Father battles for 3 years to finally see his child. This he did with the help of a social worker, lawyer and the court. He now has regular contact to his child.
Custody, Contact and Guardianship are parental responsibilities of all parents. Once the child is born, both parents not only have a right but a duty to form part of a child’s life. This is also the right of the child. Therefore, a parent cannot deny the other parent from exercising his or her parental responsibilities and rights. The Courts have a duty to ensure that a child’s best interests are met when approached. It is therefore of paramount importance that parents ensure that parental responsibilities and rights are exercise and enforced where necessarily. This includes the responsibility of paying child maintenance.
Before we head into the article, let us first outline what the law says on the parental responsibilities of parents. In the end, we will deal with the law regarding the inclusion of a father’s name on the child’s birth certificate.
Read further to what the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 says about parental responsibilities and rights. You can skip this section by clicking here.
The Children’s Act 38 of 2005
Section 18 of the Children’s Act 38 of 38 2005 states the following:
“(1) A person may have either full or specific parental responsibilities or 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 marriage
(ii) Consent to the child adoption;
(iii) Consent to the child departure or removal from the Republic;
(iv) Consent to the child application for a passport; and
(v) Consent to the alienation or encumbrance of any immovable property of the child.
(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).”
[ps2id id=’care-id’ target=”/]
Father’s right to his child
If you are a parent and confronted with a situation where you are denied rights to your child; read on. Notwithstanding this article has been written in relation to the rights of a father; a mother can find it useful too.
Mike was a typical office worker, age 25. He lived with his parents and was studying part-time to earn his teaching degree. This is where he met Mary, on a Saturday morning, when visiting the campus library. She was in her final year of medicine. One thing led to another and 6 months later, Mary fell pregnant. Marry came from a wealthy family. Her father was a businessman and her mother a psychology professor. What’s more, Mary was the only child. When her parents found out who the father was, they forbid her to see him. According to them, he was unworthy of their daughter.
Read on to find out the meaning of Care and Contact as provide for in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. You can skip this section by click here.
Meaning of Care
The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 defines care as follows:
Care in relation to a child, includes, where appropriate-
(a) Within available means, providing the child with-
(i) a suitable place to live;
(ii) Living conditions that are conducive to the child’s health well-being and development; and
(iii) The necessary financial support;
(b) Safeguarding and promoting the well-being of the child;
(c) protecting the child from maltreatment, abuse, neglect, degradation, discrimination, exploitation and any other physical, emotional or moral harm or hazards;
(d) respecting, protecting, promoting and securing the fulfilment of, and guarding against any infringement of, the child rights set out in the Bill of Rights and the principles set out in Chapter 2 of this Act;
(e) guiding, directing and securing the child education and upbringing, including religious and cultural education and upbringing, in a manner appropriate to the child age, maturity and stage of development; guiding, advising and assisting the child in decisions to be taken by the child in a manner appropriate to the child age, maturity and stage of development;
(g) Guiding the behaviour of the child in a humane manner;
(h) Maintaining a sound relationship with the child;
(I) accommodating any special needs that the child may have; and
(j) Generally, ensuring that the best interests of the child is the paramount Concern in all matters affecting the child;
According to the Children’s Act 38 of 2005, contact means the following:
Contact in relation to a child, means-
(a) Maintaining a personal relationship with the child; and
(b) If the child lives with someone else-
(I) communication on a regular basis with the child in person, including-
(AA) visiting the child; or
(Bb) being visited by the child; or
(ii) Communication on a regular basis with the child in any other manner,
(AA) through the post; or
(Bb) by telephone or any other form of electronic communication;
[ps2id id=’care2-id’ target=”/]
Mike tried very hard to find out how the pregnancy was going along. All cell phone calls were blocked and he was refused access to Mary’s home. He felt obligated to make some type of contribution towards the gynaecological and other medical expenses. He spoke to his family about the situation, and they too were very stressed out. This would be the first grandchild and experienced a profound sense of responsibility.
They met Mary once and liked her very much. She was smart, pretty and easy going. They then consulted with a family lawyer. The advice was to wait until the child was born and then to enforce parental responsibilities and rights. The lawyer, however, wrote a letter to Mary saying that Mike wants to be part and parcel of the child’s life, even before the birth. Furthermore, Mike wants to contribute towards the medical expenses incurred thus far and any future expenses. Needless to say, the letter was ignored. The Lawyer then advised that they wait until the child was born and then enforce his parental responsibilities and rights.
The Birth and Registration
Obviously, Mike was not at the birth of his child. That saddened him very much. Mike then found out through a friend of Mary that she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The name Mary gave him was Mark. That was great news for Mike. His parents were also very happy. When Mary registered Mark at the Department of Home Affairs, she did not stipulate that Mike was the father. As Mike thus far did not spend any money on the birth or on his son, he opened an investment account where he deposited money into each month.
Mike then set up a meeting with his lawyer. He explained to him that he wanted to see his son, who was almost 2 months old. The lawyer knew this was a sensitive matter, in that nothing was known about the current circumstances of Mary and Mark. They needed to approach this matter very delicately. All that Mike wanted at this stage was to see his son.
The lawyer then wrote a letter to Mary asking that his client, Mike, could see Mark for a few minutes at a convenient place and time for Mary. The lawyer made use of the office of the Sheriff to serve the letter to ensure that Mary receives it. On receipt of the latter, Mary showed it to her father. Her father then met with his lawyer. They replied to the letter advising that Mary wants nothing to do with Mike. According to them, it would not be in the child’s best interests for Mike to make any contact with him. They advise that should Mike persist in wanting to meet with Mark, they are instructed to launch an application to the court for harassment.
Mikes’ lawyer then again advised him of his rights. The difficulty that he had was he knew nothing about the personal circumstances of Mary and Mark. All he knew was that Mark was about 4 months old, living with Mary and her parents. He did not know whether Mary was working or studying, whether Mark was being breastfed and so on. It is therefore difficult to enforce one’s rights, or demand for rights to be enforced under those circumstances. Mike’s lawyer then recommended that a social worker is approached for advice and support on this matter. It is possible that the social worker could mediate the matter.
When Mike met with the Social worker he told her everything he knew about Marry and Mark. However, information after the birth of Mark was limited. Basically, all he knew was that he was a boy. He did not even know his son’s date of birth. The Social worker appreciated the sensitivity of the matter. She agreed that due to not knowing what the actual circumstances were, the way forward is challenging. Although Mike is the father of Mark and has parental rights, that should not be enforced without considering Mark’s best interests.
The Social worker then agreed that she will try to contact Mary. She sends Mary a letter advising her that she was instructed by Mike to arrange contact between him and his son. Needless to say, Mary did not reply to the letter. The Social worker subsequently decided to call Mary. Mary answered and said she doesn’t want to speak to the social worker and that she must leave her alone. The Social worker then met with Mike and his lawyer, and they concluded that the only way forward was to ask for the help of the Court.
The Court Application
Mikes lawyer then drafted an Urgent Application to the Western Cape High Court. The relief requested was for reasonable supervised contact until Mark is a year old, and then unsupervised contact. What was also requested, was an Order that the Office of the Family Advocate investigates the matter and provide a report to the Court? The Application was filed and served on Mary. Needless to say, she appointed attorneys to oppose the application.
Mary submitted an opposing affidavit. Her argument was that Mark does not know his father, and it would be best that he only has contact when he is considerably older. But for now, contact rights should be suspended. Mike obviously replied with a replying affidavit.
First High Court hearing date
On the hearing date, the Court played it safe. The Judge first wanted the Office of the Family Advocate to intervene and provide a report for the Court to consider. Mike’s advocate did not argue with the Judge on this point. The matter was then postponed for a period of 3 months for the report.
Family Advocate’s Report
On the return date, the Court had before it the report of the Office of the Family Advocate. They consulted with Mike and Mary, and it so happens, they came to an agreement regarding phased in contact rights. It was agreed that contact would be exercised at her home, once a week for the first 2 months. Thereafter contact would be every week until Mark is a year old. Once he turns 1, Mike would be able to take Mark with to his home for a period of 4 hours. Further contact would then be relooked at once Mark is 2 years old. At this point, overnight contact may be considered.
Mike also offered to pay child maintenance and put Mark on his medical aid as a beneficiary. Mary was happy to hear this as she was the one who solely supported Mark. Her parents were getting fed-up with all the expenses involved.
Next High Court date
The Judge was very happy that the parties came to an agreement. She subsequently made the agreement and Order of Court. According to the report, Mike met Mark at the Office of the family advocate and spent about a half an hour with him. The report also stated that Mike visited Mark at Mary’s home and bonded. Therefore, according to the Court, this was the best type of arrangement as the parties drafted their own agreement. If they did not settle the matter, the Court could make an Order, which both parties may be unhappy with or unwilling to implement. The Court, therefore, made the settlement agreement an Order of Court.
Father’s name on the birth’s registry
Mike exercised contact as per the High Court Order. When he requested Mark’s birth certificate in order to put him on his Medical Aid Scheme, he noticed his name was not on it. Mike then approached the Department of Home Affairs for a change of the birth records. Mary co-operated and the changes were made. Mike was now mentioned as the father on Marks’s birth certificate.
This is the law applicable
Section 11 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 51 of 1992
Section 11 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 51 of 1992 deals with the amendment of birth registration of a child born out of wedlock. An extract of the Act is as follows:
Amendment of birth registration of child born out of wedlock
(1) Any parent of a child born out of wedlock whose parents married each other after the registration of his or her birth, may, if such child is a minor, or such child himself or herself may, if he or she is of age, apply in the prescribed manner to the Director-General to amend the registration of his or her birth as if his or her parents were married to each other at the time of his or her birth, and thereupon the Director-General shall, if satisfied that the applicant is competent to make the application, that the alleged parents of the child are in fact his or her parents and that they legally married each other, amend the registration of birth in the prescribed manner as if such child’s parents were legally married to each other at the time of his or her birth.
(2) If the parents of a child born out of wedlock marry each other before notice of his or her birth is given, notice of such birth shall be given and the birth registered as if the parents were married to each other at the time of his or her birth.
(4) A person who wishes to acknowledge himself to be the father of a child born out of wedlock, may, in the prescribed manner, with the consent of the mother of the child, apply to the Director-General, who shall amend the registration of the birth of such child by recording such acknowledgement and by entering the prescribed particulars of such person in the registration of the birth of such child.
(4A) An amendment of the particulars of a person who has acknowledged himself as a father of a child as contemplated in subsection (4) and section 10(1)(b) of the Act shall be supported by the prescribed conclusive proof of that person being the father of the child.
(5) Where the mother of a child has not given her consent to the amendment of the registration of the birth of her child in terms of subsection (4), the father of such a child shall apply to the High Court of competent jurisdiction for a declaratory order which confirms his or her paternity of the child and dispenses with the requirement of consent of the mother contemplated in subsection (4).
(6) When the court considers the application contemplated in subsection (5) the provisions of section 26(b) of the Children’s Act shall apply.
Although Mike and Mary never became a couple again, they learned to accept the reality of their situation and tried to make the best of it. If there were any issues, they always referred back to the Order the Court made. Even though it took Mike almost 3 years to obtain regular contact, he says it was worth it.
Sharing is Caring
This and other articles and posts found on this website are written by Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf to assist people with various family law related issues they may have. If you find any of our articles, free resources and posts interesting, or possibly useful to others, please share it on Social Media.
Should you require any other legal services and advice, not related to family law, visit Private Legal.
Purchase a Consultation with us from our Online Shop, by clicking here.
View some of our other Child Articles Articles below
Parental Child Abuse in Child Custody Matters This article is connected to the topic Child Custody and Visitation Court Applications. It may be useful to read up on it before proceeding to read further. Otherwise, read on to find out more about parental child abuse and the legal aspects surrounding it. Parental Child Abuse is a common occurrence in our society. This article does not deal with the merits or demerits of parental child abuse. However, it gives light on this aspect in a child custody case. What are the common forms of child abuse? Child abuse can take many forms. This includes physical, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse. Each case may be different. However, the common theme, in a child custody situation would be that the child is being detrimentally affected by the parent's conduct. Therefore, should a parent beat the child, neglect the child, or cause harm to the child, it would be seen as abuse. What happens in cases of child abuse? Of course, in extreme cases of abuse, such parent would be refused contact completely. This is especially in the case where the child would be traumatized should he or she have contact with the parent ...
Child Custody / Visitation / Access Questions and Answers We introduced this Child Custody / Visitation / Access Questions and Answers page for you to post questions you may have on the topic. For example, if you want to know if you are entitled to custody, pose a question with some background facts. At the same time, should you be able to assist others who posted questions below, requiring some advice on Child Custody / Visitation / Access, please proceed and reply to their comments. In that manner, we would all be able to assist each other and increase our online knowledge base. Therefore, although we a are legal consultancy, specialising in family law, you may have problems or experiences that we have not encountered. Let us share in our knowledge of Child Custody / Visitation / Access. We are conveniently located in the Pinnacle Building, in the Cape Town CBD. Click here to call us on (021) 4243487 or send us an email. Other family law resources on this website There are various other family law resources on this website that you may find useful. For example, there is a downloadable child maintenance calculator. The resources may assist you ...
Custody cases South Africa Our law offices are situated in the heart of the CBD in a professional, safe settings. We are family legal experts when it comes to handling child custody, divorce and child maintenance legal matters. Throughout our years of experience, we have found that the legal rules for child custody tends to favor the mother, unless the mother happened to be unstable. As time passed, the rules have changed and in turn, accommodates for the rights of fathers as well. With different circumstances constantly arising in custody battles; the law have had to adapt under these changing priorities as well. Today, fathers are more aware of their legal rights and make it their duty to educate themselves about their rights. Our Lawyer Pty Ltd is a professional legal consultancy that offers legal services and to cater for the layman, we have managed to compile a range of child custody legal articles with expert legal advice. Simply click on the links below: Child custody visitation access- questions and answers Child custody frequently asked questions Father refused contact to his child. What are his rights? Father's parental responsibilities and rights to his child. How do I get full custody ...
Child custody for fathers In most cases, the court will be more likely to award child custody rights to the mother first if the mother happens to be stable. Should the mother in any event, be a substance abuser, then the father will immediately be awarded child custody rights. The court will first and foremost, have the child’s best interest at heart. Part of this process is ensuring that the child grows up in a healthy environment. If it is best for the child to live with the father, then that is where the child will be residing at. Fathers have the following child custody rights towards their children: Contact Care Guardianship and sometimes even Primary caregivers of the child As previously mentioned, if the mother happens to be unstable with no intention of rehabilitation, then custody rights are automatically awarded to the father. When it comes to child custody battles, there are no grey areas as the children are the center of it all. For more on child access and visitation rights, fell free to contact our law offices on 021 424 3487 for an online appointment. Alternatively, feel free to email us at [email protected]
today for a professional legal ...
The plight and fight of unmarried fathers in obtaining primary care (custody) of their children in South Africa. Can the battle be won, and what are their rights? By Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf (LL.B LL.M) There is a common misconception that if a child was born out of wedlock, only the mother can be the primary caregiver of the child concerned. This may however generally be the case. However, it is presumed by some that if a mother cared for the child since his or her birth, the father would not be able to be the child’s primary caregiver. In other words, the child would no longer live with the mother, but with the father. We do not blame our clients for thinking so. That is the stereotype. However, as the world changes, so does the law. We are often approached by fathers who have a child that was born out of wedlock. He and the mother most probably lived together when the child was born. But things did not work out between them. The mother moved out and lived with her parents or on her own. The father would then regularly have contact with the child. The type of contact ...
Parents with Mental illnesses in child custody and care matters in South Africa Biological parents are the ones who have parental responsibilities and rights over their children. Not grandparents, aunts, uncles and so on. Parental responsibilities and rights refer to caring, maintaining and acting as guardian for the child, to mention a few. Mothers automatically have parental responsibilities and rights of care, contact and guardianship, and fathers may either have it or acquire it. This depends on the facts of the case. The obligation to maintain your child however always applies. Various factors are looked at when deciding what is best for a child Having said the above, how parents exercise their parental responsibilities and rights would differ from case to case, especially if the parents are not living together. In such a case, various factors and circumstances will be looked at in determining what is best for the child. As would be seen later, in the case of a dispute in relation to how separated and divorced parents should exercise care and contact, expert advice needs to be considered. What this article deals with is how to resolve the issue of parental responsibilities and rights of care and contact ...
Child Maintenance and Child Custody Difficulties in light of the National Lockdown - (COVID-19) Host: Felicity An Guest (Child Maintenance Difficulties SA) Panel: -Muhammad Abduroaf (Advocate) – www.ourlawyer.co.za/advocate -Nicole Lawrence (Attorney) - Attorney & Director of Nicole Lawrence Attorneys, Cape Town [email protected]
071 456 9105 (Firm cell number) -Ayesha Karim (Attorney) - Director at Ayesha Karim Attorneys- Durban (KZN) [email protected]
-Dr. Lesley Ann Foster – Woman’s Rights International – www.masimanyane.org.za ...
Child custody disputes during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Lockdown – What impact did the National Lockdown have on it? With three months into the national lockdown, no one will dispute that it had a profound effect on all aspects of daily life. The same would apply to marriages, family relations and co-parenting to mention a few. A lot has been written on the topic of the movement of children during the lockdown. At the start of the lockdown, the movement of children was prohibited. The child had to remain with the parent with whom he or she was with at the start of the lockdown. A few weeks into the lockdown, things changed. Children could move between parents if there were a court order, parental rights and responsibilities agreement or parenting plan registered with the office of the family advocate. Later, things further developed where the magistrate’s permit came into play. Read more above the changes to the regulations over time by clicking on this link. You would find an extensive overview of the history of the movement of children during the lockdown. Have child custody disputes increased three months after the start of the lockdown? One would be ...
What are child custody disputes? Read some questions and answer from mother and father. Child custody disputes are one aspect of family law that keeps both lawyers and the courts busy. Although child custody disputes may seem simple in the eyes of the outside observer, it is not always so for the parties involved. Parents care much more for their children than they do for worldly things. Therefore, should they experience problems concerning their children, it often causes a lot of anxiety and stress. Below are some questions mothers and fathers usually pose online when it comes to child custody disputes. Feel free to pose your questions below. What are the rights of an unmarried father to his children? Fathers of children born out of wedlock do not automatically have rights towards their children. For you to form part of such a child’s life you need to fulfil the requirements of section 21 of the Children’s Act, which in short states: At the time of the child’s birth, you are living with the mother in a permanent life-partnership; and You contribute or have attempted in good faith to contribute to the child’s upbringing for a reasonable period; You contribute or ...
The limited-time Free 15 (fifteen) minute legal advice consultation on child custody (care and contact) matters during the National Lockdown ENDED The free Free 15 (fifteen) minute legal advice consultation on child custody (care and contact) matters during the National Lockdown which was offered on 9 June 2020 ended on 24 August 2020. We hope all those who made use of the free service benefited from it. To make a legal advice consultation where a fee is applicable, kindly complete the form below ...
Child Custody battles. What are the frequently asked questions mothers and fathers pose when it comes to children disputes? Our courts are inundated with child custody matters. Parents who were once in love and supportive of each other, now find themselves embroiled in a very sensitive and emotional legal battle. The question that is posed; who can best care for the minor child? Is it the mother or the father? Should things remain the same, or is a change warranted. As you would see below, when deciding on where a child should primarily reside, the court would need to determine what is best for the child. The court is hardly concerned with the wishes and preferences of the parents. Their interests are secondary. However, the court has to consider all factors. That includes the domestic situation of both parents and their ability to care for the child. I am worried about my child custody case. How can a father lose a child custody battle? A father will lose a child custody battle if he cannot prove that it is in the child’s best interest that he has custody over the child concerned. It is important when either parent wants a ...
Questions parents ask in child custody disputes. What are some of the difficulties parents face when dealing with child custody issues and problems? When parents have issues and difficulties regarding their parental responsibilities and rights, they often go online for answers. These issues can relate to contact rights or guardianship issues. One parent may want to have more contact, and the other parent refuses such a request. Or a parent wants to relocate with a minor child, and the other parent refuses guardianship consent. Whatever the issues are, they need to be resolved in the child’s best interests. Read on for some interesting questions parents ask online. Does the abuse of alcohol affect the outcome of a child custody case? Abusing alcohol is very dangerous. Not only for you but for your relationship and parenting as well. If a parent abuses alcohol in the presence of a child, then the child is in danger, or at the very least, in a potential neglectful situation. If both parents abuse alcohol, then the case is much more serious and social welfare needs to get involved. On the issue of a child custody case, the abuse of alcohol is material and would play ...
Child custody for fathers During our years of experience in dealing with child custody battles, we have found it common for fathers fighting for child custody and wanting to know more about their legal rights. Unfortunately, a father paying child maintenance will not be guaranteed full child custody of a child. For more on father’s rights in child custody, click on the links below and read our free, expert legal advice article on how to go about your legal rights as a father. Child custody visitation access- questions and answers Child custody frequently asked questions Father refused contact to his child. What are his rights? Father's parental responsibilities and rights to his child. How do I get full custody over my child? Parental child abuse in custody cases- Cape Town What does it mean when you have primary residential custody? What happens in a case custody dispute when one parent is mentally ill? Feel free to call our law offices on 021 424 3487, or our national number on 087 701 1124 if you’re residing out of Cape Town. We are conveniently situated in the heart of the buzzing CBD at The Pinnacle, Suit 702, 7th floor, corner of Strand and Burg ...
I am concerned about my niece's wellbeing. Is it possible for me to obtain rights of custody and guardianship over her? The parents are still alive but divorced. We often receive enquiries from family members of minor children wanting to know whether they can obtain rights of custody or guardianship over a minor child. The client could be a grandmother, an aunt, or in some instances, a former step-parent. Let us take you through a scenario where an aunt wishes to obtain sole custody and guardianship over a minor child. Should you be an interested party wishing to obtain parental responsibilities and rights over a minor child; feel free to contact us for a legal advice consultation. The scenario: The minor child is being primarily cared for by the paternal aunt The parents of a minor child, age 16, are married and living together. The minor child, who is in grade 10, frequents the home of her paternal aunt. The parents live very busy lives, and often have to travel overseas on separate business trips for extended periods. The minor child sometimes doesn’t see her parents for weeks on end. Nonetheless, she is well cared for by her aunt, during ...
Child Custody Law in South Africa What exactly is child custody? Child custody refers to the legal order or instruction by the court to the parents of their child/children. The term Custody on its own, simply means to care or protect for. Hence child custody is concerned with the protection and care of a child by the parents. When it comes to the Children’s Act in South Africa, your legal expert/professional will tell you that the Act aims to have the child’s best interest in place. With that being said, the Act covers a number of legal aspects and rights regarding the child. Attorneys (Lawyers), Advocates and other legal professionals, will make use of the Act to ensure that they are doing things legally correct. The Children’s Act can be applied to parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, teachers and so forth. Sole Guardianship Sole guardianship refers to one parent having full custody of the child. Some may interpret this wrongly and think that the other parent will no longer be able to see the child. This is not the case. It is however, commonly understood that the mother is usually awarded sole custody. This too, is no longer the case. Should ...
How do you go about getting custody of a child? Gaining child custody can be a dreadful legal battle as parents often make irrational decisions based on their own emotions and not that of their child/children. Often, the legal expert will be referring to the Children’s Act as a guideline to the way forward. The focus of the Children’s Act however, is on the child’s rights rather than the rights of parents and highlights the best interest of the child. In turn, the legal expert will guide the parents along the way should parents be too self-absorbed in the tension and conflict of a divorce. Our legal consultancy boast a well experienced, professional, family legal expert who will be advising you through the process. For more details on how to gain child custody, click on the articles below which contain free, expert legal advice: How do I get full custody over my child? Parental child abuse in custody cases What does it mean when you have primary residential custody? What happens in custody dispute where one parent is mentally ill? How to go about getting joint custody? Joint custody however, will require both parents to be on the same page as ...
Family Law Legal services - Child custody, divorce and child maintenance Our family law consultancy have a range of family law legal services for your convenience. Our specialized legal services are child maintenance, child custody and divorce. To top it off, we are situated in the heart of the buzzing CBD at Suit 702, 7th Floor, The Pinnacle, corner of Strand and burg Street, Cape Town, South Africa. Feel free to visit us at our offices in a safe, central setting and enjoy professional, confidential, legal consultations at its best. Our specialized legal services are: Child Maintenance Ante-nuptial Contact Change Matrimonial Property Regime Child Adoption Child Custody and Access Domestic Violence Protection Family Trust Registration Fast Unopposed Divorces Non-Compliance with maintenance orders Parenting Plans Postnuptial Contract Registration Pre-nikkah Agreement Should any of the above legal services interest you, feel free to call our offices on 021 424 3487 and have our receptionist make an online appointment for you. Child custody and legal advice… Like any other family legal matter, child custody involves a number of factors. When it comes to the legal aspect, the Children’s Act is used as a guideline on how to go about parental legal rights. We’ve found ...
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 ...
Parents with Psychiatric disorders No parent is perfect. And no one can help it if they suffer from some psychological disorder. However, when it comes to parenting, mental health does play a role regarding the issue of child custody. In other words, a parent with a psychological disorder would find it hard to be a child's primary care giver, if the child would best be cared for by the other parent. This is assuming that the other parent in this case is capable of caring for the child. This article is connected to the topic Child Custody and Visitation Court Applications. It may be useful to read up on it before proceeding to read further. Otherwise, read on to find out more about parental child abuse and the legal aspects surrounding it. When should you consult with a lawyer? Seeing that you are dealing with parental rights and responsibilities, it is best to first try to resolve issues with the other parent. If that does not work, then try mediation. Should that still not work, see a lawyer who would advise you on what would be best for you and your child. If need be, a Court application would have ...
Can a parent appeal a child custody order granted by the High Court or Children’s Court? In resolving disputes regarding child custody or guardianship (parental rights and responsibilities) matters, a court will usually be approached. The court is also the upper guardian of all minor children within its area of jurisdiction. A parent or interested party may approach the Children’s Court or the High Court when it comes to parental rights regarding a minor child. The High Court, however, has greater jurisdiction when it relates to issues associated with guardianship rights. As demonstrated below, the courts’ decisions may be reviewed by a higher court. However, before approaching the court, the parties should first try to resolve the matter through entering into a parenting plan. How are child custody court proceedings initiated? A parent or interested party would make an application to the court. In the High Court, this would be done with a Notice of Motion and Founding Affidavit, served on the other parent or interested party. An interested party would be someone who cares for the child or significantly forms part of the child’s life. For example, a step-parent, grandparent, or aunt. Once the founding papers are served, the ...
Frequently asked questions when it comes to parental responsibilities and rights of parents having issues or difficulties in co-caring for their children. As things evolve, so does the legal question surrounding child custody, contact and care. For example, not too long ago, children were generally seen as best being cared for by mothers as opposed to fathers. Fathers would usually get custody if the mother was incapable of caring for a child. Now the law focuses solely on what is best for the child under specific circumstances. Therefore, it often happens that primary care is awarded to fathers where there are no social welfare issues involved. Moreover, a lot of attention is given to the voice of the child. This depends on the child’s age and level of maturity. We decided to answer various popular questions on parental rights and responsibilities when it comes to children. Below are 11 popular legal questions and answers Our Lawyer comes across. Further below are some frequently asked questions that you can apply your mind to. Does a mother have more rights over a child than a father? The father of my child never had contact with the child since before my child’s birth ...
Is it possible for an unmarried father to obtain full custody of a 10-year-old child and not the mother? – A simplified family lawyer’s perspective. By Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf There is a common misconception that if a child was born out of wedlock; only the mother can be the primary caregiver of the child concerned. This may however generally be the case. However, it is presumed by some that if a mother cared for the child since his or her birth, the father would not be able to be the child’s primary caregiver. In other words, the child would always live with the mother, and never with the father. We do not blame our clients for thinking so. That is the stereotype. As the world changes, so does the law. The popular scenario regarding single parenting? We are often approached by fathers who have a child that was born out of wedlock. He and the mother most probably lived together when the child was born. But things did not work out between them. The mother moved out and lived with her parents or on her own. The father would then regularly have contact with the child. The type of contact ...