The end of year holiday season is upon us. This is the time for families to come together and re-establish family bonds. It is also the time of year where many parents who are separated, or not living together, fight over aspects of contact to their children. Often times, a parent would be refused contact to his or her child for no good reason. This is not in the child’s best interests.
We believe that children have a right to spend quality time with both his or her parents irrespective of what type of relationship the parents have amongst themselves. This way of thinking aids the minor child’s emotional and psychological development. With regard to how much quality time should a parent receive; this depends on the facts of the case. However, the deciding factor is what is in the child’s best interests. This is what we shall look at next.
All parents need to conduct themselves in a manner conducive to the child’s best interests. In other words, they need to put their personal issues aside with the other parent and focus on what is best for the child. What often happens, is that one parent tries to punish the other parent by making use of the child. Therefore, they would prefer to alienate a parent from their child and refuse him or her any contact during the holiday season and other times.
Often time children are left with a grandparent, aunt or non-relative to care for them whilst the other parent is busy during the holiday season. The child is the one that loses out in the long run. His or her development would be prejudiced, which could lead to serious mental and psychological developmental issues in the future.
A child required both parents to bring him or her into the world. And in the same manner, a child requires both parents to live a complete and meaningful life. Having said this, if you are being unreasonably refused contact to your child, and feel that it is not in the best interests of the child, read further, and find out what you can do.
We don’t believe in resorting to litigation the moment a dispute regarding child care and contact arises. In other words, going to court at the first sign of trouble, or unreasonableness on the part of the other parent, is not always the best thing to do. Litigation is expensive, time consuming and may not result in the best solution for the parents and the child. Furthermore, you may have to expose the child to being assessed by third parties, which could lead to the child having to make certain choices regarding his or her parents.
Sometimes, other professional people should be approached for assistance. Here we are referring to mediators, social workers or psychologists. Parents can meet with these suitably qualified people and try to mediate a parenting plan. A parenting Plan is an agreement between parents outlining their parental responsibilities and rights of care, contact and maintenance in relation to their child. It may include other relevant aspects as well. As the law currently stands, unless it is a matter of urgency, before approaching a court, parents must first try to enter into a parenting plan.
If trying to agree to a parenting plan does not get you anywhere, then some legal intervention is needed. This is where you want a court to look into what is in the child’s best interests. A lot has been written on the topic of urgent contact on this website. Here are a few links on the law regarding child contact and Court Applications.
What follows is a form which you can complete online, where after you would receive and email with the basic information required to get you started with an urgent court Application for holiday contact. Of course, you need to insert all additional relevant information. Once you received the email, you are on your way in making your Application to Court. For the purposes of this tool, we presume that you reside in the Western Cape, and will make use of the Western Cape High Court for the Application. You also need to obtain the Free DIY Urgent Child Contact Toolkit for mothers and Fathers. This is dealt with next.
Download the Free DIY Urgent Child Contact Toolkit for mothers and Fathers found on this website. This would greatly assist you as an extra tool. The toolkit relates to an Urgent Child Contact Application in the Western Cape High Court which would be of assistance in making an urgent application and completing the form below.
Kindly complete the online form below. Once you completed the form, and submitted it, you would obtain an email with a Draft Notice of Motion and Founding Affidavit. You can then use those documents, together with those documents received in the Free DIY Urgent Child Contact Toolkit for mothers and Fathers and prepare your Application. We advise that you consult with a legal Practitioner to assist you in the application should you decide to take it to Court. Best of luck.
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 like and share it on Social Media by clicking on the icons below. For more interesting articles and information on Family Law, view our articles and Q&A page. If you have a family law related legal issue and you want someone to answer or reply to it, feel free to post it on our Family Law Blog. Therefore, kindly like and share.
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