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Question
Posted by: Annie | 2010-03-07

legal rights

Hi,
my ex hubby has only paid 500 of 4500 he''s to pay for maintenance since we divorced, our daughter 2yrs and 8moths has been MYSTERIOUSLY ILL (Suddenly couldnt stand nor walk) just few months before divorce court date, to my shock no Peaditrician-Neurologist call tell, diagnose or treat her problem, distressed as i am i took her to my mother''s place 3 months ago and by the grace of God and chain prayers she''s getting better everyday without any medical intervention and Funny enough before i took her there, she''ll always get worse everytime she sees her father/ inlaws, hence i took her to my mom''s place. I know this is something not usual to understand or be legally proven,justified per say!
My problem is he''s been insisting to see her and im ignoring his attempts based on my motherly instinct that its for her own recovery benefit and its working for her! its like the more she DOESNT INTERACT OR SEE HIM, The better she gets!
how do i justify this (access denial) in court? what are his legal rights here? she''s on my medical aid and im struggling to make ends meet, he''s not even paying full amount for disabled child and our divorce decree states i have full custody whilst he has " REASONABLE ACCESS"  only, not finer details.
her illness is mysterious to everyone including myself and all i want is to keep her away from him especially now...please help
sorry for long post!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

I am sorry to hear about you child's condition. A non-custodian parent normally has reasonable access to the child, this means that he/she may have access to the child at reasonable times and places. It is always better to reach agreement on what is deemed as reasonable in each particular circumstance. If the parties are unable to reach agreement, the parents may approach court for an order structuring access.

A parent who is the custodian are not allowed to impose unreasonable restrictions or conditions regarding access, but such a parent does have the final say when the two parents are not able to agree on something. Unless contrary to the child’s best interests, a custodian are for example not allowed to refuse that access takes place in the non-custodian parent’s house or to insist on being present. It is also not allowed to refuse contact with a new spouse or companion, unless it will be against the child’s best interest. I emphasize the "best interest" principle.

Bertus Preller
www.divorceattorney.co.za

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

5
Our users say:
Posted by: Mrs S | 2010-03-17

i need expert advise pls
my hubby and his ex have joint custody, but the ex doesn''''''''t want to be involved with the child''''''''s upbringing(14yrs)we went through the family court,family advocate,mediator the works.she agreed to the visitations,contact via phone, all these terms for the joint custody,bcoz she didn''''''''t want him to have full custody like she had initially after their divorce yet she gave us all responsiblities to bring up the child.she swore in front the mediator to be involved and fetch child for agreed visits etc.
she told the child through sms''''''''s (after the agreement of course)to leave her alone,she has her own life and family and she(child) has us.she doesn''''''''t contribute anything whether financially or otherwise towards the child''''''''s upbrining.she only cares about her 18yr old son.now, i need to know what can we do legally,she is not keeping her side of the agreement and terrorises the child,who doesn''''''''t want any contact or visitation with her.the child wants to take out a protection order against her(mom) in case she forces her to go visit her.what are my rights as her stepmom,do i have any say as me and hubby are bringing up the child out of our own pockets without bothering her?what do i have to stand on when it comes to this joint custody where she(mom) is not interested and i do everything as her stepmom?how do we go about taking it further if she should turn around and say we are keeping her child away from her and not keeping to the agreement?believe me,she is capable of turning everything around.

Reply to Mrs S
Posted by: Mrs S | 2010-03-17

i need expert advise pls
my hubby and his ex have joint custody, but the ex doesn''''t want to be involved with the child''''s upbringing(14yrs)we went through the family court,family advocate,mediator the works.she agreed to the visitations,contact via phone, all these terms for the joint custody,bcoz she didn''''t want him to have full custody like she had initially after their divorce yet she gave us all responsiblities to bring up the child.she swore in front the mediator to be involved and fetch child for agreed visits etc.
she told the child through sms''''s (after the agreement of course)to leave her alone,she has her own life and family and she(child) has us.she doesn''''t contribute anything whether financially or otherwise towards the child''''s upbrining.she only cares about her 18yr old son.now, i need to know what can we do legally,she is not keeping her side of the agreement and terrorises the child,who doesn''''t want any contact or visitation with her.the child wants to take out a protection order against her(mom) in case she forces her to go visit her.what are my rights as her stepmom,do i have any say as me and hubby are bringing up the child out of our own pockets without bothering her?what do i have to stand on when it comes to this joint custody where she(mom) is not interested and i do everything as her stepmom?how do we go about taking it further if she should turn around and say we are keeping her child away from her and not keeping to the agreement?believe me,she is capable of turning everything around.

Reply to Mrs S
Posted by: ANNIE | 2010-03-09

Thanks for the response, does it mean until ex apply to court for ''order structuring access"  i can still ''hide'' behind the ''reasonable access"  clause as it doesnt have specific timelines of access, it might as well accomodate e.g. once in 3 months given im acting on the ''best interest'' of the child?

i think i should also go back to paeditrician to do medical report of child''s progress during the time she had not seen him, just to have something on paper for motivating ''best interest''...what do you think?

Reply to ANNIE
Posted by: ANNIE | 2010-03-09

Thanks for the response, does it mean until ex apply to court for ''order structuring access"  i can still ''hide'' behind the ''reasonable access"  clause as it doesnt have specific timelines of access, it might as well accomodate e.g. once in 3 months given im acting on the ''best interest'' of the child?

i think i should also go back to paeditrician to do medical report of child''s progress during the time she had not seen him, just to have something on paper for motivating ''best interest''...what do you think?

Reply to ANNIE
Posted by: Family law expert | 2010-03-09

I am sorry to hear about you child's condition. A non-custodian parent normally has reasonable access to the child, this means that he/she may have access to the child at reasonable times and places. It is always better to reach agreement on what is deemed as reasonable in each particular circumstance. If the parties are unable to reach agreement, the parents may approach court for an order structuring access.

A parent who is the custodian are not allowed to impose unreasonable restrictions or conditions regarding access, but such a parent does have the final say when the two parents are not able to agree on something. Unless contrary to the child’s best interests, a custodian are for example not allowed to refuse that access takes place in the non-custodian parent’s house or to insist on being present. It is also not allowed to refuse contact with a new spouse or companion, unless it will be against the child’s best interest. I emphasize the "best interest" principle.

Bertus Preller
www.divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to Family law expert

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