Family Law

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The Office of the Family Advocate

The Family Advocate assists the parties to reach an agreement on disputed issues, namely custody, access and guardianship. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the Family Advocate evaluates the parties’ circumstances in light of the best interests of the child and makes a recommendation to the Court with regard to custody, access or guardianship...more

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The Hague Convention of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

South Africa ratified the Convention in 1996 and the Act came into operation on 1 October 1997. The Convention's main object is to enforce rights of custody over a child(ren) who has been wrongfully removed to or kept in a foreign country in breach of those rights and to secure the prompt return of the child(ren) to South Africa...more

Maintenance

Maintenance is the obligation to provide another person, for example a minor, with housing, food, clothing, education and medical care, or with the means that are necessary for providing the person with these essentials. This legal duty to maintain is called ‘the duty to maintain’ or ‘the duty to support’...more

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FAQ on the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act 38 of 2005)

The Children’s Act is a piece of law which consists of 22 chapters and gives effect to certain rights of children as contained in the Constitution. It sets out principles relating to the care and protection of children. It also defines parental responsibilities and rights...more

What is a Children’s Court?

  • A Children’s Court is a special court which deals with issues affecting children.
  • The children’s court also takes care of children who are in need of care and protection and makes decisions about children who are abandoned, neglected or abused.
  • Any person/ child may approach the clerk of the children’s court when he/ she believes that a child may be in need of care and protection.
  • The Children’s Court can place a child in safe care or refer the child and/or the parent to services that they may require.
  • Children’s Court does not deal with criminal cases.
  • Did you know that the following people MUST report a possible case of child abuse?
    • Dentists
    • Teachers
    • Social workers
    • Lawyers
    • Ministers of religion
    • Nurses
    • Traditional leaders
  • Did you know that a child may be adopted jointly by a husband and wife; partners in a permanent domestic life-partnership; or other persons sharing a common household and forming a permanent family unit?

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Promotion of the rights of Vulnerable Groups

Various topics, including HIV and AIDS, Human Rights and Access to Justice, Frequently Asked Questions on LBGTI (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender & Intersex)...more

The Guardian's Fund

The Guardian's Fund falls under the administration of the Master of the High Court. It is a fund created to hold and administer funds which are paid to the Master on behalf of various persons known or unknown, for example, minors, persons incapable of managing their own affairs, unborn heirs, missing or absent persons or persons having an interest in the moneys of a usufructuary, fiduciary or fideicommissary nature.  Each Master has its own Guardian's Fund...more

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