What are grandparent's rights and responsibilities after a death or divorce?
Parental rights are only given to the parents of minor children in terms of South African law. Generally, grandparents do not have any specific rights over their grandchildren. However, the Children's Act 38 of 2005 allows for these rights to be established.
Minor children may benefit immensely from a close relationship with grandparents and other extended family members. Section 23 of the Children's Act deals with the assignment of care and contact over a minor child to an interested person by court order.
An "interested person" is anyone interested in a minor child's care, well-being, or development, such as a grandparent. A grandparent may approach the High Court or Children's Court for an order granting care of and contact with the minor child. As is a well-established principle in our law regarding all matters concerning a minor child, when a grandparent brings an application for contact with their grandchild, the main consideration is the child's best interests. The relationship between the grandparents and the minor child and the degree of commitment they express toward the minor child, and their involvement in the minor child's life are other factors the court will consider.
Should you require any assistance in securing contact rights in respect of your grandchildren, do not hesitate to contact our professionals on 041 363 6044 or firstname.lastname@example.org for sound legal advice.