family law south africa

Family Law

Legal advice and legal and paralegal services; on all aspects of family law such as divorce, maintenance, custody. access to children; adoption, parenting plans, separation agreements, and general legal advice

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maintenance to students web

The answer to this question is not a simple one

At The Legal Advice Office; we receive daily inquiries on a number of issues which affect the daily lives of the people around us.

On Friday we received the following question and query and will answer it in this blog.

“I have been divorced for some years now and have been paying maintenance to my ex-wife and my two children for a five of years; ever since our divorce was finalised in the High Court in Cape Town in 2013. My eldest son has now finished school and he wants to go to university. My ex-wife is now insisting that I must contribute to his university studies as part of my maintenance obligations. Surely now that he is an adult and eighteen years old, my responsibility to maintain him will have stopped?”

surrogate mother

Image credit  Babygest

Surrogacy is allowed in South Africa and is regulated by the Children’s Act.

We received the following question during the course of last week

 “I have been happily married for the last 7 years. However; I am medically unable to produce a child. My husband and I have talked about the option of both adoption and surrogacy. We have decided to go the surrogacy route if we can, and have discussed it with my sister. She is older than me has two children and does not want any more of her own and is willing to consider it. We’ve not yet spoken about costs or payment for her to do this, because we’re not sure whether surrogacy is even allowed in South Africa. Is surrogacy an option we can consider? Your advice would be much appreciated”

aging parents no adoption web

The short answer is no

A week or two ago, The Legal Advice Office got the following query:

 “Can you please assist with advice in this regard?

I have been raised as the only child by parents, who are not my biological parents. Although I regard them as my true parents, I was never formally adopted by them. They are both in ill-health and I don’t think they have a will. They don’t have much, but I am concerned that if they die, I will lose the possessions that they do have. Will I be able to inherit from them when they pass away even if I was never formally adopted?”

child emigration banner

Can my child become a foreign national without my consent?

A couple of times a year we get an inquiry along these lines and we had one during this last week; so let’s try to answer the client’s question for you.

Below is the actual question:

 “I am a recently divorced mother and I want to permanently relocate to Australia with my minor child as I have obtained a wonderful work opportunity in Sydney; which will benefit both myself in the long term and my child eventually.

However, my ex, the father of my child, refuses to give his consent, despite the fact that the child resides permanently with me in terms of our divorce order.

The question is do I need his consent in writing or otherwise to take my son with me to Australia?”

grandparents

It is important to note the difference between an order for care and one for contact.

Quite a few years ago; and before the new Children's Act came into being; I was involved in a matter in the High Court in Cape Town where a grandmother wanted to exercise rights of access to her two grandchildren but because of an argument with her daughter, the mother of the children, she was being denied access to her grandchildren, Quite rightly she was not prepared to let that happen and took her daughter to the High Court in an Application to get a court order allowing her access to her grandchildren and she got such an order; which was unusual at the time for the reasons given below.

I remembered this case when I got the following inquiry in this last week which is in a similar vein and the facts were strangely similar.

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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (028) 316 2458
Email: info@legaladviceoffice.co.za