I am an unemployed mother with no home o...

Asked by Crystal on 26-09-2023 09:40:27
Question posted in the Family Law category relating to Eastern Cape

I am an unemployed mother with no home of my own and no transport of my own. I have a three and a half year old daughter of whom I was awarded Primary Care after a lengthly Custody Battle with my Ex Boyfriend. The High Court of South Africa ruled in my favour and costs were awarded. The costs of the legal battle were covered by my Mother. I have been living with my EX after reconciling our relationship post Custody Battle for approximately 10 months. I want to leave the relationship as it has become controlling, manipulative and abusive and also to find work in Cape Town. My mother is prepared to assist me with an apartment to reside in whilst in Cape Town but as I am 30 years old with no concrete plan as to how to obtain a position of employment although I am educated I cant at the moment keep my young daughter with me in Cape Town. I would like for her to reside with my Mother of whom she is very close to in Graaf-Rienet. My EX boyfriend has offered me a sum of half a million rand as well as VW polo vehicle in exchange that he assume Primary Care. I declined his offer despite my desperation to get away from him and i would never part with my daughter or surrender my right to primary care. He has threatened to come after my Mother and myself for primary care of our daughter if i leave her in the care of my Mother while i seek employment and begin to establish a secure foundation for my daughter and myself to reside together. Can my Ex pursue his threats and do I risk losing my daughter and primary care of her in the event that I leave her with her Grand-Mother while I am in another city working?

Further information relating to Question:

The costs awarded in the Case although paid by my Mother, My Ex is adamant that my Mother cannot pursue him for those costs as the case was between himself and I. Is this true? Do I have to pursue him for the costs although i did not directly pay the legal fees? He has not made any payments, or plans to pay these costs for over 1 year. What are the implications for him in this regard?

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 26-09-2023 11:31:04

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

The fact that your mother paid the costs of the high court battle, doesn't mean that you can't recover those costs. Surely your mother would have agreed to loan you the money, to pay the lawyers, subject to you having to repay her? So, in that instance, you would have born the costs yourself, and you would be entitled to recover the costs from your ex-boyfriend in terms of the court order. Your mother just helped you fund the costs initially, but needs to be repaid. 

YOU would need to pursue him for the costs. Not your mother. 

Your ex-boyfriend (as the father of the child) can definitely TRY to obtain primary care giver for your child, but it would be a fight which he might not win. What you will need to do is to set up the groundwork of your case, but telling him, in writing, that you are NOT giving up primary care giver in favour of your parents, but rather that they are going to look after your child for a few weeks until you find employment and a permanent place to live. 

In other words, you are not sending her off to Graaf-Rienet to live, but rather to stay for a short while, and that she will come back to you, in Cape Town, in the next couple of weeks once you've settled. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this situation. None at all. 

But my advice is that as soon as you have found a job, tell your parents so they can send your child back to you. If you find a job, and a place to live, and then you work for another month or two, without calling for your child, that would be a problem! 

If you would like to view the entire answer, you will need to either login or register a FREE account.


DISCLAIMER: Advice or answers from Lawyers on South African Legal Advice are not substitutes for the proper advice of an Lawyer. South African Legal Advice is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Lawyer who assists with your question is not your Lawyer, and the response above is not to be considered to be legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from individual Lawyers, not South African Legal Advice. The site and services are provided “as is”. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.