How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask WCLawyer Your Own Question
WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15593
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
Type Your South Africa Law Question Here...
WCLawyer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What rights does the father have when the couple are not married,

This answer was rated:

What rights does the father have when the couple are not married, and the baby is not yet born. My daughter is pregnant and she is 18. the father is threatening her with custody battles etc, what rights does he have over the child.

Good day.

His rights is set out in the Children's Act, sections 18 and 21:

18. Parental responsibilities and rights.—(1) A person may have either full or specific parental responsibilities and rights in respect of a child.
(2) The parental responsibilities and rights that a person may have in respect of a child, include the responsibility and the right—
(a)to care for the child;
(b)to maintain contact with the child;
(c)to act as guardian of the child; and
(d)to contribute to the maintenance of the child.
(3) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), a parent or other person who acts as guardian of a child must—
(a)administer and safeguard the child’s property and property interests;
(b)assist or represent the child in administrative, contractual and other legal matters; or
(c)give or refuse any consent required by law in respect of the child, including—
(i)consent to the child’s marriage;
(ii)consent to the child’s adoption;
(iii)consent to the child’s departure or removal from the Republic;
(iv)consent to the child’s application for a passport; and
(v)consent to the alienation or encumbrance of any immovable property of the child.
(4) Whenever more than one person has guardianship of a child, each one of them is competent, subject to subsection (5), any other law or any order of a competent court to the contrary, to exercise independently and without the consent of the other any right or responsibility arising from such guardianship.
(5) Unless a competent court orders otherwise, the consent of all the persons that have guardianship of a child is necessary in respect of matters set out in subsection (3) (c).

21. Parental responsibilities and rights of unmarried fathers.—(1) The biological father of a child who does not have parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child in terms of section 20, acquires full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child—
(a)if at the time of the child’s birth he is living with the mother in a permanent life-partnership; or
(b)if he, regardless of whether he has lived or is living with the mother—
(i)consents to be identified or successfully applies in terms of section 26 to be identified as the child’s father or pays damages in terms of customary law;
(ii)contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute to the child’s upbringing for a reasonable period; and
(iii)contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute towards expenses in connection with the maintenance of the child for a reasonable period.
(2) This section does not affect the duty of a father to contribute towards the maintenance of the child.
(3) (a) If there is a dispute between the biological father referred to in subsection (1) and the biological mother of a child with regard to the fulfillment by that father of the conditions set out in subsection (1) (a) or (b), the matter must be referred for mediation to a family advocate, social worker, social service professional or other suitably qualified person.
(b) Any party to the mediation may have the outcome of the mediation reviewed by a court.
(4) This section applies regardless of whether the child was born before or after the commencement of this Act.

It follows that he can only enforce these rights as soon as the child is born.

I must also add that his chances of getting custody over a new born is almost non-existent. For him to get it, he would have to allege and prove that the mother is a drunk, a prostitute or a drug addict, none of which applies to your daughter, I am sure.

I would suggest that, as soon as the child is born, or even before if she is up for it, that your daughter and the father attend the Family Advocate in order to get a parental plan negotiated and registered.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

This is all very legal jargon.

I guess the botXXXXX XXXXXne is if she is required by law to name him as he father. So when she completes the information for the birth registration, does she have to put his name on the document?

If she does not put his name in as father, what rights does he have verses the rights he has if he is named as the father, and does she need his consnt to name him as the father.

She does not have to name him as the father, no. If she does not, he will have to approach the court for an order that would allow him to be included as the father on the birth certificate. She also does not have to have his consent to name him as the father, but if he does give his consent, then he has rights.

She has all the rights that he has, but she has it automatically and she is, until the family advocate or court intervenes, the one that calls the shots pertaining to how these rights are enforced by the father. Since they are not married, he will only have parental rights as per section 18 if one of the instances in section 21 is applicable.

Also note that, if she does not give in to any of those rights, she is entitled to do that until he enforces his rights through the courts, in which case, she then must comply with the court's decision.

WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15593
Experience: L.LB (UOVS)
WCLawyer and other South Africa Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:




    Satisfied Customers:

< Last | Next >



    Satisfied Customers:

  • Emil's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    BCom Law LLB, 3 years post article experience as attorney
  • LCP's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    BCom (Stell) LLB LLM
  • Freddie Lombard's Avatar

    Freddie Lombard


    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 14 years post article experience.
  • Shaie Zindel's Avatar

    Shaie Zindel


    Satisfied Customers:

    All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.
  • inciteadvisor's Avatar


    Commercial Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    B.Com LLB Registered Corporate lawywer
  • AntonSmith13's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LLB, LLM, Cert. International Law Attorney with 12 years experience

Related South Africa Law Questions