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Question
Posted by: CC | 2010/10/14

Afraid

I told my partner that it''s over a couple of weeks ago (we are not married, been together 11 years). He told my three kids that he will not allow me to take them out of the house and that he will put me in jail. He''s very aggressive and threatens me. I am planning to go tonight, but I have this feeling that he will hurt me. What must I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

There is absolutely no way that your partner will be able to obtain the sole care of your children, unless it is in their interest. The interests of the children is paramount in any decision regarding their care. Altough he might have parental rights in terms of the Children's Act, this doesn't mean by implication that he will obtain care over them. The court will look at all the facts applicable before making any decision, thus, the threat of putting you in jail should rather be seen as a form of abuse. I suggest that you consult with an attorney.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
www.divorceattorney.co.za
info@divorceattorney.co.za

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: family law expert | 2010/10/15

There is absolutely no way that your partner will be able to obtain the sole care of your children, unless it is in their interest. The interests of the children is paramount in any decision regarding their care. Altough he might have parental rights in terms of the Children's Act, this doesn't mean by implication that he will obtain care over them. The court will look at all the facts applicable before making any decision, thus, the threat of putting you in jail should rather be seen as a form of abuse. I suggest that you consult with an attorney.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
www.divorceattorney.co.za
info@divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: FIO | 2010/10/14

If you go and take the kids without his knowledge, you are committing an offence, unless you can prove that your life or that of your children was/is in danger.

To cover yourself, you would need to go immediately to your local magistrates court, and obtain an Interim Protection Order against him. But be careful, if you accuse him of stuff he is not guilty of, it could backfire on you, and you could be seen as the irresponsible mother acting in your interests and not those of the children.

Whatever happens, he is the biological father and has as many rights to the children as you. So this is why you wopuld have to have very good reason for takking the children away without his consent or even knowledge thereof.

Why do you want to run away with the children instead of settle this through the proper means of mediation and legal means? Running away without good reason is no longer accepted by courts, and you could land yourself in trouble.

He cannot send you to jail, so dont worry about that.

The fact that he is aggressive and threatens you is good enough reason to leave, but to protect yourself you will have to go to the court immediately, in the morning, and get a protection order. And as for taking the kids, you wold need to motivate that it is in the best interests of the children that you take them with you, and not leave them behind.

Whatever happens, you will have to, by law, go through the mediation process, or litigation, to get this settled, so prepare yourself.

Reply to FIO

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