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Question
Posted by: Anonomous | 2011/05/09

Advice for a friend

I have a friend who has been trying to get divorced from his wife for 3 years now. Their son was 18 months old when the mother went to England (where she is from) to visit her sick grandmother, 2 weeks later phoned him and told him she wasn''t coming back. She didn''t care about the boy for about 2 years, then started making contact again. He has been trying to get the divorce settled but now she wants custody over the boy (now 5 years old). The father raised him on his own for more than 3 years. The boy is very happy and stable. What rights does my friend have? And what are the chances that he can get full custody over his son? The mother now lives in England, he lives in South Africa.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

It will be extremely difficult for the mother to succeed in getting sole care of the child. The court will look at various aspects to determine what will be in the best interests of the child. The fact that the child has been in the father's care for 3 years will definitely be regarded as a decisive factor.

Bertus Preller
B.Proc; AD Dip L Law
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
E: bertus@divorceattorney.co.za
W: www.divorceattorney.co.za

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2011/05/17

Thank you for your advice.
It is highly appreciated.
Mr Preller, I will give my friend your details in case he needs a second opinion or advice.

Kind Regards

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: family law expert | 2011/05/14

It will be extremely difficult for the mother to succeed in getting sole care of the child. The court will look at various aspects to determine what will be in the best interests of the child. The fact that the child has been in the father's care for 3 years will definitely be regarded as a decisive factor.

Bertus Preller
B.Proc; AD Dip L Law
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
E: bertus@divorceattorney.co.za
W: www.divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: FIO | 2011/05/09

Extremely unlikely that she will get custody, especially if she wants to take him back to England.

She would have to go a long way through the High Court in order to be granted permission to take him out the country, and in any way she cannot get a passport for the child without Dad''s consent.

Let her do all the applications etc, and he should just respond appropriately and refrain from any sort of unaccommodating behaviour provided all he does can be justified in terms of the childs best interests.

Reply to FIO

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