Posted by: Susan | 2011-11-29



I have been with my fiance for 11 years. We recently split. We have a 6 year old son together (my son is registered in his surname). Over all these years I have become financially dependent on him. He wants to take my son away from me. I''m really confused and unsure about what to do.

What are my rights as a mother? I won''t be able to make ends meet just by living by myself, not even to mention my son.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

Both parents are co-guardians of their minor child, as provided in sub-sections 18 (2)(c), 18 (4) and 18 (5) of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. The parents are also co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights in respect of their child as referred to in sections 18(2)(a) and 18(2)(b) of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. I suggest that you approach the Family Advocate's Office in order for them to facilitate the implementation of a parenting plan whereby you are the parent of primary residence and the father the parent of alternate residence.

I would also suggest that you go to the maintenance court and start proceedings to obtain a maintenance order.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
A:1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
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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.

Our users say:
Posted by: G-Dad | 2011-11-29

The new child act made provision that both parents has equal rights and responsibilities, in your case it might be a good idea to have shared or joint residence, meaning that the child can spend equal time with both parents, it will be like the child still has both parents, the only difference is the do not live in the same house.

I suggest that you get a job and a place to stay, you were not married and for that reason he has no financial responsibility towards you, he has to provide financially towards his child.

There will be a process to follow, starting with mediation, during mediation what is in the best interest of the child would be the topic, this include where the child live ect.

He has the right to take the child, just as much right you have, should you take the child, he can approach the high court on an urgent basis, the courts would most probably act in the best interest of the child and could place the child in his care as you would not be able to provide shelter or food for the child, this will only be for an interim period, but if you can provide for the child, I am sure the courts would leave the child in your care.

It all depends on the merit of the case.

Reply to G-Dad

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