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Emigration and relocation from South Africa – Children’s Rights and that of Mother and Father

ByOur Lawyer

Emigration and relocation from South Africa – Children’s Rights and that of Mother and Father

Legal Resources and Advice regarding emigration and relocation from South Africa to the UK, USA etc.

Are you intending on relocating to any one of the popular destination countries below?

  • United Kingdom (UK)

  • Australia

  • United States of America (USA)

  • New Zealand

  • Canada

  • Angola

  • Botswana

  • Chile

  • Zimbabwe

  • Germany

  • Netherlands

  • Swaziland

  • Israel

  • Portugal

  • Mozambique

  • Ireland

  • Malawi

  • Switzerland

  • Namibia

  • Greece

Are there possible consent issues regarding passports, and relocation or emigration? If you answered yes,  have a look at the articles on this website that you may of use.

Passport Application fro a Minor Child where father cannot be found or does not give consent.

Passport Application for my child. I cannot find the father to give consent at the Department of Home Affairs

Passport Application for a minor child: Mother cannot find the father to provide the necessary consent at the Department of Home Affairs. The Application is therefore refused. Passport Application for a minor child: It is not easy being a single parent, and at the same time, the primary caregiver of the child. This is even so where the other parent pays child support and regularly sees the child. This article deals with the situation where the father of the child is missing. He, therefore, does not pay any child support, nor has a relationship with the child. This causes a problem when it comes to issues of guardianship rights. For example, when the mother wants to enrol the child in a school or provide medical consent. The question would always arise – “where is the father?”, or “did the father give his consent?” When it comes to official matters, for example, the application for a passport, then things become more complicated. This is where the issue of parental consent for the application for a passport is looked at. Now let us first deal with the law. Parental Responsibilities and Rights of Fathers In short, if a father was married to the mother, he would automatically have full parental responsibilities and rights to the child born from them. This includes the rights of care, contact and guardianship. If he was not married to the mother of the child, he can acquire parental responsibilities and rights. In short, in order for the unmarried father to acquire parental responsibilities and rights, he has to form part of the child’s life. He may also attempt to do so and the mother hinders it from happening. In the latter situation, he would still acquire parental responsibilities and rights. The Unmarried Father’s Rights The unmarried father can acquire parental responsibilities and rights to his child in a number of ways. They include paying child support, visiting the child and so on. Therefore, not all fathers would have parental responsibilities and rights over their children. Some fathers just impregnated the mothers and went missing. Such a father cannot rock up, 12 years later and demand to take the child with him to the movies. I think you understand the point  we are trying to make. What is the legal effect of having parental responsibilities and rights over a child? Should a father have parental responsibilities and rights ...
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Passport Applications for a Minor Child - Parent Refusing Consent and to Co-operate

Passport Application of a Minor Child and Consent – Department of Home Affairs

Passport Applications for minor children: What you need to know – Department of Home Affairs – Questions  and Answers Should you require any advice on an application for a passport of a minor, where the co-parent refuses to consent or co-operate;  feel free to set up a consultation with us. You may call 0214243487 or click here to do it online. Leaving South Africa, and visiting another country is something many people do on a daily basis. The reason, therefore, could either be for a holiday, business, a death in the family, and so on. Or it might be to relocate to another country to start a new life, either alone, or with your spouse or children. Whatever the reason is, you require a passport when leaving South Africa. For an adult, all you need to do is visit your nearest Department of Home Affairs Offices, with proof of identity, and the prescribed fees, and take your picture, fingerprints, etc. However, if you are a minor child, under the age of 18, it is not that simple. You would need to go with both your parents, and they need to provide their consent. Parental Consent and Co-operation for a Passport Application of a Minor child According to Section 18 (3) of the Children’s Act, both parent’s consent is required for a minor’s application for a passport. This is why we refer to consent and co-operation. Co-operation in the sense of going with to the Department of Home Affairs and giving the consent. Now, this can cause a problem should a parent not agree to the application for a passport. Therefore, one of two things could happen in practice should there be children involved. Either the parent would have to go overseas without the children, or not at all. Before we deal with such a scenario in detail, a bit later, let’s look at the law in a bit more detail. A child’s Constitutional right to a Passport Our Constitution, Act 108 of 1996 is the supreme law of the Country. All laws and practices should be in line with it. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to find out what it says. Section 21(4) of our Constitution states the following: “Every citizen has the right to a passport.” This is a fundamental right. The question would then be asked, if that is a fundamental right, why would you still require ...
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Relocation - Refusal of Consent for passport and removal

Relocate with minor child. Parent Refusing Consent for a Passport

Parent Refusing Relocation, and Passport Application for Minor Child Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf – Advocate of the High Court of South Africa Often times, a parent would want to travel overseas, relocate or emigrate, and take the child with. However, the practical aspects thereof are not that easy. For starters, your child requires a passport. And what does the law say about passports of a minor child? As you would see later, both parents holding parental responsibilities and rights of guardianship should consent to a minor child obtaining a passport. That is a requirement in Law. But let’s say your child already has a passport. Can you still take your minor child out of the country or relocate? Yes, you can, as long as you have the consent of the other parent. This article does not only apply to parents of minor children who are not married to each other or separated. It applies to all parents of children holding parental responsibilities and rights over them, married, separated, or divorced. Before we move on, let us look at the most popular countries South African’s relocate to. Popular relocation countries for South Africans If you wish to emigrate from South Africa, there are many places in this world to consider. Some would be more ideal than others. But it all depends on the reason for the relocation. Here is a list of the top countries South Africans and emigrating to: United Kingdom (UK) Australia United States of America (USA) New Zealand Canada Angola Botswana Chile Zimbabwe Germany Netherlands Swaziland Israel Portugal Mozambique Ireland Malawi Switzerland Namibia Greece If you intend to relocate to a country or region not mentioned above, read on, this article still applies to you. The parent refuses to consent to emigration Parents of minor children differ on many things. Sometimes it’s minor issues. For instance, which clothes the child should wear. However, some disagreements are serious and exhausting.  For instance, what school should the minor child attend, or extra-mural activities to partake in? What school a child attend can affect the contact rights of parents when they live in separate homes. Now turning to this article. What if one parent wants to go away on holiday or relocate with the child, and the other parent refuses to give consent. One obvious reason to object to a relocation would be that the parent that remains in South Africa may ...
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Child born out of wedlock - Rights of parents

Child born out of wedlock: Mother will not consent to her surname change and to be registered as her biological father. What can I do?

Child born out of wedlock: Mother will not consent to her surname change and to be registered as her biological father. What can I do? It often happens that a child is registered at the Department of Home Affairs with the mother’s surname, and later the father wants the child to have his surname. The opposite is also true. This is when the child has the father’s surname, and the mother wants her to have her surname. This often happens in cases of children born out of wedlock, or in cases where the parents are divorced. So, what can a parent do to change the child’s surname? Read on to find out the answers below. Then there is the other scenario where the details of the father are not provided when registering the child with the Department of Home Affairs. One reason for this could be that the mother is not certain who the father is, or just does not want him to be associated with the child. Either way, that section of the child’s birth registration is left blank. Now, what can such a father, or child do under such a situation? We approached Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf, a Family Law Expert for some advice on this issue. Read on if you want to know more. Consult with us, click here. What is a surname? A surname connects you to your family, ancestors and heritage. On the rare occasion, your last name can be an omen that you carry with you for the rest of your life. Each parent would prefer to have their offspring have their family name to connect their child to them. But sometimes, getting it right can be a challenge, especially if the child’s parents are not married and do not share the same surname. You may find the following articles interesting: How do I get full custody over my child? Parental Child Abuse in Custody Cases Relocate with minor child. Parent Refusing Consent for a Passport Father being refused contact to his child! What are his rights as a Father? Father’s Parental Responsibilities and Rights to his Child Urgent Access to your Children without a Lawyer Parenting Plans and the Law What happens in a custody dispute where one parent is mentally ill? How to win your child custody and access court case – Tips and Tricks Most people get married, and the wife usually ...
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Contact with his child on Father’s Day

I would love to have contact with my child on Father’s Day. Her mother is refusing me contact. What does the law say when it comes to the rights of a father? Every year, the World celebrates Father’s Day. In 2019, it was celebrated on 16 June, coinciding with Youth Day in South Africa. It is a very special day not only for fathers but for the children concerned. When we refer to children, we are not only referring to kids or toddlers. Even grown-up children celebrate Father’s Day with their respective fathers. In some families, Father’s Day is being celebrated by three generations of offspring. This article, however, relates to Father’s Day in the context of minor children spending time with their fathers on that special day. The Father We will not go into the technical legality of what makes you a father. A child who has been adopted is for all intents and purposes the child of the adoptive parent. Even if the child was not adopted, or you are not the biological father of the child, if the child refers to you as a father, then the celebration of Father’s Day would apply to you. Here a specific example would be step-parents. Now let’s move on to the issue of what rights does a father have to have contact with his child on Father’s Day. But before we can do that, we need to have a look at the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. Let us start off by looking at what the law says regarding parental responsibilities and rights of fathers. You will note that the law applies differently when it comes to married and unmarried fathers. However, the principles are the same. Unpacking the law The purpose of this article is to correctly outline the law applicable to the rights of fathers in relation to their children. In this case, we shall make extensive reference to the Children’s Act. A father can, therefore, have a look at the various sections of the Children’s Act, unpacked below and apply it to himself. Let us start off with a concept of parental responsibilities and rights. Parental responsibilities and rights of married fathers Section 20 of the Children’s Act deals with the parental responsibilities and rights of married fathers. It states: The biological father of a child has full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child— ...
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hid-Custody-Divorce-Maintenance-Relocation

Free legal advice Cape Town – Family Law – South Africa

Free Legal Advice on Family Law and Related Topics in South Africa Our location Legal services can be very expensive. However, if you know how to move around the web, you can easily find free resources. If you are in search of family law related legal services and advice, you are at the right place. We are a legal consultancy based in the Western Cape. Our services comprise of various family law and other legal fields. Should you require any family law legal advice or services, click on the various links on this website. Our Family Law Clients We firmly believe in family relations and the need to protect and enforce it when necessary. Therefore, proper workable legal advice must always be provided. This we strive to ensure. Although we are based in Cape Town, we offer legal advice and legal services to clients throughout South Africa. This we do as we believe in providing high-quality legal services to everyone who requires it.   Free Family Law Resources If you require any of the following free resources, feel free to order them. A Free Basic Will Tool Kit Free Shariah Will Template A Free Divorce Starter Tool Kit Free Child Maintenance Calculator A Free DIY Urgent Child Contact Toolkit Urgent Holiday Contact Toolkit If you are in search of family law articles, view some of them below.  Child Maintenance How to Apply for Child Maintenance at Court – Step by Step Guide and Advice Child Maintenance Question. How much should I pay or contribute as a parent? Child Support or maintenance claims. Does an unemployed father pay? Non-compliance with Maintenance Orders — Civil and Criminal Remedies Tricks and tips on how to win your child maintenance case Child Custody The Law Regarding Children – The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 How do I get full custody over my child? Parental Child Abuse in Custody Cases Relocate with a minor child. Parent Refusing Consent for a Passport Father being refused contact to his child! What are his rights as a Father? Father’s Parental Responsibilities and Rights to his Child Urgent Access to your Children without a Lawyer Parenting Plans and the Law What happens in a custody dispute where one parent is mentally ill? How to win your child custody and access court case – Tips and Tricks Divorce & Property How to Change your Matrimonial Property Regime Do your own Unopposed ...
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I need to get divorced in 3 days. I was told it is possible. Is it really true?

I need to get divorced in 3 days. I was told it is possible. Is it really true?

Getting divorce within 3 days It often happens, when a marriage has irretrievably broken down, the parties are in agreement that they have to divorce. Furthermore, the parties came to an agreement regarding the propriety aspects of the marriage, care and contact of the minor children, as well as who should pay for the cost in relation to the divorce. If all the latter has been agreed upon, there is no need for the parties to wait many months to get divorced. What this article deals with is a real-life scenario where the marriage between a couple would be dissolved in the shortest possible time. In this case, three (3) days from the date of meeting their lawyer. If you don’t feel like reading this entire article, scroll down to the bottom for an illustration of a divorce finalised in 3 (three) days. Furthermore, it may become necessary for there to be a quick divorce. One such reason could be that a party is only visiting South Africa for a very short while and wants to resolve issues expeditiously. This would especially be so if the parties lived separately for a long time despite being married. Before we proceed with exploring and unpacking the question this article relates to, we will first have to look at certain basic requirements in order for parties to get divorced. This relates to the court’s jurisdiction, as well as the requirement that a marriage has broken down irretrievably. Another one is that they should be married. I guess we all knew that. The jurisdiction of the divorce court It does not mean that because you got married in a specific province or town that the Court situated there has the authority to divorce you. For example, if you married in Cape Town, and relocated to Johannesburg, and live there for quite some time, then Cape Town Court will not necessarily have the jurisdiction to divorce you. The same would apply should the parties have married in Johannesburg and relocated to the United States of America, and are domiciled there. Should they wish to get divorced, they cannot get divorced in Johannesburg. This is so as the Johannesburg Court will not have jurisdiction to divorce this specific couple. Now, what determines jurisdiction? Clearly, it is not the fact that you got married in the Court’s area of jurisdiction. Let’s look at the law. The Divorce ...
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I want to relocate with my minor child. What do I need to know with regard to the law?

I want to relocate with my minor child. What do I need to know with regard to the law?

Relocation with your minor child from South Africa In today’s modern times, many people decide to leave South Africa and seek employment overseas. The reason for that could be many. But usually, it’s because they feel they can earn much more in a different country. Furthermore, safety and security, and medical benefits are on the list. What often happens is one parent wants to relocate, with a child, however, the other parent has an issue with it. As you will see later, the consent of both guardians is required for a minor child to leave the Republic of South Africa. Parents need to first discuss the issue of relocation We are often approached by the parent wishing to relocate with the minor child for legal advice. It is often the mother. She wants to know what her rights are regarding the child relocating with her. Now the ideal situation would be for both parents to sit down and discuss the issue. It would obviously have a big impact on their lives should relocation with the child take place. They should discuss aspects regarding contact and maintenance should relocation be a viable option. However, meeting eye to eye and having a sensible discussion on the issue is not always the case. Effects of relocation on the parents It often happens when parents do not agree on the issue of relocation; the parent wishing to relocate has to make some drastic decisions. Should she remain in South Africa and continue in her current employment, or remain unemployed? By remaining in South Africa, she would remain the primary caregiver of the minor child. The other option is for the parent to not fight the issue but decide to relocate and leave the child with a parent in South Africa. This could become problematic. Especially so in the case where the parent residing in South Africa was never a primary caregiver of the minor child. In other words, he or she cannot care for the child as well as the parent wishing to relocate. What does the law say? Now in terms of the law, if a child should be removed from the Republic of South Africa, for traveling, or relocation, he or she requires the consent of both guardians. We will not go into the finer details of who is a guardian and what are the rights of a guardian. However, in terms ...
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The role of a facilitator in family matters regarding children – Should he or she make legally binding decisions or directives?

The role of a facilitator in family matters regarding children – Should he or she make legally binding decisions or directives? When parties divorce or they approached a court of law to resolve a dispute regarding a minor child, it was customary for them to appoint a facilitator should they settle the matter. Specific clauses would be inserted into consent papers and settlement agreements which the parties sign and is made an order of Court. The clauses would basically state that the parties appoint a facilitator to resolve disputes regarding the minor child and that the facilitator has certain authority and powers. Such disputes could range from one-party wanting more contact with the child or disputes regarding aspects of education, for example, which school the child goes to, or aspects regarding extramural activities. At the end of this article you would find an example of a facilitator clause. A facilitator should be a suitably qualified person.  He or she does not necessarily have to be a clinical psychologist, social worker or a lawyer.  He or she should be somebody that knows family law, understands the family dynamics and is skilled in resolving issues between parties. It is therefore very important that the parties appoint a facilitator that they would feel comfortable with and one that will be compatible with their family situation. Facilitator’s Power It would often happen that the parties cannot resolve a dispute amicably through a facilitator.  In such a case, a decision will have to be made.  The facilitator would then have to issue a directive.  In other words, make a firm and binding decision for the parties. A further clause would then usually be inserted into the consent paper stating that the facilitator’s directive would be binding upon the parties as if it was an order of the court.  The directive of the facilitator would then remain binding upon the parties unless a court of competent jurisdiction orders otherwise.  It is this latter aspect that this article deals with. Introduction of the Facilitation Clause Based on our history with family law matters, this specific facilitation clause came about in or about 2008, a short while after the Children’s Act came into operation. It was then customary for parties to insert this facilitation clause as a matter of course. In our experience, the family advocate’s office would insist that such a clause be inserted and furthermore the ...
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Child Custody, Maintenance, Divorce, Relocations and other Questions and Answers

Child Custody, Divorce, Maintenance and Relocation Questions, and Answers Child Custody, Maintenance, Divorce, Relocations, and other Questions and Answers Our Lawyer (Pty) Ltd provides professional legal advice to their clients through the following options: Face to Face (At our location in Cape Town); Telephonic (We call you on the South African Landline / Mobile number provided); Video (We make use of Skype, FaceTime, and WhatsApp Video Call) If however, you have a quick and simple family law advice question you wish to ask, feel free to post it below. There would, therefore, be no need to set-up a consultation and pay a fee. The question may relate to any of the following: Child Maintenance; Child Custody; Divorce; Relocation of minor children; Change of minor children’s surname; Guardianship rights; Passport consent issues; Domestic violence; Parenting Plans; and so on. Useful family law Articles Below are a few useful articles written by us. Child Relocation, Passports, Custody, Surname Change, and the High Courts – Simplified What does Child Relocation, Passport disputes, Custody issues, and surname changes have in common? They are all matters which a court of law resolves if the parties cannot do so. Other than child custody issues that can be resolved by the Children’s Court, disputes in relation to Child Relocation, Passport Disputes and Surname changes for minor children are dealt with in the various Provincial High Courts in South Africa where the child ore parties reside. Click here to read more… Amendments to the Maintenance Act – Final Changes that took place in 2018 – Know your rights Parents have a legal obligation to maintain their children. The same applies to spouses who have to maintain each other, and so on. This obligation should be exercised naturally. In other words, even if a parent did not know of the law enforcing child support, he or she should have a natural inclination to do so. Unfortunately, the true reality is that it is not the case. Countless parents are taken to the maintenance court every year due to not supporting, or inadequately supporting their children. And to be fair, there are parents who abuse the maintenance process who takes the parent to court who is already adequately contributing. Now, for the maintenance enforcement process to function, working mechanisms need to be in place. This is where the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998, and the Maintenance Amendment Act, 9 of ...
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