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child law

Statistics show that approximately 55% of divorces involve minor children.

In the vast majority of divorces, the parents reach an agreement regulating guardianship, care, contact, and rights and responsibilities in respect of their minor children. This agreement is incorporated in the divorce order.

Where unmarried parents who cohabitated in a permanent relationship decide to separate, no divorce order is required. It is still advisable that they conclude a written agreement prepared by an attorney to regulate their guardianship, care, contact, and rights and responsibilities in respect of their minor children. The same applies to instances where the parents were not in a permanent relationship and never cohabitated.

If parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding their minor children, the court will make a decision after considering the recommendations of the Family Advocate and the evidence of experts like psychologists and social workers. The paramount principle guiding the court in reaching a decision is always the best interests of the minor children.

Due to our vast experience, objectivity, know-how and relationships with other experts in this field, we are well-equipped to guide and assist our clients in any legal matter involving minor children, whether it is negotiating an agreement with the other parent or representing you in legal proceedings.
Our child law services include: -
Applications in the Children’s Court and High Court to enforce and protect your parental rights, including guardianship, care and contact.
Drafting and registration of parenting plans and parental rights and responsibilities agreements.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is included under parental rights and responsibilities?
To care for the child, to maintain contact with the child, to act as the guardian of the child and to contribute to the maintenance of the child.
Must my child’s own opinion be considered when making decisions impacting him/her?
Should a child be of an age, maturity and stage of development to be able to participate, the child will have the right to participate in an appropriate way and his/her views must be duly considered.
Can I take my child to another country without notifying the co-guardian of the child?
No. Consent by the co-guardian is required before removing the child or children from South Africa.
What can I do to protect my contact rights if the mother and I were not married, but only lived together when the child was born and my child currently resides with the mother?
A parenting plan can be concluded with the mother. This plan should be registered at the Family Advocate’s Office and/or made an order of the Children’s Court or High Court. If the mother does not want to co-operate, application can be made to Court to apply for the registration of a parenting plan.
The father of my child does not want contact with our minor child, can I still hold him responsible for maintenance?
Yes, irrespective of contact with the child every parent has a duty to pay maintenance towards their child.