Question posted in the Family Law category relating to Limpopo
Question value: R 200.00
I would like to get full guardianship of my son. His father and I were not married and he hardly if not never helps with finances when it comes to the child. I am about to start traveling in and out of South Africa due to work and was advised by a social worker to register my parents as foster parents. I think gaining full guardianship will make looking after my son much easier as i will be able to look after my son without obstacles. As is I can not travel with my son without getting his father’s consent and yet he hasn’t been to see him in a while and hasn’t helped with this months expenses Can I gain full guardianship?
-my son is 13 months old.
-his father has only assisted with 2 months payment of those 13mnths
- the months he payed were not paid on time
-I currently have no income for the time being as I wait for my work permit to be processed for my next job
-the father has decided not to contribute for the current month (without communication)
- I have previously taken the father to a social worker to assist in giving us common ground
-the father has not come to see his son in two months
Answer to the Question
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
Guardianship is an adults’ right and responsibility to: Manage a child’s interests; Manage any assets or financial aspects of the child’s life; Assist the child in legal or contractual situations; Give consent to the child’s medical treatment, marriage or adoption; and more importantly for you, to Give consent for the child to travel out of South Africa
The upper guardian of all South African children, however, is the High Court. For that reason, the High Court can be approached to intervene, if a guardian is not fulfilling their duties. Considering all presented facts and, perhaps even calling upon the Family Advocate or other legal representative, the High Court can terminate a guardianship and transfer care of the child to another person or parent.
You can therefore apply to the High Court and ask the Court to terminate the father's guardianship based on whatever reasons you have. However, there is a risk that the High Court will NOT terminate the father's guardianship if he "sometimes" pays maintenance, and "sometimes" comes to visit the child.
The only other way is for the father to give up his parental / guardianship rights - but you'll need to convince the father to do that for the child's benefit. What if the father decides that he doesn't want to do this? Then you are stuck.
Getting full guardianship for your son will really help you in day-to-day life and travelling, but it might be impossible to achieve if you can't convince a Court and if the father will not agree to your request.
I think that you should speak to the father about this, and once you've found out if he is willing to give up his parental rights for the child, then you should speak to a social worker (or a legal aid lawyer) for assistince in filling in the right forms.
If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.
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