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  • Writer's pictureKaplan Blumberg

Parental Responsibilities And Rights

How do I terminate parental responsibilities and rights in respect of a minor child?

A parent may either have full or specific parental responsibilities and rights in respect of a minor child. These responsibilities and rights are defined in Section 18 of the Children’s Act, 38 of 2005 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”).

Sometimes, the circumstances surrounding a minor child materially change, which may lead to the best interests of the minor child being prejudiced.

In order to avoid any potential harm from befalling a minor child, an application in terms of Section 28 of the Act should be launched. The High Court, a divorce court in a divorce matter or children’s court, may make the following orders:

  1. An order suspending for a period, or terminating, any or all of the parental responsibilities and rights which a specific person has in respect of a child;

  2. An order extending or circumscribing the exercise by that person of any or all of the parental responsibilities and rights that person has in respect of a child;

When considering such an application the court must consider:

  1. The best interest of the child.

  2. The relationship between the child and the person whose parental responsibilities and rights are being challenged.

  3. The degree of commitment that the person has shown towards the child; and

  4. Any other factor that should, in the opinion of the court, be taken into account.

The following are instances that will result in the termination of parental responsibilities and rights:

  1. When the parents are found guilty of trafficking their children for purposes of sexual exploitation.

  2. When the person having parental responsibilities and rights wilfully fails to fulfill his/ her parenting responsibilities and rights when able to do so.

Should you require any assistance with an application of this nature, please do not hesitate to contact Lizette Ferns, our family law specialist, at 041 363 6044 or for sound legal advice.

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This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and is produced for information purposes only and to provide a general understanding of the legal position relating to the topic. It is recommended that advice relating to the specific circumstances of your situation be sought from our attorneys before acting upon the content of this article. This article was written at a particular point in time and accordingly may not always reflect the most recent legal developments, if any, applicable to the relevant topic. Kaplan Blumberg and its partners and/or employees, are not responsible for any consequences which may follow upon any decision taken to act upon the information provided in this article.

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