If you are looking to find out more about your rights regarding child custody, it is important that you do everything legally. You and your partner have either been through a divorce, or you were not married when your child/children were born (out of wedlock) but you are now separated and seeking advice. First of all, you have to know that children need both their father as well as their mother, no matter who has legal guardianship; they should have visitation rights with the parent they do not live with. Unless the court has said otherwise, for which they will have a very good reason, children have the right to see both of their parents on a regular basis.
Divorce or separation is even more difficult when there are children involved and it can be worse for them than it is for the adults, but both parties have rights regarding child custody. The court will decide whether the father or mother will get guardianship of the children and it is normally more complicated if the child was born out of wedlock and there is no marriage certificate present. Visitation will be allowed for the parent that does not get custody, so they will still be able to spend time with the children. The amount of visitation they are allowed will depend on the courts, in some cases they may grant the parent every second weekend, otherwise maybe just every Saturday afternoon, but it will also depend on the age of the child.
This is a serious situation that requires a lot of thought before a final decision should be made. However, if you are sure that this is what you want, then it will be for the best. Make sure you know your rights regarding child custody before someone tries to tell you otherwise.
The Maintenance Courts and Laws in South Africa
The maintenance courts and laws in South Africa state that the parent that does not have his/her child living with him/her must pay maintenance support to the child’s other parent. So many people have the burning question and would like to know how long they should pay maintenance support for their child or children. Well, this depends on many factors, and the main factor is the child/children’s education. Kids are unsupportive while they are studying and they are not getting an income. The ages where maintenance support can be stopped depends on the country – 16 in some and 18 years old in others.
These are the maintenance courts and laws in South Africa, and there are also times when parents continue to pay support even when his/her child/children are in their twenties, but this is a choice, because we all want the best for our kids. You will also find that as soon as young adults start earning an income and are now self supportive the maintenance support will stop.
Maintenance is enforced through a court order and if the father or mother neglects to pay the amount is deducted from that parent’s account and transferred to the other parent. If you refuse to pay child support you will have your possessions seized and there is also a chance of you could face a prison sentence.
People trying to cut costs and save money wherever they can, especially those parents that try to cut the payments that have to pay for child support is being unfair to the parent with custody looking after your child and you are also being unfair to the children. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility and if you neglect to pay maintenance what type of person does it make you?