Child Custody in South Africa – Frequently asked questions | Legal Articles

 

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Child Custody in South Africa – Frequently asked questions

When it comes to child custody laws in South Africa, there are many common questions that divorcees may want the answers to.

This article serves to take a look at frequently asked questions about child custody as well as provide the answers to them.

Child Custody South Africa

Child custody – What is there to know?

•    How do I file for joint custody?

In order to get joint custody of your child or children, you will need to approach either the High Court or the Children’s High Court. The court will then decide whether or not joint custody is in the child’s best interest.

•    What is a joint residence order?

A joint residence order allows the child to reside with both parents, typically on an equal basis.

•    What does it mean when you have primary residential custody?

This means that your child resides primarily with you and, for example, will only visit the other parent every weekend or even every 2nd weekend.

•    How do I get custody of my child?

As with filing for joint custody, you will need to approach either the High Court or the Children’s High Court in order to file for custody. The court will decide whether or not it is in the child’s best interest.

•    What is joint custody?

Joint custody allows both parents to care for the child or children.

•    How do I file for visitation rights?

In order to file for visitation rights, you will need to approach the High Court or the Children’s High Court. Once again, the court will decide if it’s in the child’s best interest.

•    What is sole legal custody of a child?

When you have sole legal custody of your child, it means that only you are permitted to make decisions regarding your child’s day to day life.

•    How do I file for sole legal custody?

In order to file for sole legal custody, you must approach the High Court or the Children’s High Court. The court will decide if it’s in the child’s best interest.

•    Is a father able to get full custody of his child?

Yes, this is possible, provided it would be in the child’s best interest.

•    Am I able to get sole custody of my child as well as child support?

Yes, this is possible.

•    How is child support affected by joint custody?

Even if parents have joint custody, if one parent earns more than the other, he or she may be required to pay child support.

•    What is shared custody?

Shared custody allows both parents to care for the child as well as to make decisions regarding the child’s life.

•    Can both parents have primary custody?

In theory, it is possible. However, this is not a practical solution.

•    Who is responsible for paying child support?

Both parents are responsible for paying child support.

•    What is joint custody with primary residence?

This is when the child stays at his or her primary residence but both parents care for the child and get to make decisions regarding the child’s life.

•    Is primary custody the same as full custody?

Not necessarily. Primary custody means the child has a primary residence but visits the other parent on agreed terms. Full custody means that only one parent is permitted to make decisions regarding the child’s life.

•    What does it mean to be the primary custodial parent?

This means that you make day to day decisions regarding your child’s life such as what school he or she attends as well as which extramural activities your child may take part in.

•    Who is able to be the custodial parent?

Either or both parents can be the custodial parent of the child.

•    What is the difference between full and sole custody?

Sole custody means that only one parent has custody rights over the child. Full custody means that both parents share custody rights over the child.

•    What is 50/50 custody?

This means that the child stays with both parents an equal amount of time. In this case both parents have equal say regarding the child’s life.

•    What is a primary caregiver?

The primary caregiver of a child is a parent who primarily takes care of the child. This includes the provision of clothing, food and shelter. These are the responsibilities of the primary caregiver.

•    What are the qualities of a caregiver?

A caregiver ensures that the best interests of the child are constantly met.

•    What are my rights as a father?

As a father, you have the right to be a part of your child’s life, provided it is in the best interest of the child.

•    What rights does a father have to a child born out of wedlock?

Such a father should be granted parental rights and responsibilities, provided he pays child support and forms an important part of the child’s life.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated – Family law attorneys in South Africa

For compassionate, professional legal assistance regarding family law, including child custody agreements, contact our attorneys.
 

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