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 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 the mother be the less responsible parent, sole custody may be awarded to the father by the court. Depending upon the nature and circumstance of the legal matter, the court may find joint custody in the child’s best interest.
Custody of divorced parents
There is so much at play when it comes to deciding to the custodian parent of the child with divorced parents. It is best advised that a parenting plan is professionally drafted and legally executed. A parenting plan outlines the rights of both parents with regards to the child; covers visitation rights and helps both parents reach a mutual ground.
Divorced father’s rights
Fathers do have rights to their child after divorce. Depending on the relationship between the two parents, they may reach a mutual agreement. If you’re a father who regular pays child maintenance but is still denied access to your child, you may want to take this up with a family law legal expert.
Child custody cases
- 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?
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