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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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My sister is trying to get sole custody of her son so that

Customer Question

My sister is trying to get sole custody of her son so that he can travel abroad with her. The father does not support the child in any way and has nothing to do with him. He is willing to write a letter etc. my sister has been to the magistrates court, home affairs and children's court in johannesburg and keeps getting sent from one place to the next. How do we find out the process and where to go?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 2 years ago.

Good Evening.

Just to confirm: The father is not going to object to the mother taking the child out of the country at any stage?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the slow reply - your mail went into my spam folder. No the father will not object. He wants her to have sole custody so he doesn't have to keep writing letters.
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 2 years ago.

Not a problem.

In order for him not needing to write letters, your sister would not need sole custody, but sole guardianship. That is something totally different than custody. Custody merely relates to who has control over the physical person of a child, whilst guardianship relates to making legal decisions on behalf of a child.

By default, both parents have guardianship and therefore, both parents need to agree on the legal decisions made on behalf of a child. So, something like applying for a passport or applying for a visa would be an example of that.

If, however, the court makes your sister the sole legal guardian, then that would necessarily mean that the father is no longer a guardian and no longer have the power to make those decisions on behalf of the child and, by extension, letters from him is no longer needed.

Unfortunately, only the High Court can entertain such an application and she would have to proceed to an attorney to assist her in such an application. The fact that the father is not going to oppose it, should mean that it would be less expensive and less time consuming.

I hope I have answered all of your questions and addressed all your concerns, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively.