Divorce law South Africa functions under a no fault system. This is known as the 1979 Act. This means that a married couple may get divorced under a criteria known as irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. There are a few criteria that make up this divorce option. Simply put, a married couple may get divorced without proving that one of the spouses are at fault. This is especially convenient since more couples experience loss of love in marriages and commonly feel like it is time to break apart. In many instances, however, a married couple may decide to maintain the marriage on behalf of a child or children. However, in some scenarios, the situation may be more damaging than good, for both the couple and the children.
Seeking out a divorce attorney South Africa is often the first sign that a situation needs help. But where children are involved, parents often act on emotion and seldom in the best interest of their children. This is not bad parenting, it is simply human. This is why divorce law and family law is in place, and so divorce attorneys South Africa and mediation professionals are there to represent the law and married parties where agreements cannot be met.
Where a difficult divorce situation arises, a divorce lawyer South Africa will assist in the process and proceed in accordance with the Children’s Act to safeguard children of divorce and ensure that the best outcome is negotiated.
The Children’s Act and the best interests of the child principle, in matters of divorce, serves to act in the best interest of the child or children. The biggest dispute where children of divorce are concerned is where the child’s place of permanent residence will be. Divorce attorneys South Africa pay special attention to these disputes, and the court may even appoint a legal professional to represent the child, as well as instruct a family advocate to investigate and present information that could lead to the outcome, which is to be primarily in the child’s best interest.
It should be noted that while this was a factor in recent years, the care of children are no longer awarded to mothers automatically. The ideology that because the woman is the mother, she must be the superior parent is a crumbling perspective. Equally, a parent’s sexual orientation cannot exclude him/her from being awarded primary care of the child. Divorce attorneys South Africa work very delicately around these matters, to determine the best outcomes for children of divorce.
If shared parenting cannot be established, factors around the daily close care of the child will be considered. These factors include everyday routines like who baths and puts the child to bed. Children of appropriate age and maturity levels may express with which parent they wish to reside. Divorce lawyers South Africa, and the court, may investigate several areas of a child’s being to determine whether he/she is capable to make such a decision. The conclusion of this factor will be based on age, maturity, and their intellectual capability. Equally, the divorce attorney South Arica, as well as the court, recognises that it’s desirable that siblings (brothers and sisters) stay united under the care of the same parent. This is an area of dilemma when one child expresses to reside with the mother, while the other may want to reside with the father. While it is desirable that siblings stay under the care of the same parent, the siblings should still be able to express what they want. When siblings express no preference, it is desirable to keep them with the same parent. The divorce attorney South Africa may even be able to negotiate a shared residence plan, where parents are open to this, and where it is in the best interest of the children. In this instance, children of divorce can reside wholly with both parents.
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