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

Emigration and Relocation from South African with the minor child

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.

Consent for Relocation and Passport Application for minor children

The father does not want to consent to a passport and the Relocation from South Africa with my minor child. What are my rights?

Relocating from South Africa with your child – When do you need consent from the father? Relocation – If you were born and raised in South Africa, it does not mean that you have to live there for the rest of your life. There are opportunities elsewhere in the world to live and continue your life’s journey. This may include a neighbouring country, or on another continent like Europe. Wherever it is, there are a few things to consider should you wish to relocate with your minor child. This is especially so if you are not relocating with the father. If you are the only parent to your child, then this article may not apply to you. This is where we will start off this article. The other parent when it comes to relocation If you are a mother and was never married to the father of your child, the father may have guardianship rights. This would be the case even though the father’s name is not mentioned on the child’s birth certificate. This is so as the Children’s Act affords certain rights to unmarried fathers. Therefore, if an unmarried father has parental rights and responsibilities of guardianship, his consent is required. This we deal with next. Guardian’s Consent for relocation and passport – What does the law say? The Children’s Act states the following: 18 Parental responsibilities and rights (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. (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 ...
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Relocation and Passport Application consent for a minor child

Consent for minor child for relocation and passport application

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 Checklist Consent for ...
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Relocation with minor child from South Africa

Frequently asked questions regarding relocation and consent when it comes to minor children

https://www.ourlawyer.co.za/wp-content/uploads/Relocation.mp4 Frequently asked questions regarding relocation and consent when it comes to minor children Relocation – Are you planning on relocating to another country or moving to a different province within South Africa with your minor child? Are you concerned about the issue of consent from the other parent? Below are some frequently asked, and related questions on the topic. We would encourage you to post and answer some of the questions, or just leave a comment. Parents often decide to relocate with their minor children. However, they do not always understand the legal requirements and implications involved. For example, can they just leave the country with the minor child or do they require the other parents’ consent? Furthermore, if consent is required and refused; what are the remedies available to that parent? With regard to the issue of moving from one province to another, unless a court order stipulates otherwise, consent is not required. However, the relocation from one province to another could have an effect on existing parental responsibilities and rights. Under these circumstances, a variation of the court order would be warranted. There are therefore also other issues involved when it comes to relocation. For example, what contact would the other parent who remains in South Africa have to the minor children after relocation? The aforementioned questions and a range of other related questions may be posed and answered below. Feel free to post your question should this blog post not have answered it. Can I move from South Africa to the United Kingdom with my child without the father’s permission? If the father has parental responsibilities and rights of guardianship, his consent is required for the relocation to the United Kingdom. For example, if the father and the mother were married, then under those circumstances unless an order of court determines otherwise, the father’s consent is required. If the father was not married to the mother, but in a long term relationship when the child was born, and involved in the child’s life after birth, then his consent under the circumstances would also be required. What do I do if the father refuses to consent to relocate to Germany? If a parent refuses to provide the necessary consent for relocation to another country, in this case, Germany, then the Court must be approached. Basically, you would ask the court to dispense with the requirement of the father’s ...
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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 0211110090 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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Reclocation to The United Kingdom, Australia, United States, New Zealand, Canada

What parents need to know should they wish to relocate from South Africa to the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, New Zealand or Canada

What parents need to know should they wish to relocate from South Africa to the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, New Zealand or Canada with their minor child We often receive queries and requests for advice and assistance on issues relating to relocation to another country with a minor child. Related topics relate to the issue of consent for the application for a Passport for a minor child. Sometimes the issue of changing the child’s surname comes into the picture. Of course, if parents are in agreement regarding the issue of relocation and a passport application, all should go well. You may want to see a lawyer to formalise the arrangement to avoid any issues whilst the parent and the child lives abroad. However, if there are potential complications or issues of consent not being forthcoming, then this article would be of assistance. Why relocate, or emigrate from South Africa to the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, New Zealand, Canada, or elsewhere? In no particular order, you would find someone relocating from South Africa to the following destinations: The United Kingdom, Australia, United States, New Zealand, Canada, Angola, Botswana, Chile, Zimbabwe, Germany, Netherlands, Swaziland, Israel, Portugal, Mozambique, Ireland, Malawi, Switzerland. Namibia and Greece. The reasons for the relocation vary. For some, it is for a better life, work, or to live with a new spouse or partner. For others, it may just be to explore the world. If there are children involved, then relocation won’t be that easy. Especially so if both parents live in South Africa, and the other wants to relocate with the minor child. In other words, parents who have parental responsibilities and rights need to be considered. Parental Responsibilities and rights of parents (Applicable to South Africa) Generally, both parents would have parental rights and responsibilities over a child. We say generally, as this would not always be the case. Mothers automatically have full parental responsibilities and rights over the child. If a parent has parental rights and responsibilities over a minor child; this could entail the right and responsibility to care for the child, have contact with the child and at the same time to act as guardian for the child. This article would deal with the issue of guardianship. If the parties were married the father will automatically have full parental rights and responsibilities over a minor child born from the marriage. If the ...
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Best Lawyer - Attorney - Advocate - Cape Town

How to find the right lawyer for your case. Costs, experience, and your preference.

Factors to consider when searching for child custody, divorce or child maintenance lawyers? Child Custody Lawyer, Divorce Lawyer, Cape Town Not all lawyers are the same. Just as not all doctors are the same. You won’t go to a medical doctor who is a foot specialist (podiatrist) if you have a skin problem. For that, you will see a Dermatologist. This you would do, even if the podiatrist knows a bit about skin illnesses and diseases and is, nonetheless, a medical doctor. The same principles apply to the law and to lawyers. Various lawyers specialise in various fields of law. Some know more, and some know less. You won’t meet with a property lawyer if you have been accused of medical malpractice; or would you? You get the point we are trying to bring across. Factors to consider when enlisting legal service from a legal practitioner There are Important factors to consider when employing, or enlisting the services of a lawyer (attorney, advocate, legal consultant, etc.) A few of these factors as follows: Location of the lawyer This is not always an issue as the advice can be provided via a video call or telephonically. If it comes to litigation, it may be an issue. If you live in Cape Town and the lawyer in Johannesburg, there would be additional traveling costs to consider. The Cost or Fee of the Lawyer Not all legal practitioners charge the same for their services. Depending on the years of experience of the lawyer, he or she would charge a higher or lower fee. The same applies to his or her expertise. If he or she is an expert in a certain field of law, the fee may be higher than a generalist attorney. Therefore, if you do not need expert advice, consult with an advocate or attorney with enough experience to be able to assist you. Child Custody Lawyer, Divorce Lawyer, Cape Town Gender of the Attorney or Advocate There is not much that can be said about this factor. Some people prefer one gender over the other. The bottom line is to be comfortable with the person you are consulting with. Many times, especially in litigation, you may see your lawyer a few times a month for up to two (2) years. Availability of your lawyer Some lawyers are extremely busy and in demand. Ensure that the lawyer you are making use ...
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High Court Appeals

What to know when wanting to appeal a High Court Judgment?

What to know when wanting to appeal a High Court Judgment? Everyone has a right to take a matter to a court of law. At the same time, everyone has a right to challenge a decision of a judicial officer. We all make mistakes and a judicial officer is no different. This article deals with the court rules relating to appeals from decisions emanating in the High Court. Therefore, should you wish to appeal a decision of a Judge in the High Court, have a look at the High Court rules below. When dealing with Appeals in the High Court, one looks at the Uniform Rules, or RULES REGULATING THE CONDUCT OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SEVERAL PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL DIVISIONS OF THE HIGH COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA. The Rules are amended from time to time. Rule 49 deals with Civil appeals from the High Court. It is copied below. 49 Civil Appeals from the High Court (1) (a) When leave to appeal is required, it may on a statement of the grounds therefor be requested at the time of the judgment or order. (b) When leave to appeal is required and it has not been requested at the time of the judgment or order, application for such leave shall be made and the grounds therefor shall be furnished within fifteen days after the date of the order appealed against: Provided that when the reasons or the full reasons for the court’s order are given on a later date than the date of the order, such application may be made within fifteen days after such later date: Provided further that the court may, upon good cause shown, extend the aforementioned periods of fifteen days. (c) When in giving an order the court declares that the reasons for the order will be furnished to any of the parties on application, such application shall be delivered within ten days after the date of the order. (d) The application mentioned in paragraph (b) above shall be set down on a date arranged by the registrar who shall give written notice thereof to the parties. (e) Such application shall be heard by the judge who presided at the trial or, if he is not available, by another judge of the division of which the said judge, when he so presided, was a member. (2) If leave to appeal to the full court is granted ...
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