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Jun 26

Child Abduction in South Africa

Posted by Bertus in Top Divorce Attorney , termination of parental rights , parental rights , International abduction of minor children a South  , Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Internati , Hague Convention , divorce attorneys cape town , divorce attorneys , divorce attorney south africa , divorce and children , custody , contested divorce , children's rights , child abduction , Central Authority v MR (LS Intervening) 2011 (2) S , Central Authority of the Republic of South Africa  , celebrity divorce attorney , best divorce attorney cape town , bertus preller , abrahams and Gross , abduction of minors , abduction


International abduction of minors a South African Perspective

Mar 25

You have no claim for maintenance if your partner leaves you

Posted by Bertus in unmarried fathers parental rights , unamrried maintenance , maintenance cohabitation , living together , Family Law Attorney Cape Town , family law , Domestic Partnerships Bill of 2008 , domestic partnerships , divorce attorney south africa , divorce attorney cape town , contested divorce , common law wife , cohabitation contract , cohabitation agreements , cohabitation , bertus preller , abrahams and Gross


Not so long ago I wrote an article about the fact that in South African law there is in fact no such thing as a common law marriage and that partners that cohabitates or live together in a domestic partnership will in fact have no right to claim maintenance from one another. In fact, this was exactly what the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled this week in the matter of McDonald v Young (292/10) [2011] ZASCA 31 on 24 March 2011.

May 14

Unmarried Fathers - What Are Your Rights? - South African Family Law

Posted by Bertus in visitation rights , unmarried fathers , primary caregiver , parental responsibility , divorce assistance , divorce application forms , divorce application form , divorce and the family , divorce and separation , divorce advice online , divorce advice , divorce act , dirty divorce tricks , dirty divorce tactics , decree of divorce , dealing with divorce , custody of children , custody , cost of divorce , cost of a divorce , cost for divorce , coping with divorce , contested divorce , consent orders , consent order , complete online divorce , clean break order divorce , clean break divorce , civil divorce , children's rights divorce , Children's Act , cheapest divorce online , cheapest divorce , cheap quick divorce , cheap online divorce , cheap divorces , cheap divorce online , cheap divorce lawyers , cheap divorce lawyer , cheap divorce , cheap and easy divorce , can i get a divorce online , can i file for divorce online , best online divorce , best divorce lawyers , attorney , applying for divorce , apply for divorce online , application form for divorce , advice to divorce , advice on divorce , advice from divorce , advice for divorce , adoption , access to children


Section 21 of the Children's Act deals with the right of contact of unmarried fathers.
The right of contact, also known as "access", is defined in section 1(1) of the Act and means:
i. maintaining a personal relationship with the child; and... See More... See More
ii. if the child lives with someone else -
a. communication on a regular basis with the child in person including visiting the child or being visited by the child; or
b. communicating on a regular basis with the child in any other manner including through the post or by telephone or any other form of electronic communication.
Section 18 provides that a person may have either full or specific parental rights and responsibilities in respect of a child. Furthermore, the parental rights and responsibilities a person may have in respect of the child include the responsibility and the right to maintain contact with the child.
In terms of section 21 an unmarried father now has full parental rights and responsibilities in respect of a child born out of wedlock if -
i. at the time of the child's birth he is living with the mother in a permanent life-partnership; or
ii. he, regardless of whether he has lived or is living with the mother,
a. consents to be identified or successfully applies in terms of section 26 (which is not in operation yet) to be identified as the child's father or pays damages in terms of customary law;
b. contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute to the child's upbringing for a reasonable period; and
c. contributes or has attempted to contribute in good faith to contribute towards expenses in connection with the maintenance to the child for a reasonable period.
In essence section 21 means that an unmarried father has the right of contact to his child if the conditions listed above are met.
If the mother and unmarried father dispute whether or not the above criterion has been fulfilled, the matter has to be referred for mediation to a family advocate, social worker, social service professional or other suitably qualified person. If either the mother or the unmarried father are dissatisfied with the outcome of the mediation, it can be referred to court for review.
If the unmarried father does not have a right of contact in terms of section 21 or in terms of a court order, he may still be able to acquire a right of contact in terms of an agreement with the mother. The agreement must be in the prescribed format and contain the prescribed particulars. Also, the agreement must be registered with the family advocate or made an order of the High Court or the children's court on application by the parties to the agreement.
Any Magistrate's court is a children's court and will have jurisdiction to hear the matter if the child involved is ordinarily a resident within the area of the court. If more than one child is involved in the matter, the court of the area in which any of those children are ordinarily resident will have jurisdiction.
The family advocate or court will have to be satisfied that the agreement is in the best interests of the child. This requirement is in line with the Constitution which expressly provides that the interests of the child are of paramount importance. When giving effect to the best interests of the child standard, the court will consider:

Oct 05

Divorce goes digital. What are your best options for an online divorce in South Africa?

Posted by Bertus in uncontested divorce , online divorce , getdivorced , get divorced , edivorce , divorce process , Divorce goes digital , divorce attorney , divorce application forms , contested divorce , best options for an online diy divorce


Divorce goes digital. What are your best options for an online diy divorce in South Africa?
According to statistics, one in two marriages in South African end in divorce. During 2007 there were close to 40000 divorces in South Africa, which is a tragic reality. When you find yourself in a contested divorce (where you and your spouse can't agree on matters such as finances, custody, division of your assets etc) the best option would be to seek the services of an attorney.
When the divorce is uncontested, i.e. where you do agree with your spouse on the disputes mentioned above, you basically have two choices:
1) Go and see an attorney;
This can be costly as some attorneys charge fees of up to R 5 000 for an uncontested divorce. A typical divorce can be quite bitter as every element of the agreement is disputed by both parties, so legal costs can easily spiral out of control. Some attorneys' bills can run into tens of thousands of Rands.
2) Use an online DIY divorce service such as
This is your best option, developed by a South African web development company eSplash in consultation with a number of family law attorneys, launched an online divorce do-it-yourself service, which can probably be regarded as one of the most comprehensive divorce information sites of anything you need to know about the divorce process in South Africa. offers an excellent way of minimising legal fees and the emotional stress attached to divorce. The process is simplified and takes the sting out of the divorce process. Provided, however that both parties are in basic agreement over the financial settlement, custody issues and that it is an uncontested divorce.
The service makes South Africa's divorce system more accessible and more affordable to the general public by affording the option to start the divorce process online. With people struggling to make ends meet during the credit crunch we face, is a definite alternative for couples seeking an uncontested divorce in South Africa. Divorce is a process that few people undertake without serious consideration of its consequences. In offering such a service, eDivorce notes on its website that the goal is not to sanction or promote divorce but to provide a simple online service for making the divorce process less expensive and stressful.
There is a clearly an upswing in European countries as well as in the US in the number of online Divorces. In the United Kingdom online Divorces have increased by well over 55% in the past year and more and more people are taking DIY divorce route to save money.
In addition also offers valuable information on other aspects of divorce, such as its physiological effects, information on counselling, custody, maintenance and domestic violence disputes, these are all freely available on the web page and really valuable information to have and by far the most comprehensive divorce resource for anything you need to know about Divorce and its consequences. Users are also able to read and purchase books on divorce on the site and follow a blog on divorce issues, rebuilding your life, relationship tips and ways to cope with the emotional stresses caused by divorce.
Deciding to divorce your spouse should not be taken lightly and should be the last option. It is of vital importance to do whatever you can to save your marriage. Society is built on a healthy family structure and therefore you have to make sure that there is no other option available when you make a decision to divorce your spouse, it is not only you that will suffer, but also all those close to you, especially your children.

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