PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND RIGHTS
Parental responsibilities and rights are the following;
(a) The right to care for the child,
(b) The right to maintain contact/visitation to the child,
(c) To act as a guardian for the child,
(d) To contribute towards the maintenance of the child.
Guardians have to assist or represent a child in administrative, contractual or legal matters which includes school and medical related issues.
GUARDIANSHIP AND BOTH PARENTS CONSENT
Both guardians consent is required under the following circumstances;
(a) Should you wish to take your child outside the boarders of South Africa,
(b) Should you wish to permanently relocate with your child outside the boarders of South Africa,
(c) To obtain or renew your child’s passport,
(d) Should you wish for your child to be adopted by a third party,
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN ONE GUARDIAN UNREASONABLY WITHHOLDS HIS/HER CONSENT?
If a guardian unreasonably withhold his or her consent you have to obtain court order from the relevant Court. The Courts in South Africa that deals with children is your local Children’s Court, or the High Court of South Africa. Only the High Court of South Africa has jurisdiction in respect of guardianship issues.
DO MARRIED FATHERS HAVE PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND RIGHTS?
If the father is married to the mother he automatically has parental responsibilities and rights.
WHEN DO UNMARRIED FATHERS HAVE PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND RIGHTS?
An unmarried father acquires full parental responsibilities and rights if he was living with the mother in a permanent life partnership when the minor child was born.
A father can also acquire full parental responsibilities and rights if;
(a) He is identified on the child’s birth certificate as the father or if he pays damages in terms of customary law, and
(b) If he is involved in the child’s upbringing and,
(c) If he pays maintenance for the child.
The mother can also sign a Parental Responsibilities and Rights Agreement with the biological father.