children’s matters. The Children’s Court would be best suited for parents who would prefer to conduct their own case. When you approach the children’s court, they provide you with forms to fill in. They would basically assist you with the process. They will issue a summons/notice to the other parent to appear at Court. Many attorneys also make use of the Children’s Court, as opposed to the High Court, when enforcing their client’s parental responsibilities and rights.

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What is the High Court?

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceEach province has a High Court. The Court procedure in the High Court is much more complicated than that of the Children’s Court. If you can afford an attorney,  and an advocate, they the High Court is another option. Specific documentation needs to be drafted. One is called a Notice of Motion, and the other, a founding Affidavit.

What are the serious parental issues the Court looks at?

There are various pertinent issues the court looks at when deciding how contact or visitation should be exercised. Each case is unique. In this article, we will list factors that may limit the exercising of your parental right of contact or care. They are:

Child Abuse

  • Child abuse has many facets. It is not only physical but psychological and emotional a swell.

Unfit parenting

  •  Not all parents are fit enough to care for a child primarily. This is especially so if there is a history of irresponsible parenting.

Living Conditions

  • The law in no way discriminates against parents based on their living conditions. However, it is a factor to consider in Child Custody Cases.

Psychiatric disorders

  • Psychiatric disorders in many cases play a role in deciding how care and contact should be exercised. If the condition is bad, a court would have to factor it in when making its decision.

How does the Court come to its decision?

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceThe Court (Children’s Court as well as the High Court) would listen to both parents and any expert appointment. Usually, the expert would provide a report. Many times, they are the office of the family advocate or a state-appointed social worker. After looking at, and hearing everything, the court would make a decision based on what is in the child’s best interest.

This article has been updated.

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171 thoughts on “How do I get full custody over my child? Cape Town South Africa

  1. My boyfriend and I are still waiting on the results or response for him fighting for to receive custody of the kids also they living with him.

    Mother on the wrong path…she received their grant which we put to a stop..
    It was told to us they trying to get hold of the mother who is not contactable at all nowhere also she definitely not interested in the kids twins age 9.My boyfriend and I are supporting those twins which is not a problem.We also been to the Social Worker in Eerste River.
    Please we want to get this over and don’t with. The kids are growing up and still nothing. At least a response would help and good word/outcome to receive would be awesome
    Thank you we will be waiting on your response.
    Thank You

  2. Im a father of my 6 year old daughter, provide medical aid and maintenance and I’m active in her life Both her mother and I are now married she currently resides with her mother and step father. I have increasing concerns relating to her well being. During visitation she’s sent with small or broken cloths and when I ask about it I’m not given a valid answer, my daughter has also told me of disturbing instance at her home which leads me to believe that her stepfather is being verbally/emotionally abusive there was an indecent at the school as well where he verbally abused the teacher. There were also times she comes to us with Mark’s on her body and her mother rights it off as her being wild however it doesn’t make sense to me. We tried applying for a parenting plan but as the mother was not interested she didn’t attend the meetings and when the plan was sent to her she ignored it. I’ve tried to get a hold of our case worker to no avail. As both me and her teacher feels the environment she lives in is not fit for my daughter I would like to apply for custody. How do I go about it and what evidence/ statements ect do I need? If I decided to hire a lawyer what would the cost roughly be ?

  3. What type of evidence would be needed for the court to consider the claim of bias on the part of the social worker?

  4. During an investigation with regards to a child’s custody… allegations have been made from both mother and farther which are being investigated by the social worker,
    If one of the parents are under the impression that there may be corruption going on between the socia worker and the other parent…..

    Is it possible to ask for another social worker to be appointed to do the investigation instead?

  5. My child’s creche closed as per Governments command this month. As i am a working mom i had to hire a nanny. I now recieve a request for April school fees to be paid even though the school is closed. What are my rights? Where can i read up on my responsibility and payments as the contract i signed never mentioned how payments would be handled during closures due to virus outbreaks or governments request.

    1. Good day

      The is all new to us. Unless the government deals with the issue you are facing (they may have already), we suggest you contact the school. Otherwise, please contact the government and determine from them what the directives are, if any.

  6. My child’s creche closed as per Governments command this month. As i am a working mom i had to hire a nanny. I now recieve a request for April school fees to be paid even though the school is closed. What are my rights? Where can i read up on my responsibility as the contract i signed never mentioned closures due to virus outbreaks or governments request.

    1. Good day

      The is all new to us. Unless the government deals with the issue you are facing (they may have already), we suggest you contact the school. Otherwise, please contact the government and determine from them what the directives are, if any.

  7. Good day

    After finding out that my husband was cheating it’s very hard for me to forget what’s his done, I recently wrote about my feelings on my WhatsApp status and that made him very angry so he threatened to take my kids away from me if I happen to write about my feelings again. He said the divorce papers will state that that kids will stay with me, is that even possible for him to take my kids away from me when I’m the one who takes care of them while he’s having fun and have never been alone with the kids? My husband has money and he’s friends are attorneys so now I’m even scared of mentioning my feelings to him because he basically threatened to take my kids away from me and my kids are my life. What should I do?

    1. Good day

      The court decidess what is best for the kids, not your husband. Anything is possible, but what the law looks at is what is best for the children.

  8. Hi there
    My son is turning 5 soon and he has been living with me since he was born , I recently was looking for a place to stay and I asked the father if he could look after the child till I’m on my feet again. After 3 months I found a place and got on my feet again so then I asked my son back and he refuse to give my son back he even went register the child at a school for next year without my knowledge , I like to have my son back please give me advice.

    1. Good day
      We advise you to approach the children’s court in your area for assistance. The court would decide where it is best for your child to live.

  9. Good day
    My wife died in 2012 September 03, but before she died she left with my child to Eastern Cape and I have been battling to get my child back from the in-laws. we were married in community of property. what should I do to get my child back.
    also I have been to the local court in Palm springs here in Gauteng, back and forth they cant help me.

    please assist I don’t want to be an absent father. the only thing I am able to provide is medical aid but I don’t know if she is going to school, has clothes and so forth. this pains me especially that she is a girl and horrible things do happen to girls in our country.

  10. Hi, i have been married for two years now and i just had a baby in January this year. My husband works aboard in the middle east and comes home every three months or so. I have been with him for 9 years in total and in that time i had to deal with alot of emotional and verbal abuse. He promised to change and our circumstances around getting married was not a normal one, it was to his advantage to get some benefits from his company in the middle east. He disrespects me alot to an extent i realized i cannot stay married to him. His mother has also emotionally and verbally abused me. He threatened to take the baby away from me, he feels he has alot of money and power. We have been married with an ANC. I want to apply for a divorce but i’m worried about the custody of my baby, can he take the baby away from me?

    1. Good day. It is very unfortunate that you are in this position. As a mother, you automatically obtained full parental rights and responsibilities in respect of your child so your baby cannot be taken away from you. It is advised that you seek the help of a lawyer to draft your divorce papers and to guide you through the process of child custody.

  11. I am an unmarried single dad with a 10 year old son. His mother has primary custody however we have no proper parenting plan in place and neither do we communicate under the best of terms. We are currently in a maintenance battle which is the norm with her. I am an active parent who really wants to be there for my son financially and in every way possible. His mother recently requested I consent to my son getting a passport which i have to declined to do due to the fact that she makes decisions without my consent and this worries me. Due to me denying this she has now threatened to get full custody of my son. Can she do this? As an unmarried father who is there for my son, I find the laws seldom give me much protection and I really do not want to lose access to my child especially when we are very close. His mother continuously threatens me with regards to my child when she does not get what she wants and in terms of legal support I have spend so much on a lawyer for this maintenance case which is still in progress. All i want to know is can she take my son from me if I pay a maintenance and am a present father.

    1. Good day. Parents may approach the office of the Family Advocate to have a good parenting plan drafted. In order for a parent to apply for full custody the court considers a few factors, for example whether a parent is unfit or abusive towards the child. As you can see, one needs to prove a few factors before full custody may be granted. The courts will make a decision on what is in the best interest of the child.

  12. Hi
    I don’t really know where to start, just need some advice.
    Me and the biological father of our 2 children (age8 and 4) separated from each other a few weeks ago after 12 year we are not legally married, it was a abusive relationship.
    The children are staying at his mother in-law until i could find my feet.
    I have been served with a protection order stating that I am not allowed neer my children, making and claim false information on the protection order.
    I haven’t seen my children in a month i missed my son’s graduation and my daughter’s birthday.
    Me and the biological father are not fighting or meanful towards each other and clearly agreed that the children should stay with me, we are working together to solve the problem but it was clearly stated from her side that she is doing this to get back at me and not for the best interest of the children,my children are being used as a weapon against me.
    I just need advice because I don’t really trust the father any help so that i can be prepared for anything that they or she can do.
    My children are being emotionally abuse form her, she told my son about the protection order stating that I can be neer them.. emotional abuse that i have been through from that family.
    I do appreciate all the help and advice
    Hope you understand my situation

  13. Good day I have been to strand court yesterday where the father of my child signed over full rights and responsibilities to me will I still need to go to high court for full custody as I fly back and forth to uk and don’t wish to get my daughters fathers consent all the time main reason I’m wishing for full custody my daughters father is living on the streets and does drugs we are not together for 7 years his never paid a cent towards anything for his child please advise do I need an attorney to deal with this in high court the father has no problem signing away my daughter to me fully

  14. Hi there, I am a single mom, my son is 7 years old now. I was in an abusive relationship with my sons father. Aside form this he slept around and stole from people which I only found about years later. He paid maintenance for the first year of my sons existence and after that nothing. It has been 6 years and he is in and out of prison. He used my son to get to women when he was in my child’s life. He would only fetch my son if he had a new potential women to scam. I found out through my son when he said, i don’t want to go with daddy because he only fetches me when he has a new gf. After which I would get facebook inboxes from these ladies asking where he lives. I separated my life completely and haven’t asked him for money anymore as he just lies and upsets my son who feels extremely disregarded by his dad who has made no effort to be in his life. He is currently in prison. He has so many fraud cases piling up which is why he hasn’t been released on bail. The fathers, father told me a few months ago that he found documentation regarding getting rid of my son but would not go into detail as h was scared of his son and said he would only tell me if he was sentenced for good. As the trial goes on, i have’t heard anything more. I just want my son safe. I would rather do it on my own and struggle then have any harm come to my son. What do I need to do to apply for full custody. I have practically been raising my son as if i have full custody so your advice would be great.

    1. Good day
      We would advise you to approach the Children’s Court. The Court would grant you the application if you can convince them that it is in the child’s best interests after they followed procedure.

  15. Hi there,
    My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 2 years and he has a beautiful 4 year old daughter from a previous relationship. He has an amazing bond with her and her and I are quite close as well. Last year we had to approach the court after her mom stopped his visitation. He got back his weekends in February when they signed a parenting plan. The problem is that his daughter has ended up in casualty twice in her life because of lack of supervision, they drove over her leg when she was one and last year she drank a bottle of medicine. She also has strange behaviors and a lot of aggression. The other day she came here with a large kitchen knife that she had taken to school and her mom had no idea. They also don’t lock up guns properly in the house and they have multiple. She fights the family plan at every turn whether it be about holidays or lately about schooling as she pushed his daughter up a year without him knowing and refuses to give him her report. His daughter also tells us about violent fights between her mother and her grandmother. This whole thing is so draining and she really is such an awesome kid… Breaks my heart to see how all of this is affecting her. My boyfriend wants to try to get primary care but he is so scared he will get less than he already has as his last experience in the court was traumatic. Do you think he stands a good chance? Is it worth the risk? He can’t afford a lawyer so he has a lot to lose…

    1. Good day

      We strongly suggest you make a plan to consult with a lawyer regarding your matter. We would hate to guess based up the limited information provided as the consequences could be huge.

  16. Good Day

    I got involved with a married man for over 5 years and we have a 2year old boy from the relationship. the wife found out about our son and relationship. my then boyfriend claimed that he’s going through a court case with the wife, mentioned once that it was a divorce case and that the attorneys need paternity tests done on our child in order for him to list him as beneficiary when rewriting his Will (I think he lied for me to agree to do the test). I didn’t want to ask much as I felt it was a personal and I shouldn’t involve myself and should rather wait for him to talk to me about it.. We went for paternity tests, our relationship fell apart thereafter. he’s been an absent father since our break up, however he still sends money for him and calls him only when I prompt him. our son can go through something or be in hospital and i’d let him know but he would concern himself. I have voiced out to him that I need for us to come up with a parenting plan but he has since ignored my request. I literally have to beg him to make contact with our son and send pic and videos of our son asking for him. when he does make contact it would be after I’ve sent him an annoying message. when he does eventually make contact I hardly speak to him, I just give our son the phone. this has been going on for months. i’m not dealing with the same man I was involved with all those years. since my attempts have been in vain i’d like to apply for sole custody of our son. could I kindly get advise on how I can go about it given the above situation.

    1. Good day
      It would seem that you are already exercising sole custody. If you are referring to not want the father to have any rights over the child, then you would have to approach a court to order so. The court would look at what is best for the child.

  17. Hi there,

    Please may I have advise on what I can do or need to do respectively … I am about to get divorced, kids want to stay with me and all that is fine with both me and the soon to be ex wife. However, one thing that bothers me and scares me the most is that the soon to be ex wife, has made out a will and reads as, when she dies, the kids get everything … cool and granted, but when I die after her, meaning that the kids have no parents, she has given full rights of the kids over to her sister. There a few more finer details on why this bothers me so much but this is the just of it. I understand it is her Will but should we not of discussed this first? Is there anything I can do about this ? Right now as I type this, that Will is in play already.

    Please advise ?


  18. Good evening,

    I stayed with my inlaws for over 4yrs n during that time i suffered a great deal of emotional abuse. Last year i decided that i will never live like that because it was affecting my kids as well. I then told my husband that he should get us our own place or I’ll move back home to go look for a job. That didn’t happen so i moved back home to get a job so the kids can come stay with me. Now he doesn’t want the kids to come stay with me. The kids made me promise that as soon as i get a job i will come fetch them. Now i just started working n the kids were happy that now they can come stay with me, their father is refusing. Children need their own space. There is a teenager who needs his own space n he’s deprived of that. The girls are always asking when am i fetching them.

    1. Good day
      If you cannot come to an agreement regarding the kids staying with you, you would need to approach the court. It is always best to try to mediate the issue before approaching the court.

  19. Good day i need help .the mother of the child gave me the child march this year because she had a boyfriend that was abusing her ,the social workers wanted to take the child away , quickly she send the child to me .
    i got the child into a school paid for everything ,she started second term at a new school now the mother came the pass weekend and took the child away I’m not sure of her where about i applied for a court order the case is on the 21st of June and i have an affadivate the mother wrote out saying she handing the child over to my care
    .i spoke with the police they say they can only arrest the mother if i have a court order , what is my options , I’m in Johannesburg and she is in capetown

    1. Good day.

      The matter is now before the court so you have to wait until the court date for the matter to be resolved. The other option is if you know where the mother and the child is to a make an urgent application to the High Court for immediate contact. However before you proceed with any of our recommendations we advise use to consult with a legal practitioner as soon as possible.

  20. Good day, My brother is in a situation were his girlfriend of 2 years tried to take his children and leave without his consent. They are not married. He is only the biological father of 1 child but raised the other as his own. He has been taking care of her and the children for two years and she has a history of leaving when things get a little tough. She doesn’t have a job. What are his options. Can he get custody of the children?

  21. Hi, if my ex wife cheated during our marriage will it be at all possible that I can stop her from getting half of my Provident Fund? We were married in community Property. What other options do I have.

    1. Good day
      It is possible if you can prove substantial misconduct and therefore, her forfeiting the matrimonial benefits. We strongly advise that you consult with a family lawyer on this issue.

  22. Hi there, I recently got divorced in December 2018. My ex wife now lives with her new boyfriend and our two children. I was told she cheated on me during our marriage of 8-years. I don’t know how long or any other details but person who told me I do believe. Both our children goes to school in her area. At the moment I only see them weekends. The thing is I would really like to know is will it be at all possible if I can get full custody of both my children?

    1. Good day
      If it would be in the children’s best interests, the court would order so. We advise you to consult with a lawyer in this regard.

  23. Good Day.

    I had a child out of wedlock in 2007, the child was registered on his fathers Surname. I separated from the father when my Baby was 5 months old. He since hasn’t made any contact or paid any child support what so ever. My son turns 12 Years old this year “2019”. What is the quickest and easiest way to get Sole Custody as i can’t even take my child over the border for a Mozambique holiday?


  24. Good day. I am the mother of a 2year old boy from my marraige which ended last year. We were geanted jount custody of our son, but sice the divorce he has not paid maintenance in about a year, neither has he contacted our son. I recently learnt that he has fallen into some habits concerning drug abuse. How do i go about filing for sole custody, and is needed to get a restraining order just in case? Please any advise would be appreciated

    1. Good day
      You would need to apply to the court for sole custody. The Court would determine what is in the child’s best interests.
      Regarding the restraining order, you can approach the Domestic Violence Court if there is domestic violence.

  25. Good day, can you please give me some advise or guidance on how to give full custody of a child.
    I’m not South African and I’m going back to my country but I have agreed with the mother on giving her full custody of our daughter (as I have done in the pass with our son). She is insisting that we can only go through a Lawyer and that will cost us an amount we cannot afford.
    Is it possible to do it without any lawyer? If yes what is the procedure and how long will it take, as I’m leaving in a month?

    1. Good day
      We agree with the mother that it is best to go through a lawyer. But however, if you do not ever see issues arising in the future and would co-operate should anything arise, regarding consent for the child, then considering the fact that you cannot afford a lawyer, an affidavit would be the minimum.

  26. Hi there
    I need some help with the following please:
    Myself and the father of my child was never married and we never stayed together. Since my child was born, he never paid maintenance and he never had any contact with the child. I don’t even know where in the world he is… and I prefer it like that. My son is now 11.
    We are now at a stage where my son might need a passport and I know that the father is supposed to give consent for this.
    How do I go about this process without involving him? Do I have to apply for sole custody and see him in court? Does he have to be present in court if we have to go to court?
    How do I solve this issue?

    1. Good day
      You need to find a tracing agent to find the father. Once he is found, then you need to give him notice of court proceedings. If he cannot be found, then you need to approach the court and convince the court that you cannot find him and that you need the order nonetheless. The court would then decide what is best for the child.

  27. Hi there on my child’s unabridged birth certificate the father is unknown. He does now pay maintenance due to me taking him to court but he has never seen or met my daughter and she is now ten. I have since married and we want to move to the UK will i need to get the biological father’s consent to do this even though he is not listed on the birth certificate and has zero interest in my daughter? If i do would i just need an affidavit from him confirming he is happy for her to leave the country with me

  28. My name is Mikaihla Selborne. I am actually a Namibian and in Namibia my name and surname is Mikaila Louw(Spelt different by Namibian Embassy and under my fathers surname)

    My daughter Priyanka was born in Namibia and her father registered her under his surname without my consent. On her Namibian birth certificate I am Louw.
    When we moved to SA she became a SA citizen by decent and we both are now SA citizens

    We applied for a surname change when her father came down for a visit one week. Home affairs however applied it as a double barrel surname and neither me nor the father has a double barrel and thus our application is standing still. We never intended to apply for this we wanted to put her on my SA surname. Now the father has changed his mind and we hardly talk. I have to get my daughter (Priyanka) an unabridged birth certificate but cannot do that without him?

    1. Good day
      If the father does not consent or co-operate, unfortunately, you would need to approach the court. We advise you speak to a lawyer on this issue.

  29. Been divorsed 6 year.
    Dad only started maintenance 3 years ago and still paying arrears.
    Kids visit every second weekend but the dad gets drunk all the time the kids are there and uses other substances too.
    He earns a very good salary but only pay R6500 for both.
    Kids not happy to go there because of the drinking all the time and the people that hangs out at his house.
    I want to fight for full custody and get the maintenance increased as he earns between 60 and 80 thousand rand a month
    I have to pay R20 000 to put my son in high school as the dad was not willing to contribute anything

    1. Good day. We strongly advise that you consult with a lawyer on this topic. An application would ultimately have to be made to court. The court will look at what is in the children’s best interest. If you do not know of a lawyer in your area, give us a call. We can provide you with advice. Feel free to give us a call on 0214243487.

  30. What am I to do if I cannot find the father? He doesn’t want to be found and has no role in my 6 (almost 7) year old daughters life.

    1. Good day
      You can approach the Court and ask for an Order that you have sole guardianship. The Court would decide if it is best for the child.

  31. Good day ,

    I am a single mom of two beautiful kids my daughter is 5 years old and son 1 . Their father and I were in a live in relationship but since my daughter was born we lived with my mother and sister. He used to contribute previously to her needs and has not supported my son till date. He does not contribute to their day to day needs , school fees or nanny and medical bills. He however buys items monthly which he feels he should because which isnt useful to my kids. He does this to spite me and does not maintain contact with my kids he does things and says things to make me look like the bad person however I have always tried and forced him to be apart of my kids lives. He has stated several times he hates the obligation of being a father but he will never give me sole custody simply because he loves having that power over me. With endless evidence he is abusive especially mentally , he makes my life hell and the rest of my family. My mother and sister have been my only support mentally, physically and financially towards my kids. He has taken drugs in the presence of my daughter and abused me several times. My daughter refuses to even stay a night with him and therefore I do not allow my kids to ever stay over as it makes my daughter very uncomfortable. Please help by telling me what to do?

    1. Good day
      It may be best to speak to a social worker or psychologist for advice as to what is best for you and your kids. For a legal point of view, if you want more maintenance, you need to approach the maintenance court. Regarding Custody issues, the Children’s Court should be approached to resolve it.

  32. Good day, my child is 2 and half her father and i have never been married i want to leave him and live on my own in the same town with my daughter, he said that he is going to a lawyer to fight for her, he drinks every day last weekend he had 18 beers from Friday to Sunday , i said to him he can see her every second third weekend he does not seem happy about that, how much of a strong case does he have

    1. Good day
      You have good merits in your case, but we cannot guess how the court will decide or what order they will give. They need to decide what is best for the child after listening to you and the father.

  33. Good day,

    I need advise. My wife and i are currently separated. I was not working for the past 3 years after i left my previous job to concentrate on my business. The business did not do well during that time and i ran out of money to run it. During that period in 2014, We had a son who’s going to turn 4 in December 2018. When he was a year old in 2016, my wife decided to send my son to go and live with her parents in Durban who had just retired. I agreed as i was not doing well financially anyway.

    Last year September 2017, i managed to get a job that allowed me to start providing for my family. Three months later I then had a discussion with my wife about bringing him back to Johannesburg and enrolling him in a creche close to our rented place. My wife agreed to this. We then fetched him from Durban in order to visit my parents as they had not seen him in a while. Subsequently in December, the three of us went to visit my in-laws in Durban and spent New years eve there. I had to leave on the 3rd of January 2018 as i had to be back at work on the 04th of January 2018. Upon my leaving, my wife agreed that she would come to Johannesburg with my son closer to a date when she had to get back to work, and that i should finalize his registration at a creche. I could not do this as his birth certificate was still in Durban. So i waited for them to get back in order to complete his registration.

    When it came time for her to come back with my son on the 22nd of January, she then let me know that she had registered him at a creche in Durban without consulting me.

    Eventually things between me and her deteriorated and she started displaying signs of someone who’s having an affair. She would disappear for days without a trace. Her only explanation was that she went partying. I have reported her missing at the police station on one occasion.

    She then moved out of our place after this occasion on the 28th of May 2018.

    I have been battling to get hold of her since then. She doesn’t return my calls, or respond to my text messages. I really need to get my son back. My son cannot be raised by my in-laws when i’m perfectly able to raise him up myself.

    1. Good day
      You may want to make use of the services of a private detective to find the whereabouts of your wife. Regarding your child, you would need to approach the court for the relief you are seeking. We advise you approach the children’s court ASAP.

  34. Hi there, I am the father to a 9 year old boy whom I share with my ex girlfriend, my son lives with his great grandmother and grandmother, His mother pays them to take care of him because she is not willing to. I want him to live with me so I can take care of him, what are my rights as his father?

    1. Your rights to your child are to play a role in his life in a manner which is in his best interests. If you feel that it is best for him to stay with you, the court would orders so if they agree with you.

  35. Hi, i need advice I have a 4 year old boy, me and him have a great bond and i love my son much. He has been staying with her mum for the last 3 years and her family. Me and his mom we are no longer together. So last time she was going somewhr she ask me to stay with him for a weekend and i did 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 tell him to ask your mum to bring you to town, and I’ll wait on the phone while hes asking is her but she’s just keeping quiet like as if she doesn’t even hear the child, so now I feel like yes Mum doesn’t want me to see my son, so I thought of taking this to court but I just told myself she will come around but now she’s just being stubborn because now I can’t even talk to my son on the phone only when she wants to so I just need an advice on what to do?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 advice??

  36. Morning, My ex and I share a 12 year old daughter who doesnt live with either of us, our daughter lives with his sister because she wants to and for financial reasons but nothing ever went to court. I want her to live with me, what are my rights as her mother? Can I just take her?

    1. Good morning
      Only you and your ex has rights to the child. You need to act in the child’s best interests. If you think it is best, then speak to the father and sister and advise them of your decision. If there are disagreements, and the father insists that she stays with the sister, it may be best to take the issue to the Children’s Court.

  37. Good day
    I have a 14 year old daughter. Her biological dad was never in the picture, but my husband was from day 1. She has his surname as well. We are travelling to Thailand in December and had to apply for an unabridged birth certificate. We then realized that the Biological father’s name is on it. We know because of this we now need consent from him to go. My husband would like to adopt her, but from what i could search, 10 years and over the child need to sign in court. But we dont want to do this as she has not knowledge of this other person. How can we go about this without involving her? Or will it be easier to get the biological father to ‘sign her off’? And if so, how do we do this?

    1. Good day
      You would need to discuss the issue of adoption with the biological father. If he does not agree to it, then we doubt the court would agree to it. But you should still inquire. On the other hand, what may be easier, is to get a Court Order granting you sole custody and guardianship. So when it comes to issues of passports, leaving the County etc, then you do not need the father’s consent. We advise you set up a meeting with a lawyer to discuss the issue properly. Your welcome to follow this link wwww.ourlawyer.co.za/advice or call 0214243487.

  38. Good Morning . I have been together with my fiance for two and a half years. He has a son who is almost 3 years old. His bio mother only sees him every second weekend. She pregnant with her boyfriends child and now they are getting married in two months time. Is it possible for us to get full custody of his son for at this moment he is the primary care giver of his son. She has not paided anything towards her son and she has been working for quite a while now. She has 2 hours once a week to come and visit her son but she nevers does and we then see that she rather goes out with her friends than to come visit her son. After a weekend at her place , his son has got no manners and swears too. He is most of the time constipated. i would just like
    to know do we have a good chance of getting full custody of his son. Thank you

    1. Good day
      The court would grant your fiance sole custody if it is in the child’s best interests. Both parties would be heard and asked to express their views. If the mother is fine with it, then your case would be easy. If she does not agree and opposes the application, then our guess is as good as yours. However, if it is found that it would be in the child’s best interest as stated, the court would grant your fiance sole custody.

  39. Hi,

    Was married 11 years came out of a very abusive relationship, lots of pain, but have the 2 most beautiful sons in the world one 9 years old one 7 years old,

    I take care of them father pays maintenance, and gets children every 2nd weekend,

    But for a few weekends now the children does not want to go to their father anymore,

    When I met their father he was busy with illegal drugs substance abuse,

    After getting married this stopped and 4 years later steroid abuse for 7 years almost cost him his life,

    So yeah with a lot of complications we got divorced,

    1 year separated 8 months legally divorced, he has visited my house every day of week, sometimes even weekends, where I still had to cook for my ex husband pack him lunch, etc.

    This brought a lot of hope and major confusion which physically and mentally depleted me.

    At numerous times I tried to stop this, but manipulates me by saying I am a selfish mother and not thinking about kids, I should allow this to happen.

    Never the less obviously so confused and manipulated, this type of verbally abusive things started happening

    I Put a stop to it, so he got himself a new girl friend, which he numerous times asked kids to introduce her

    Kids numerous times told them they don’t want to have Contact with her and meet her.

    So the main concern this other woman is a loud and proud user of illegal substance, clubbers, raver

    My kids not use to this or exposed to this, they don’t want to answer fathers calls or visit him on his weekends, ever.

    Numerous weekends they were complaining, they don’t want to go.

    the father having a history with illegal substances this is raising concern for me, like I said don’t want them to be exposed to this type of life style.

    When the father is on illegal substances he, tended to be more aggressive, abusive and verbal, in married life. Even with kids his very hard on them.

    How do I handle this, how do I protect my kids hearts and feelings toward their father, they don’t want to see or talk to him.

    1. Good day

      This may be a good time to speak to a social worker of the child psychologist and see what they have to say. From a legal point of view, if the Divorce Order gives him certain rights, you need to approach the court for a variation thereof. The court would decide on the matter based on what is best for the children.

  40. Hi I have a question regarding full custody.

    I have been a single mom for 7 and a half years with no support from the father as well as he has never seen her. he has not asked to be involved in her life and no contribution has ever been made. he is unfortunately on the birth certificate. now my problem is that because i have no contact with him or even know where he is. I am looking at immigrating what do i need to do to start the process so that my daughter and can leave the country?

  41. Good evening

    Im in need of advice. I have a 3 year old daughter who has been staying with me since she’s been born. At the time we were staying with her parents, when she was a few months old the mother of my child started drinking and partying and I was not fond of it as she was a mother now.while I was at work she would leave our child on a Friday by people I don’t know and would come back the Sunday. Leaving me to do what any good father would do and care for the child until the mother got home. But I would work out of town and she would still do the same thing. I even got a call from her parents once saying that the mother is not home yet and the people who she left the child took the child to her parents and she only returned the Monday. Her parents even told me that they are not willing to look after our child. So I done what I thought was best and moved back to my parents house with the mother and child. Things never changed I ended up breaking up with her. She said she doesn’t have anyone to look after the child as her parents won’t look after our child, so the child will have to stay by me, 1 year went by she only came to visit her daughter 3 times that year with the longest stay being 3 days. I enrolled my daughter into a nursery school and informed her about the fees. She agreed to pay half and only paid once. I never pressured her to pay when it was time to pay I would pay the full amount on my own. Whatever my child needed I always made sure that she would get it. Today marks 2 years and still she only contributed only once towards the fees I don’t have a problem cause its for the best needs of my child I can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to. But now the problem comes where she wants to come and take the child out of a familiar environment and take her to live with her 350km away bearing she has no work and living by her parents who treated her and her child like dogs in the beginning. I am contemplating getting full custody towards my child as her drinking and partying habits still haven’t changed now its worse. I never said once she can’t visit her child as she is my child’s mother she is welcome to visit her anytime she wants but her priories clearly still lies by partying, drinking and friends. I need advice on what to do as i am concerned it would affect the upbringing of my daughter. Thanks

    1. Good day
      It may be best for you to obtain an order that you have full custody of your child. We advise that you approach the children’s court for assistance. As regard to maintenance, you may want to approach the maintenance court for assistance.

  42. Hi i need help on how to get a parenting plan of my 8 year old daughter she lives with her grandparents in another provonce and they refuse for her to come visit me during school hidays.She does not stay with her father because of work and i also work in another province we are married but the marriage never worked because of long distance.How do i get a parenting plan because im prepared to file for divorce soon and can i get a parenting plan before i file for divorce or during the divorce proceedings.It takes me a while to go for a visit because i reside in another provonce and i have to book for a place to stay whilst im there becaus im no longer welcome at their home.Please help

    1. Good day
      Feel free to call our office on 0214243487 to set up a legal advice appointment. We would then advise what is the best way forward based on the facts of the matter.

  43. Good Day

    I have an Order with the High Court with regards to my 11 year old daughter with whom I have dual custody. The Court appointed a Facilitator to deal with any disputes. I am the primary care giver. My daughter goes to her father every second weekend and school holidays. Her father is never there or when he is he doesn’t have time for her and leaves her with his wife when he isn’t there over the weekend when its her time by her father. She no longer wants to go to him and voiced this with him. He then said he will see her when he has the time and doesn’t know when that will be. She was so relieved to not have to go. We have an Order with the Maintenance Court and he has been paying me the same amount of money for the past 11 years. For the past few months he has been paying me past the 7th of the month when he is liable to pay and I receive the money on the 15th or 17th of the month. When my daughter stated that she doesn’t want to go to him he said he can’t afford the maintenance and will be going to the Maintenance Court to reduce his amount paid. He has another child after my daughter which is his first child and first responsibility. I want to give him a proposal – to give me full financial responsibility as he clearly can’t look after her and said that he is relieved she wasn’t coming to him the weekend as he didn’t even have food for her the weekend. He then in turn needs to give me full custody and responsibility of her which will alleviate this “burden” he has to pay money for her each month which he can then use for his other child and daily living. My daughter refuses to want to go to him anymore but I would like her to maintain a relationship with him and want him to know that our door is always open that he may come visit her by my residence when ever he has some time to spare but that she no longer goes to visit him and sleep over. How do I go about the process of full custody and for him to agree to this? Since I have an order with the High Court do I need to go see a Lawyer first or do I propose this to her father first then be in contact with the Facilitator instead? I just need to know who to approach as he clearly will not have money for a Lawyer and Advocate to represent him in Court. Please I am at my wits end and need guidance. Thank you.

    1. Good day

      Facilitation is the best. I may state so in the Court Order. If he does not agree to it, or if it is unsuccessful, then you need to approach a court. But speak to him first about the matter. Feel free to call us on 0214243487 should you wish to discuss your matter with a legal advice consultation.

  44. I am a single full time working mother and a part time student. My daughter is 10 years of age and attends a very good school and she is excelling in her school work, she is a happy child. I have been taking care of her since me and her Father broke up back in 2010 as he was physically and verbally towards me and even tried to kill me and my daughter by throwing us off a bridge when she was only a few months old never the less he has been a good Father to her the first year of her life. He lives in PE. He distanced himself from her and came to see her when she was 5/6 years of age he never paid supporting and i never asked him for any money as i had a good job back then i lost my job in 2013 and that’s when i went to court to get a maintenance order. He couldn’t adhere to the order as he claimed he was out of a job so let it go and went to court again in 2016 he gives me R250 each week but he has been emotionally abusing my daughter he doesn’t answer the phone when she calls and makes empty promises to her he never comes to see her and is making her unhappy and also threatening me. I want him to grant me sole custody of our daughter. I don’t earn a huge salary but we have a good life. Give me your thoughts please.

    1. It is always best for both parents to form part of their child’s life. We suggest you speak to a social worker to determine if sole custody would be best for the child. If so, then you can approach the court to make it an order.

  45. Hi I have been staying with my daughter’s father for 4 years,in the 4 years he emotionally,verbally and physically abused me in front of my kids,he also locked my 2 year old daughter in the wardrobe,i don’t agree with his way of discipline,2 months ago he kicked us out of his house,i was unemployed and had to move to my dad,he has only been to see her a fee times only when we had to go and buy stuff for her because he refused to give me money and suggested we buy her stuff together,.ever since he’s been emotionally abusing me,insulting me and even told me he missed me and slept with me only to tell me the following day that he doesn’t want me at his house and if I expected us to get back together afterwards .he has also been trying to get my daughter away telling me I’m not fit to look after her.my concern is I can’t afford a lawyer and he is good at fabricating stories and he has money and I don’t,woill the court give him custody.please help

    1. Good day
      We cannot predict what the outcome of a court matter would be. No one can. The court would have to decide what is best for the child after looking at all of the facts.

  46. Hi, I need some advice please.. iv been divorced for 6 years. I have a 11 & 9 year old son. My ex has not seen the boys since and has not paid anything.. but refuse to sign them off.. so we can’t travel r go away Coz I can’t get passports… how can I go about getting full custody

    1. Good day

      You would need to approach the Court to obtain full custody. In the case of the passports, that is an issue of guardianship. You would also have to approach the court.

  47. Hi, i need advice. I am a SA citizen as well as my daughter. 80% of my family reside in AUS. I would like to move with my daughter as i would like to accept a job offer & to be close to all family as well as offer her a better life that i envision for her but father will not sign consent. He has money & travels often, he is not present & seldom supports, comes and goes as he pleases.

    Is gaining consent possible but still allowing him to visit etc?

  48. Good day.
    I have a daughter of 4 years old.. Her father is not in here life much, he only contacts here on her birthday. Nothing in between, not a message of how is she doing on anything. He maybe sees her once a year if she’s lucky.
    Is it possible for me to get sole custody of her? He just upsets her, the last time he came to fetch her, she cried that she didn’t want to go to him. And I cannot deny him because we have parenting plane that was brought to by a family advocate when she was 1,5 years old. What can I do. He is not interested in her life, and my fiance is more of a father to her, and she even calls him dad.

    1. Good day
      If you can show its is best that he never has contact, or has limited contact to her, then the court would have to order it. But as he is the biological father, it is hard to state that the court would grant it. You may want to consider speaking to a social worker, or child care expert and get their view on the matter.

  49. Hi I need advice.I am a 21year old mother of a 3month old baby boy.The problem i have with the dad is he acts like he doesnt care about the child or me.He supports the baby financially because he is a Nurse and I am still a student.We have been arguing since day one and He has threathen me about taking his baby before.I dont know what to d9 anymore because everytime we talk it ends in an argument whether its about baby clothes or just the baby.He doesnt seem to be very interested in the baby and only buys him stuff.What can i do to protect my son against a father thats not interested in him but only supporting him financially

  50. Good day i need advice. I have a 7 year old daughter and her father and i split up 6 years ago. He doesn’t pay maintenance only the discounted shool fees that i got at my work place and nothing else. He is constantly unsettling our daughter by making false promises and not even bothering to keep to any visitational appoitments. What are my options because its doing more emotional and mental chaos for little one.

  51. I have a 5-year-old daughter with a man from Namibia. She was born in Windhoek and he went and did her birth registration and gave her his surname. Now I have argued with the home affairs in Nam 1001 times as we were not married and according to them he could not give her his surname and he did not have any consent form or anything.

    When we moved to SA, he came one week, and we made her an abridged birth certificate. He gave all permissions etc to make her a SA citizen which she is now.

    I have read and understood that all kids must have an unabridged birth certificate and I communicated that with him in the past and a lady from home affairs said we can do a double barrel surname. So, he came down and we filed in all the forms paid the fees and have been waiting. Eventually I got hold of someone and they explained that due to fact that neither of us have a double barrel surname she cannot have one either, so all the paper work and fees and waiting was for nothing.

    We have tried seeing a social worker, but he went and spoke to her behind my back and he had her draw up all kinds of documentation. My problem with that is I cannot enroll her in schools without his written consent or get her passport without him. One lady from Home affairs said I wont even be able to go across a border without him being physically present or signing forms in SA!

    I found another lady that said she could assist me if I get a police clearance stating that I now in fact have NO contact with him at all he has stopped paying maintenance for the second time since we moved here. She said I can hand in all evidence and forms to her and they will send it through. After all that again no help as I was told I need to go to child court.

    This man contributes nothing to my child. We have contacted him when she was ill and needed to go to specialists and he refused to help me! Saying I am the reason his child is not on the abridged birth certificate but if he did his research he would find out on the abridged there is no space for the father!

    I do now know where in Namibia he is and have no contact with him either. How do I go about things

  52. Hi. My girlfriend has a child from a previous relationship. Because the father did not pay damages and was not consistent with his parental responsibilities, my girlfriend wanted me to adopt her child when we get married. We currently doing lobola negotiations and I have been informed I have to make an additional payment for my girlfriend’s child. I have been made to understand this will allow my girlfriend’s child to move-in with us (some sought of customary adoption); if this payment is not made the child will stay remain with her maternal grandparents. I don’t want to separate my future wife from her child and so am willing to make the payment. But I have my reservations and I am equally worried about the legality of such arrangements. I understand biological fathers have rights to the children. What is my position in this should the real decides to man-up for his child or when there are conflicting ideas of how the child should be raised. Really looking forward to your reply. Thanks.

    1. Hi

      Only an Adoption Court can effect a proper adoption in Law. The biological father has rights until such time it is take away from him. We suggest you speak to the Children’s Court in your area.

  53. Hi

    is it possible to get full custody of my daugher cause her dad left us since i was 7 months pregnant with her and after trying to get him to come to the praty on many occations i eventually stopped contacting him, he goes around lying saying that he takes care of hhis child when in actuall fact we have on contact and now his family wants to claim the child bt when i was pregnant they rejected us both. i dont want sole custody to spite anyone bt i think it would be in the childs best interest if she is with me as i do not want to expose her too much to that side of the family. ofcourse therewill be supervised visitations if they want that but i jst dont want them to take my child as now she is grown (10 months) yet they did not want her when she was a baby.

    1. Good day

      It seems and if you are already exercising sole custody. However we advise that your approach the Children’s Court for assistance on this issue.

  54. Good Afternoon. My fiance has a child of 2 years old almost 3. He had a child with his ex girlfriend. Do you think it is possible for us to get full custody. Since he was born she moved around 9 times so far. Yesterday he came home using faul language and he said directly that it came from his real mother and grandmother. She were also n case that he almost died because she gave him the wrong medicine.She is suppose to come visit him for 2 hours once a week but she never does and that is stated in the parenting plan. She gets him every second weekend and then that day that he is supposed to go to her he says out of his own that he does not want to go to her. There has been incidentcs that other people had to buy his nappies ; food ; and other things. There as also been incidents that he told us that she does not play with him or bath him and other people had to do that. So know i am asking do you think it is possible for us to get full custody of him.

    1. Good day. It is possible yes. However you need to prove it is in the child’s best interests. If you can’t then you wont get full custody.

  55. I have a son with x girlfriend we had a fallout days before his 1st birthday and next thing on the day of my boys birthday she came with police to take my child then the following months I was sending money so she can look after him. skeptical as I was I started asking were is my boy and I want to see him she blocked my calls, sms, blocked me on Facebook, messenger and whatsapp. since August 5 2017 I found out in January 2018 that my son is in eastern cape, since my boy was 8months I was living with him till he was 1 I have never seen him how can I get help to get my son back and win custody but also allowing his mom to see him I need help with this matter

  56. Good Day

    I need advise urgently. I have a son , almost 4 years old with a guy that I stopped dating when my son was born due to cheating and him not being or showing interest in my Childs birth. ever since his been dating countless women , and disrespects my choices of not wanting all this women around my kid . As an adult we know kids are so confused with whats happening with their parents , so why bring so many women around the kid making him even more confused. My sons dad is 23 and his dating a 31 year old who continuously harasses me and he allows her to call from his cellphone when we speak about him paying maintenance. I always ignored her until she sent me some fake lawyers letters and I had it checked out , I addressed him that I will take the matter further and take him to court for maintenance , as both of them has been making a issue about him having to support his son. He also is not allowed to see his son unless she doesn’t want to see him. he never ask how his son is unless he wants to call me and be nasty that he wants to see his son now ( during the week) when its school , and mind me… has no time on weekends because he is to busy with the gf or in clubs.

    He threatened me that I can take him to court , because I’m unnecessary and I work so I can get everything for my son by myself.

    I would like to know , if I can go to the maintenance court and also full custody of my son.
    We don’t see eye to eye and I have tried many times , to work out a plan for equal responsibilities , and also equal weekends. he always complains he does not have money when his kid needs something but living a fancy life.

    I am done fighting for attention for my son and would like to put this to a stop and spare my son the humilliation of a man going around making kids everywhere when his son isn’t even a priority.

    1. Good day

      You may go to the maintenance court at any time. They will assess the matter. Regarding full custody, if it is in the child’s best interests, the Court would grant it.

  57. Hi i have a 6 month old baby with a women whom i now consider my ex. is it possible to get shared custody and take her over the weekends, i live with my family and my mom is always around to take care of my daughter. TIA

  58. Greetings

    I am a tertiary student who had a baby last year. The baby is currently 7 months old and living with his father. That was our agreement however, as of late the relationship has taken strain and me being away from my son has given the father some sort of attitude that only he can make decisions concerning our baby’s life. He refuses that my family see the baby and now he wants me to exit the baby’s life. What are the means to firstly, make it possible that my family is part of the baby’s life and also what can I do to ensure that I, myself am not kept away from my baby? The whole situation is tricky because I’m in an entirely different province for my studies and therefore only go home every 2-3 months. I just don’t want to lose my baby.

    1. Good day

      We advise that you and the father tries to enter into a parenting plan. If that cannot work, we advise that you see the Children’s Court or a lawyer.

  59. Hi.
    I’ve been divorced from my daughter’s father for 10 years. He has been an on again off again father since then. Our daughter is 12. Has refused for the umpteenth time to go to him. His older son decided 2 years ago that he also no longer wants to go there and doesn’t. My ex is also bipolar and this just makes it a lot more difficult. 2 months ago he had a major manic episode and his current wife left my daughter in his care. Which turned out disastrous.
    Long story short, I want to have his rights revoked. I have quite a lot of evidence of all the above from over the years. Buys my daughter alcohol, has sex within ear and eye shot. List is endless. Our family advocate office in kzn said to contact welfare, who said to contact family advocate. We are also immigrating next year and ex will now not sign for passport, consent, etc.
    Please help. I’m beyond desperate.

    1. Hello. We advise you speak to a lawyer about your situation. Either way, a Court can grant you what you want if it is in the child’s best interest. They would decide based on all the facts.

  60. Hey I am in need of advice am 7 months pregnant me and the boy friend no longer together we had an agreement of maintaining this pregnancy with R500 amount he only did 3 times since I was pregnant the he started giving me stories now I am very confused that when the boy come will he be able to support the child or can I apply for maintenance and he is even threatening me that he is going to apply full custody and since well is a lawyer he never loose and am currently unemployed please help me out?

  61. Good day,
    I am in need of advice. I am planning on immigrating to the UK at the end of this year. I am divorced and my son age 12, lives with me. The father has never paid maintenance and has very little to do with his son. I am told I need to apply for sole custody in order to take my son out of SA. I cannot afford a lawyer. Could I represented myself to the high court? What are my options here. At present the father’s whereabouts are unknown. Thank you in advance.

    1. Good day
      It is best you make use of a lawyer. You dont need to apply for sole custody. You can ask the Court to dispense with the father’s consent.

  62. Good Day

    I am have been divorced for 6 years,My ex husband pays maintenance when it suits him and told the courts he doesn’t work.I applied for full responsibility of my daughter as I am the only active parent.We seemed to get along after I applied to the children’s court and got a parenting plan.There after he suggested that she live with him as he was financially stable and his wife would be able to assist him with her.After 3 months (last year march) My daughter refused to go back to her dads saying the stepmother was mistreating her.He hasn’t seen her in 9 months,doesn’t call and when he feels like it deposits less than the amount stated 6 years ago in the divorce decree.I feel like I am the only parent and should be allowed sole responsibility.We do have a court order stating parental rights however the child has been with me ever since.Do I have to go back to the children s court now that has violated the order?

  63. Good day. I got divorced many years ago , custody to my son’s mother. Since he was 3 years old he always mentions that he does not want to stay with his mother. When my son turned 10 years old , I approached my Lawyer and everything was done correctly to approach the Family advocate. I had affidavits from various people , some from her personal friends , even one from his school teacher stating that he would be better off with me because of her total unstable life stile. The Advocate or welfare person ( Female ) consulted with him , in the presence of the mother , and then the decision was made that he must stay with his mother. I do not understand. I provided proof of her unstable life stile = not able to keep a job , does not reside at one place for long ( 6 to 11months maximum ) , after our divorce she married again just to divorce after 20 months. I was her 3rd husband and I only found out of husband number 2 long after I married her. Only thing she can do good is to lie and manipulate people. Even my son complains about it. Now I need to know : In South Africa , at which age can a child decide , without any interference from anybody , where he wants to stay / live. Legally.

  64. Good day. I have been divorced for 5 years where my ex wife has custody of my two children. Last year I received a phone call from my ex father in law stating that they are having a problem “handling” my son who was 11 at the time and suggested that he comes and stays with me. After I had spoken to my son and leaving the dicision to him as to where he would like to stay, he decided to come stay with me. I then took “custody” of my son at the beginning of the year, put him in an afikaans school where he has really fitted in and is doing well. Last night I received a whatsapp message from my ex stating that she wants him back and is booking a ticket at the end of the month. This has put my son in an emotional turmoil. My ex and I agreed that he would finish his primary schooling with me and rhen decide whether he wants ro continue his schooling with me or go back to her. I need advice please because I feel that what she has done now is so unfair on my son. Thank you.

    1. We advise that you make an Application to Court for the variation of the Divorce Order granting Custody to you. The Court would decide as to what is best for the child.

  65. Good Day,

    My ex and I split up 11years ago, and share a daughter. He was an absent father, with few visits in the first 7years of her life. He has also never paid maintenance for her since we split when she was 10months old. He dissapeared and moved back to the Netherlands when she was 7yrs old and stopped contacting her. I made contact with him again and asked that he please play a part in her life, even if it was just communication..which is does on and off and on his terms. The problem is, after asking him various times to please give me a letter so that I can apply for her passport so that we can travel overseas together, he refuses. How do I go about getting the passport issue sorted? Please help

  66. Hi. I’m being summoned to the family court by my ex. He’s summoned me for care and contact of one daughter. He denied his second child with me. What are my rights? Will he be allowed to take the kids?

  67. Good day.

    I have an 8month old baby boy with a man whom im not married too, our relationship has come to an end but i just realised that ever since i fell pregnant he has been planning to try and take my child away from me and rule me as an unfit mother.

    … last yr he has been trying to get custody of her daughter and was constantly telling me how her ex wife is unfit to take care of her child and how he needs me to help him take care of this child and get information from the child to use against the mother, when i gave birth i registered my son under his surname as he was taking care of me and our child by then…but as time went he didnt want me to have access to my sons birth certificate or contribute anything towards my son…he doesnt even want me to find a helper or take my son to a daycare while im at work he wants his son to be raised at his mothers house which is miles away for me to go see my son on a regular.

    When my son is at his i only grt to see him twice a month sometimes once due to the distance and the amount of money i spend to travel there.

    Ive tried getting him to change my sons surname as damages according to our culture were not paid nor did he contribute any form of lobola.

    He does contribute and maintain his child however i feel threatened by him because i know what he did to his ex wife he’s capable of doing to me and what makes it worse he uses the fact that he’s got a lawyer get to me.

    Please help me because he is trying to take my child away from me and is refusing to write or complete the concent form for me to get a change in surname.

    I really need help theres a lot more i could disclose but due to confidentiality i have to disclose more information in the presence of a lawyer.

  68. Good day.

    I have an 8month old baby boy with a man whom im not married too, our relationship has come to an end but i just realised that ever since i fell pregnant he has been planning to try and take my child away from me and rule me as an unfit mother.

    … last yr he has been trying to get custody of her daughter and was constantly telling me how her ex wife is unfit to take care of her child and how he needs me to help him take care of this child and get information from the child to use against the mother, when i gave birth i registered my son under his surname as he was taking care of me and our child by then…but as time went he didnt want me to have access to my sons birth certificate or contribute anything towards my son…he doesnt even want me to find a helper or take my son to a daycare while im at work he wants his son to be raised at his mothers house which is miles away for me to go see my son on a regular.

    When my son is at his i only grt to see him twice a month sometimes once due to the distance and the amount of money i spend to travel there.

    Ive tried getting him to change my sons surname as damages according to our culture were not paid nor did he contribute any form of lobola.

    He does contribute and maintain his child however i feel threatened by him because i know what he did to his ex wife he’s capable of doing to me and what makes it worse he uses the fact that he’s got a lawyer get to me.

    Please help me because he is trying to take my child away from me and is refusing to write or complete the concent form for me to get a change in surname.

    I really need help theres a lot more i could disclose but due to confidentiality i have to disclose more information in the presence of a lawyer.

  69. Good Morning

    My ex had a parenting drafted by his Attorney in 2015. I refused to agree and sign the plan, but eventually ended up signing the plan. At the time I relocated to another Province due to work obligations. I then recieved a notice to appear in court, but failed to do so as I could not get off from work and travel to the Province where said court is located. I never recieved any documentation notifying me that the parenting plan was made an order of court. How do I now go about to find out if the parenting plan was made an order of court.

  70. Good Morning

    My ex had a parenting drafted by his Attorney in 2015. I refused to agree and sign the plan, but eventually ended up signing the plan. At the time I relocated to another Province due to work obligations. I then recieved a notice to appear in court, but failed to do so as I could not get off from work and travel to the Province where said court is located. I never recieved any documentation notifying me that the parenting plan was made an order of court. How do I now go about to find out if the parenting plan was made an order of court.

  71. Hi. I am looking for advise. I have a close family member who is having issues with his daughter’s mom. The daughter currently lives with her mom and there arrangement seemed to work well. She has recently confided in the father and told him her boyfriend abuses her in front of the daughter. He also knows that they often consume alcohol. Having come from an abusive home, this has upset him greatly and does not want his daughter exposed to this life and would like to obtain custody. What is the process of this?

    1. Good day

      Your friend would have to approach the court and make an application for custody. If it is in the child’s best interests, the court would grant such an order.

  72. Good Afternoon
    Need some advice i am Divorced father of 2 i pay my Maintenance on time every month i call my kids every morning and night. i see them every 2nd weekend like on the court order me and my Ex have agreed verbally that my older son can do some exercise classes twice a week which in take both of them so i can spend some time with my younger kid as well and then i used to take them to school in the morning packing them lunch on Tuesday and Thursdays. But because i have removed my Ex from my medical aid which we have been divorced for 2 years now she is refusing all the contact only allowing what the court order says. i want to change this because the court order says Joint Custody i want more contact with my kids

  73. Hi, I have made two women pregnant at the same time, they are both 7 months pregnant. Having kids was something that was long overdue but not with these two women. A person who reads this can make his/her judgments I’m ok with it. My real concerned is how I go about having custody of these two coming babies. Because If I don’t stay with both of them I will end up being loyal to one and fail to give them equal love. I forget to mention that of these two women are unemployed and unemployable because of their level of education. The other woman her first child is supported with maintenance plan

    1. Good day

      After the children are born, you can approach the children’s court for advise and / or apply for custody. The court would have to decide if it is best for the children to be cared by you.

  74. Hi. Im in.desperate need of help I dont know what to do anymore. I had my daughter at a young age, at that time i myself wasnt registered i only managed to get myself registered at age 23. When my daughter was 3 months old i.got her birth certificate in the mail and turned out her grandmother (mother of father) somehow registered her. When.i got myself registered i went to see how my daughter was registered because as to my knowledge a child can not be registered without both parents details. I got denied because as to records im not my daughters mother. My daughter is now 11 her biological fathers refused to fix the details and to come sign. Last time he saw her she was 3 years old. When she turned 5 and had to start schooling i asked for help on maintenance and i was told he would rather sign away his rights than pay. I offered accomodation and to pay his flight just so he could do this. 6 years later he has two other daughters and hes running from those mothers too. His family is of no help they help keep him hidden from us. Ive been to home affairs numourous times. Ive been to childrens court with no help. I really need help on what to do and how to get him off my daighters nae as he has no part in any of her life yet the law isnt of much help.

    1. Good day

      We would have advised you to go the the children’s court. But you said you have already done that. The best would then be to appoint an attorney to take this matter further. The attorney may decide to approach the high court should it need be.

  75. I have girl child aged 3 her father pay maintain her with R750 a month he gets to take her on Sundays for the day only after he drops her of he always send me messages like our little girl told him I hit her this is not true I left him because he used to assault me during my pregnancy I love my bby a lot I don’t do such things she is my gem what can I do pls help me

  76. Hi i had a gf few years ago we end up having a daughter, the mother started having an afair with sum1 else afta my daughter turned 2 so i moved out, that very same day the bf moved in. They r married today and shes got her 4th child now from 4 diffrent men, her 2nd child’s father took him in custody and she cant even look proper after the 1st born, now i need my child in my custody coz theres no way in hell she can luk afta a child, now she took me to court for 1800r maintenance i can never give her that money i’ d rather luk afta my own child, plz tell me what am i to do and who can i see regarding my situation

    1. Try to see if you can get a social worker to mediate the issue. If that is not possible, then we advise you approach the Childrne’s Court in the area where the child/mother stays.

  77. Hi please help. My daughter needs to be enrolled in grade 1. And unfortunately I was told that I can’t because I need her father Identity document number. He hasn’t been apart of our lives. Neither has he paid maintenance or made an attempt to be in her life. Yet I tried countless trying to get him to come and see her. I need to know how do I go about getting his document because he wouldn’t give it to me. And also I need him to sign over all his legal rights regarding her. Please help. Thank you

  78. Good day

    I would like to set up an urgent consultation with Adv Muhammad AbdulRoaf. Its a maintenance matter that’s being delayed unnecessarily and affecting my kids emotionally. Require urgent assistance. Please contact me.

  79. Hi there, I need advice please. I am currently 7 month pregnant. The father of my child wants nothing to do with our child. I will not be putting his name on the birth certificate. He said that he would like to sign over his rights as a parent and I have been told that I would have to have proof that I have full custody over my child when I register his birth. Is this true and how do I go about getting him to sign over his rights ?

  80. Hi there i have a question if you can help that would be great, The father pays maintenance thanks to the court order, his only seen his child about 6 times since she has been born and barely any phone calls from him to her, he makes sure his mails states “what a great father he is for paying maintenance and how he wants to be in her life” but he does not really try as i said not that many phone call maybe 2 or 3 calls in the last 3 years. My question is, is there a way to take his parental rights away from him?

    1. The court would need to see if it would be in the child’s best interest to take the father’s parental responsibilities and rights away from him. We suggest you speak to a social worker to determine if it would indeed be in her best interests. The Courts listens to what the experts says.

  81. Hi there i am sitting with a huge problem i was married for 11 years and me and my husband has been together for 15 years however he accuses me of cheating today just because i spoke to a guy i fell pregnant with our fourth child but one died when i was 5 months pregnant he threw me and my kids out of his mothers house i took our clothes and wen to my mother however he didnt even leave me with a teaspoon or a bed. Since he threw me out he started sleeping out during the week and weekends as well. he left me when my baby was one month old we were married muslim rights today he willingly proud to sleep by his new gf and he supports he and her kids and expects my kids to wear her kids second hands clothes little did i know that he had been seen her long time. he made my name so bad i eventually gave him on for maintenance where he didnt pitch up for court every time he takes my kids or send someone to fetch my two kids without telling me or my mother as he is saying my baby isnt his i have rules during the week and he just rocks up and takes them like he wants which i dont think is fair. he doesnt spend anytime with my kids especially his off days and weekends because he need to see to his gf and her two kids my question is can i do something to stop him from taking my kids because he drinks and smoke dagga infron of my kids and forces them to call his gf mommy now he threatens me to say his going to take them away from me and put them in by his gfs kids school i am the only one working for my kids i cannot afford a lawyer my kids are unsafe with him what should i do to stop him and can i sue him if the paternity test comes back for defermation of character? please advise further thank you

  82. Good day. Im from South Africa. I have a question. I have a son turning 9. The dad pays maintenance yes. But usually he doesnt ask to see him his parents does. We moved last year April. And i want to move back from where i came from. We were never married. Am i allowed to do that. I dont have anyone in my life and i love him dearly along with my twins. Im so scared that he’ll try and take him away from me. And i cant bear the thought of losing my son. Please help

  83. Good day

    My Fiance and my self is currently in a situation with his ex wife , he has two boys with her the one is 9 and the other one is 4 both the boys has been traumatised by the mother on a regular basis as she is bipolar she is taking tablets however she still has fights with her family and always phoning their father and telling him that he must come and take his children as she cannot take care of them he warned her a couple of times that if she is going to carry on like this that we would take the children from them as it is not healthy for them to be in that kind of situations well that’s what happened she kept on pushing to the point that the boys was crying to their father to come and fetch them its really breaking our hearts and we will do what ever it takes to get full custody of the boys so that they can grow up in a peaceful home with love and care and no emotional abuse what can we do from here on forward. Please advice urgently

  84. Hi. I need some advise. I’m a South African and my wife is from Philippians. We have been married 4 and a half years now. We have a son and he is 3 and half years old. He has a South African passport. My wife only recently told me that she is not happy anymore. She also after being married almost 5 years told me that she has 4 other children in the Philippians. She basically ran away and left them where the dads had to take care of them. I was shocked. 3 of them don’t want anything to do with her at all as she abandoned then as small children but the oldest only recently made contact with her. If she leaves me, who will get custody over our little guy? I love him to bits and he is a real daddy boy. Please advise as I’m afraid that one day she might get fed up and leave him as well.

    1. Hi there,
      Look I don’t know you or your family but I can tell you still love your wife and that so good. When I read your story I think she must be unhappy because of the love she has for the 3 kids she’s left behind witch women would be, forgive her for lying and see how you can reunite those three kids with they mom so you all can all be a family. I’m sorry if I said anything that u don’t want to hear. You and your wife a one, divorce is not an option. God bless your family.

  85. I have been living with my gf for a few years. We have a son of 4. Lately she has been going out with friends after work and the past few weeks has been comming home at around 3 “and 4 in the morning and once just after 6 am after she told me she was working a function at a beer fest that ended 10pm the previous night. When I asked her about it she told me they finished late and just this morning when I confronted her she said they went to get something to eat the thing that bothers me most is that meal took 8 hours She has never given me reasons as to why she comes home late except for last night saying it was a colleagues farewell but on a Sunday places close at midnight. I suspect she is cheating I also have found marijuana in her draw pack in a tin contains that at first she denied. I cant live like this anymore and I will not allow this to go on around my son. I read her watsapp messages one time and I never had much time to read the messages but there where a few messages that I found disturbing. Ok ne about come over and have a line. Her so called work times are ridiculous and does not correspond with her previous work times. She attacks me one night when I was trying to play with her she grabbed my finger and twisted it and I also done the same back to her. For two days she wrapped her hand in a bandage and after that she was fine. Even went as far as carrying a plate if food with the same hand. Apparently she opened a case against me. Well I have not been approached by any social worker policeman or any government official months later she is always undermining my authority with my son. When I scold him or when I tell him to behave or go sleep and so on. She accuses me of abusing him with false accusations that my family members tell her. I have requested that we take him to a counsellor or child physiologist for evaluation by once again its all hit air. I love my son and his mom but I cant allow this to continue like this. I want to get us both away from her negligent new lifestyle and her psychological games. Please help! Sincerely Mark Burger

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