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Question
Posted by: Hartwig | 2010/03/09

My child becoming a ping-pong ball!

The mother of my child has been living with our six year old with me spending time with the child every second week. I am and have been responsible for all the child''s expenses including education, medication, clothing, food, etc.
Recently she has been leaving the child with me without any prior arrangement, etc. and when I complained about that her decision was for the child to move in fulltime with me so that, according to her, I experience the challenges of living with a child fulltime. I am quite happy with this arrangement and I think it prbably is the best decision for the child. Am worried about one thing though - how do I ensure that she does not come for take the child back when it again suites her to do this? How do i ensure that my child has routine and stability in her life anddoes not move from house to house at her whim? Is there some goverment agency that can assist? I have setup a meeting with Famsa for next week, is this the way to go? Please help!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

It is a good option to approach FAMSA as they will be able to give you guidance in the matter. The court will always determine what are in the best interest of the child. In determining what is in the best interests of the child, the court must decide which of the parents is better able to promote and ensure his physical, moral, emotional and spiritual welfare. This can be assessed by reference to certain facts or criteria which are set out hereunder, not in order of importance, and also bearing in mind that there is a measure of unavoidable overlapping and that some of the listed criteria may differ only as to nuance. The criteria are the following: (a) the love, affection and other emotional ties which exists between parent and child and the parent's comfortability with the child; (b) the capabilities, character and temperament of the parent and the impact thereof on the child's needs and desires; (c) the ability of the parent to communicate with the child and the parent's insight into, understanding of and sensitivity to the child's feelings; (d) the capacity and disposition of the parent to give the child the guidance which he requires; (e) the ability of the parent to provide for the basic physical needs of the child, the so-called 'creature comforts', such as food, clothing, housing and other material needs - generally speaking, the provision of economic security; (f) the ability of the parent to provide for the educational wellbeing and security of the child, both religious and secular; (g) the ability of the parent to provide for the child's emotional, psychological, cultural and environmental development; (h) the mental and physical health B and moral fitness of the parent; (i) the stability or otherwise of the child's existing environment, having regard to the desirability of maintaining the status quo; (j) the desirability or otherwise of keeping siblings together; (k) the child's preference, if the court is satisfied that in the particular circumstances the child's preference should be taken into consideration.

The actions of the mother might just be seen as contributing to unstable circumstances, which might count in your favour if she wants to take the child back.

Remember that the Deed of Settlement, if in place is a court order and a deviation or variation thereof in future must be confirmed by the court as the upper gaurdian, so to enforce your rights, you will have to approach the court later, should you wish to be awarded custody or primary caretaker rights.

Bertus Preller
bertus@divorceattorney.co.za
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.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Hartwig | 2010/03/10

Thanks Bertus, much appreciated. I will keep the appontment with Famsa and take it from there.
There is no Deed of Settlement as we were never married.

Reply to Hartwig
Posted by: Family law expert | 2010/03/09

It is a good option to approach FAMSA as they will be able to give you guidance in the matter. The court will always determine what are in the best interest of the child. In determining what is in the best interests of the child, the court must decide which of the parents is better able to promote and ensure his physical, moral, emotional and spiritual welfare. This can be assessed by reference to certain facts or criteria which are set out hereunder, not in order of importance, and also bearing in mind that there is a measure of unavoidable overlapping and that some of the listed criteria may differ only as to nuance. The criteria are the following: (a) the love, affection and other emotional ties which exists between parent and child and the parent's comfortability with the child; (b) the capabilities, character and temperament of the parent and the impact thereof on the child's needs and desires; (c) the ability of the parent to communicate with the child and the parent's insight into, understanding of and sensitivity to the child's feelings; (d) the capacity and disposition of the parent to give the child the guidance which he requires; (e) the ability of the parent to provide for the basic physical needs of the child, the so-called 'creature comforts', such as food, clothing, housing and other material needs - generally speaking, the provision of economic security; (f) the ability of the parent to provide for the educational wellbeing and security of the child, both religious and secular; (g) the ability of the parent to provide for the child's emotional, psychological, cultural and environmental development; (h) the mental and physical health B and moral fitness of the parent; (i) the stability or otherwise of the child's existing environment, having regard to the desirability of maintaining the status quo; (j) the desirability or otherwise of keeping siblings together; (k) the child's preference, if the court is satisfied that in the particular circumstances the child's preference should be taken into consideration.

The actions of the mother might just be seen as contributing to unstable circumstances, which might count in your favour if she wants to take the child back.

Remember that the Deed of Settlement, if in place is a court order and a deviation or variation thereof in future must be confirmed by the court as the upper gaurdian, so to enforce your rights, you will have to approach the court later, should you wish to be awarded custody or primary caretaker rights.

Bertus Preller
bertus@divorceattorney.co.za
www.divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to Family law expert

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