The Children's Act 38 of 2005 has influenced not only the rights of children and parents, but also the way in which any disputes in this area are dealt with in practice. Our courts have also had to move away from certain traditional prejudices, and embrace the new approach to these legal proceedings set out by the Act.
The main purposes of the Act are detailed in the preamble as:
- To give effect to certain rights of children as contained in the Constitution;
- To set out principles relating to the care and protection of children;
- To define parental responsibilities and rights
- To make further provision regarding children's courts
- To provide for the issuing of contribution orders;
- To make new provisions for the adoption of children;
- To provide for inter-country adoption;
- To Prohibit child abduction and to give effect to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction;
- To provide for surrogate mothergood;
- To create certain new offences relating to children
There are accordingly many questions that lawyers deal with on a daily basis, most of which have their answers rooted in the Children's Act, including:
Q: How does a biological father of a child who was never married to the child's mother ensure that these rights are afforded him?
Q: What does the mother of this child do if she wants to relocate?
Q: If the parents can reach an agreement, can they draw up an agreement and if so what should it contain? How can the agreement be enforced?
Q: What happens where a child resides with a grandparent and not the father or mother?
Q: Who is the legal guardian of the child?
Our panel of attorneys are able to assist you with these and many more questions. Please feel free to ask a question and one of our attorneys will get back to you shortly.