Our expert says:
Family law expert
Section 23 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 provides that any person (including grandparents and other family members) having an interest in the care, wellbeing or development of a child may apply to the High Court or a Divorce Court or the Children’s Court, for an order granting to the Applicant, on such conditions as the Court may deem necessary –
a)contact with the child; or
b)care of the child.
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When considering such an application, the Court must take into account –
a) the best interests of the child;
b) the relationship between the Applicant and the child and any other relevant person and the child;
c) the degree of commitment that the Applicant has shown towards the child;
d) the extent to which the Applicant has contributed towards expenses in connection with the birth and maintenance of the child; and
e) any other factor that should, in the opinion of the Court, be taken into account.
According to the family advocate the child has a right to get to know his grandparents, and the grandparents have a right to get to know their grandchild. The grandparents can in fact also be sued for maintenance if the biological parent cannot afford to financially support his/her children. I would very much urge grandparents in a divorce situation to play an active role in the lives of their grandchildren.
Bertus Preller - Family Law Attorney
KWJ Inc - Cape Town
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