I intend to leave South Africa and relocate with my minor child. What do I need to be aware of? Have a look at the checklist below.
There is no reason to only live in one country for your entire life. Your work, or partner in life may force you to leave South Africa and relocate to another country. Many people relocate to the United States of America, United Kingdom, Asia, and the Middle East, to mention a few. When a parent wishes to leave South Africa and relocate to another country with a minor child, there are certain things he or she needs to be aware of. In essence, it is the issue of consent from the other parent or co-guardian. The reason for requiring consent is due to the prescripts of the Children’s Act. Section 18(3) of the Children’s Act states the following:
(3) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), a parent or other person who acts as guardian of a child must- (a) administer and safeguard the child’s property and property interests; (b) assist or represent the child in administrative, contractual and other legal matters; or (c) give or refuse any consent required by law in respect of the child, including- (i) consent to the child’s marriage; (ii) consent to the child’s adoption; (iii) consent to the child’s departure or removal from the Republic; (iv) consent to the child’s application for a passport; and (v) consent to the alienation or encumbrance of any immovable property of the child.
Sections 18(4) and 18(5) states:
(4) Whenever more than one person has guardianship of a child, each one of them is competent, subject to subsection (5), any other law or any order of a competent court to the contrary, to exercise independently and without the consent of the other any right or responsibility arising from such guardianship.
(5) Unless a competent court orders otherwise, the consent of all the persons that have guardianship of a child is necessary in respect of matters set out in subsection (3) (c) .
We bolded and underlined section 18(3)(iii) and 18(3)(iv) of the Children’s Act dealing with “(iii) consent to the child’s departure or removal from the Republic; (iv) consent to the child’s application for a passport”. So, if you are intending to relocate with your minor child to another country, make sure you comply with the following checklist:
Consent for a Passport for the minor child
– Ensure that you have the other parent or guardian’s consent for an application for a passport;
– Ensure that the other parent or guardian is willing to accompany you and the minor child to the Department of Home Affairs for the Application for, or renewal of the minor child’s passport.
– If the other parent or guardian does not want to give consent for the passport, then you need to approach the Court for the necessary consent.
You may want to double check with the Department of Home Affairs; but since we last checked, they require both parents and the child to be present when applying for the child’s passport. Therefore, a letter or affidavit from the absent parent may not be enough. This can be challenging if the parents live in different provinces.
Consent for relocation for the minor child
– Ensure that you have the other parent or guardian’s consent for the relocation;
– Ensure that the other parent or guardian is willing to provide written consent for the minor child’s removal from the country. The necessary documents may be obtained from the Department of Home Affairs’ website. Download the necessary documents and ensure that you have all your documents in order. It is always a good idea to pay them a visit to ensure that you have all you require. The last thing you want is to board the airplane and be told that certain documents are missing.
– If the other parent or guardian does not want to give consent for the relocation, then you need to approach the Court for the necessary consent.
Obtaining a court order
We always advise a parent who wishes to relocate overseas with a minor child to have a Court Order outlining the parental responsibilities and rights of both parents in it, as well as certain guardianship rights. For example, the order would outline when and how contact would be exercised, as well as when consent is not required by the other parent whilst overseas. In the latter regard, should the minor child wish to enroll into a school, the order may state that only one parent’s consent is required.
t is not required by the other parent whilst overseas. In the latter regard, should the minor child wish to enroll into a school, the order may state that only one parent’s consent is required.
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Various countries in the word. Which one are you intending to relocate to? Leave a comment below.