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Child Custody For Fathers2019-08-19T13:23:20+00:00

CHILD CUSTODY FOR FATHERS IN SOUTH AFRICA

For fathers who are currently going through a child custody battle, making themselves informed of the laws and of the father’s rights is important. The biological married father, in terms of Section 20 of the Children’s Act No 38 of 2005, is defined as someone who has full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child:

  1. If he is married to the child’s mother, or
  2. If he was married to the child’s mother at-
  3. The time of the child’s conception
  4. The time of the child’s birth
  5. Any time between the child’s conception and birth.

Biological fathers can become primary caregivers of the child/children and primary residence of the child/children can be awarded to the father if the mother is unfit to care for the children, for example is she is an alcoholic or substance abuser. It is generally accepted today that fathers can be as good as mothers regarding primary care giving of  young children and even babies. Joselowitz & Andrews Attorneys offer assistance in matters involving child custody for fathers throughout South Africa.

Initial consultations are charged at R1500.00. Thereafter, should you wish for us to act on your behalf, a fee is discussed and agreed upon whereafter we can move forward with your matter. We promise to get back to you as soon as possible – as we are aware that these cases are often urgent.

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WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS IN TERMS OF CHILD CUSTODY FOR FATHERS IN SOUTH AFRICA?

PRIMARY RESIDENCE:

In the case of the father being awarded primary residence of the child/children, the children will reside at the father’s house and he will be primarily responsible for them. The father and mother may come to an agreement where she is allowed to visit the children, but they will live with their father. This is often the case when the mother of the children is not considered fit to take care of the children or the father is better equipped to look after the children. Fathers have rights to look after their children should they not believe that the mother is fit to do so.

RIGHT TO ACCESS:

Even if it is not in the best interest of the child to live with the father, fathers still have the rights to have access to the child/children by arriving at a settlement with the estranged wife as to what would be in the best interest of the child/children. In the case of babies, the father can normally see the child at times that are convenient to the mother and she is rearing the child and routine is a priority here. Child custody for fathers is not always full custody but the father has rights to see the child/children.

LIMITED OR NO ACCESS:

In extreme cases where there has been a history of abuse such as emotional, mental or physical abuse, the father will have to show the court that he is a changed person in order to gain rights to see the child/children. These visits will then be limited and supervised. Depending on the relationship between the child and father, there may be instances where no access is granted to the fathers and there is no form of child custody for fathers as he has not seen his child for many years. This is dependent on the facts of the situation and South African courts prefer to leave the way open.

Parental Responsibilities and Rights in regards to Child Custody for Fathers:

In terms of Section 21 of the Children’s Act, the biological father acquires full parental responsibilities and the father’s custody rights in respect of the child –

  1. If at the time of the birth, he is living with the mother in a permanent life-partnership; or
  2. If he, regardless of whether he is living or has lived with the mother-
  3. Consents to be identified or successfully applies in terms of Section 26 to be identified as the child’s father (i.e. if the court confirms his paternity) or pay damages in terms of customary law;
  4. Contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute to the child’s upbringing for a reasonable period; and
  5. Contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute towards expenses in connection with the maintenance of the child for a reasonable period
  6. If there is a dispute between the biological father referred to in sub-section (1) and the biological mother of a child with regard to the fulfilment by that father of the conditions set out in sub-section (1) (a) or (b), the matter must be referred for mediation to a family advocate, social worker, social service professional or another qualified person.

CONTACT JOSELOWITZ & ANDREWS ATTORNEYS TODAY FOR ASSISTANCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY FOR FATHERS IN SOUTH AFRICA.

Joselowitz & Andrews Attorneys offer legal assistance regarding child custody for fathers and provide an affordable and efficient legal solution. Situations surrounding child custody for fathers are often stressful and traumatic and we aim to assist your family during this time. Contact us for further information and assistance or to arrange an appointment to discuss your best options going forward.

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Contact Joselowitz & Andrews Attorneys with regards to your divorced father’s rights in South Africa and family law needs today!

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