During a divorce it is useful to get advice on child custody rights for parents in SA. Knowing your rights as a mother or father can help you to avoid some of the ugly legal battles that can take place in maintenance court. An understanding of the law can help you to understand what your attorney is telling you and how your actions will make it more likely that you will secure custody of your child. The most important thing to try and remember throughout the process is that your child has rights too, and every action you take should be concerned for their interests. It is never wise to try and avoid using lawyers, as most legal professionals have a better grasp of the process than you do, and can assess the situation without becoming emotionally involved.
The first thing to try and remember about child custody rights for parents in SA is that most children need both their mother and their father. Divorce can create tension between parents, but this need not translate into withholding your children from your ex. Children should be able to visit both parents, and both parents should contribute to the maintenance of the child. In most cases the court will decide which parent should have custody. Your attorney can help you to present reasons why you feel you should have custody. Whatever decisions the judge makes, this is a binding legal decision and should be abided by – just like any other law.
Going through the correct legal channels can ensure that your child is protected. That is the most important thing to try and achieve during divorce hearings. The judge will make recommendations for how maintenance should be paid and will make the time that the mother and father can spend with the child. Child custody rights for parents in SA are complicated, so it’s best to seek out an attorney or legal professional to help you to understand.
Common Questions on Child Maintenance Issues
There are a number of common questions on child maintenance issues such as:
- What should I do if my former spouse is not paying maintenance?
- What maintenance should be paid?
However it is important to note that the law on this matter is very clear, both parents of the children are responsible for the maintenance of their children and failure to do so is a criminal offence. With regards to how much maintenance is due to be paid, there is no clear cut answer as this depends on the income capacity which means that it is not necessarily a fifty/fifty split. However, the starting point of the amount in question should cover the costs for accommodation, clothing, food, and any other costs involved maintaining the child’s welfare.
Other common questions on child maintenance issues include whether or not the parent who does not have custody of the child is required to pay medical expenses and school fees. According to the law these expenses do not form part of the maintenance amount and should be negotiated separately during the divorce settlement. An issue that can arise is that because one spouse is paying for these expenses they believe that they are no longer required to pay maintenance. This however is not the case and should this be the argument that your former spouse is giving you, then you can take him/her to court.
With regards to when the obligation to pay maintenance ends, the common misconception is that it ends when the child reaches 18 years of age. This however is not true as the obligation only ends once the child can support his/herself. Going through a divorce can be an extremely challenging time and the added pressure of ensuring your children’s welfare can be overwhelming. However, there are attorneys who specialise in family law that can help you with answers on child maintenance issues.