Our expert says:
Family law expert
What you may do is to bring an application to suspend his parental rights in terms of the Children's Act. Circumstances may arise such as the abandonment or disappearance of a parent which causes problems in and with the exercise of the parental responsibilities and rights and it becomes necessary for proper parenting to terminate or suspend the other parent’s responsibilities and rights
A co-holder of parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child and any other person having a sufficient interest in the care, protection, well-being or development of the child may apply to:
- the High Court,
- a divorce court in a divorce matter
- or a children’s court
within whose area of jurisdiction the child concerned is ordinarily resident, for an order suspending for a period, or terminating, any or all of the parental responsibilities and rights which a specific person has in respect of a child or extending or circumscribing the exercise by that person of any or all of the parental responsibilities and rights that person has in respect of a child.
This application may be combined with an application for the assignment of contact and care in respect of the child and may be brought by:
* a co-holder of parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child,
* by any other person having a sufficient interest in the care, protection, well-being or development of the child,
* by the child, acting with leave of the court, in the child’s interest
* by any other person, acting with leave of the court or
* by a family advocate or the representative of any interested organ of state.
When considering such application the court must take into account:
* the best interests of the child,
* the relationship between the child and the person whose parental responsibilities and rights are being challenged,
* the degree of commitment that the person has shown towards the child and
* any other fact that should, in the opinion of the court, be taken into account.
The court hearing an application may grant the application unconditionally or on such conditions as it may determine, or may refuse the application, but an application may be granted only if it is in the best interests of the child.
B.Proc; AD Dip L Law
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Cape Town
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
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