Divorced parent taking child overseas

A divorced parent may be refused permission to take a child overseas if it not in the best interests of the child

Divorced parent taking child overseas

 

Child’s ties with non-custodial parent must be considered before relocation

Source: Legalbrief Today

 

Acting Judge SE Weiner found in the Johannesburg High Court that the best interests of the child or children, and not the parent who has custody, have to be considered before relocation. A Beeld report says that in the case in which Weiner delivered judgment, a mother wanted to move to England with her eight-year-old daughter. Her ex-husband had refused to authorise the move, and the woman went to the High Court. Weiner said that even if the girl’s mother made ‘sufficient, fair and satisfactory’ arrangements for the move to England, which would imply the girl would get a proper education, standard of living and way of life, it was not necessarily in the child’s best interest. The court also had to take into account any negative consequences of such a move. In this case (and in all similar cases), one of the most-important aspects of a relocation of which the courts should take cognisance is the effect of such a move on the child’s ‘close psychological and emotional’ ties with the parent who did not have custody.

See related articles:

Court stops kid merry-go-round

Source: http://www.news24.com

By Philip de Bruin

Johannesburg – The days when a parent with custody of minor children can move them around willy-nilly are over.

Even if the parent who has custody makes all the arrangements to meet the child’s needs in the new dwelling, it still does not mean the move is necessarily in the child’s best interest.

Acting Judge SE Weiner found in the Rand High Court that it’s not the interests of the parents that count in such circumstances, but the best interests of the child or children involved.

In the case in which Weiner delivered judgment, A Ford wanted to relocate toEngland with her eight-year-old daughter.

Her ex-husband, H Ford, refused to authorise the move, and the woman went to the High Court to force him to authorise the move.

Must consider negative aspects, too

Weiner said that even if the girl’s mother made “sufficient, fair and satisfactory” arrangements for the move to England, which would imply the girl would get a proper education, standard of living and way of life, it was not necessarily in the child’s best interest.

The court also had to take into account any negative consequences of such a move.

In this case (and in all similar cases), one of the most-important aspects of a relocation of which the courts should take cognisance is the effect of such a move on the child’s “close psychological and emotional” ties with the parent who did not have custody.

Weiner found the girl’s mother did not have enough evidence that the benefits of a relocation would outweigh the negative effect it was bound to have on the relationship between the girl and her father.

Her application was refused.
New law will ‘share the kids’

Source: http://www.news24.com

By Philip de Bruin

Johannesburg – Under proposed new legislation it will be a criminal offence for a divorced parent, who has been granted sole custody over minor children, to prevent or needlessly obstruct the other parent’s access to the children.

This is in terms of the Draft Judicial Matters Amendment Bill, under discussion in the parliamentary justice portfolio committee.

Similarly, it would constitute an offence if the supervisory parent tried to prevent in any way the other parent from seeing the child, also without “reasonable grounds”.

The act also stipulates as another criminal offence any omission by the parent with custody to inform the other parent of address changes for themselves and, therefore, the children.

In practice, this means the parent with custody of minor children cannot move without informing the other parent.

Both these issues give courts major problems after divorces and often result in the parent without custody (usually fathers) refusing to pay maintenance because they claim they are being refused reasonable access or the children moving elsewhere, making access difficult.

Another important legal change proposed in the legislation is an amendment to the Magistrates’ Courts Act providing for magistrates to recall any ruling made if the beneficiary in the original ruling agrees to it.

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