Child custody and visitation rights

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The Child custody and visitation rights process

  • Clear understanding of legal rights.
  • Protection of child's best interests.
  • Fair division of parenting responsibilities.
  • Mediation for peaceful resolution.
  • Representation in court proceedings.
  • Enforceable court orders for compliance.

What is Child custody and visitation rights?

In South Africa, child custody, or "care" as it's known under the Children's Act, determines the parent with whom a child will live after a divorce or separation. This may include provisions for visitation or "contact" rights for the non-custodial parent. The best interests of the child are paramount in determining these matters.

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FAQ for Child custody and visitation rights

What is child custody?

Child custody refers to the legal and practical relationship between a parent and a child. It determines who has the right to make decisions for the child and where the child will live.

What types of child custody are there?

There are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about the child's life, such as education and healthcare. Physical custody refers to where the child lives.

How is child custody determined?

Child custody is determined by the best interests of the child. This includes factors such as the child's age, health, and relationship with each parent. The court will also consider each parent's ability to provide for the child's physical and emotional needs.

Can a child choose which parent they want to live with?

In South Africa, a child's preference is taken into account when determining child custody, but it is not the only factor. The child's age and maturity level will also be considered, as well as the reasons for their preference.

What are visitation rights?

Visitation rights refer to the right of a non-custodial parent to spend time with their child. This can include weekends, holidays, and other scheduled times.

Can visitation rights be denied?

Visitation rights can only be denied in certain circumstances, such as if the non-custodial parent is a danger to the child or if the child is too young to spend time away from the custodial parent. Otherwise, visitation rights are typically granted.

Can child custody arrangements be changed?

Child custody arrangements can be changed if there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a parent relocating or a change in the child's needs. The court will consider whether the proposed change is in the best interests of the child.

Family Lawyers in South Africa specialize in laws relating to family matters and domestic relations. They handle a broad range of cases, including marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, and other family-related issues. Their practice is guided by legislation such as the Divorce Act 70 of 19791, the Children's Act 38 of 20052, and the Maintenance Act 99 of 19983. These lawyers provide legal advice, negotiate on behalf of clients, and represent them in court proceedings. They are regulated by the Legal Practice Council4.

  1. Divorce Act 70 of 1979 ↩
  2. Children's Act 38 of 2005 ↩
  3. Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 ↩
  4. Legal Practice Council ↩
    , Divorce lawyers in South Africa handle legal matters related to the dissolution of marriages and the associated legal issues such as spousal support, child custody, and division of assets. Divorce law in South Africa is primarily governed by the Divorce Act of 1979. This act provides the legal framework for divorce proceedings and the resolution of related matters. The Law Society of South Africa, along with its provincial branches, oversees and provides guidance to divorce lawyers. To find more information about divorce law and the Law Society of South Africa, you can visit the following links:
  5. Divorce Act:
  6. Law Society of South Africa:

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