Grandparent guardian rights is not a typical topic that we see spoken about enough considering the many different family dynamics we have in South Africa. If you’re here to learn your rights or find out how you can apply for guardianship, keep reading as our family lawyers share what you need to know.
The Children’s Act & Grandparent Rights
While South African law doesn’t specifically cover the rights of grandparents, Section 23 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 does allow anyone that has an interest in the care of a child to apply for rights. This is then subject to the best interests of the child or children.
Section 24 covers guardianship assignment. Before the Children’s Act, grandparents did not have any rights or responsibilities over their grandchildren. It was only a high court, that could grant custody.
A grandparent that wishes to establish rights will need to make use of the provisions within Section 23 and 24 of the Children’s Act. Just like with any proceeding of this nature, this process should not be taken lightly. An unsuccessful application may lead to hostile or disgruntled parents alienating the child.
When assessing an application, the Court takes the following under advisement:
● The best interests of the child
● The contribution toward the child’s maintenance and/or financial needs
● The level of commitment shown towards the child
● The relationship between the grandparent and the child as well as any relevant party
● Any factors the Court decides to factor into the decision.
Applying For Guardianship
In the case of a Guardianship Application, the grandparent will need to submit your reasons for the application to the High Court which is the relevant Court for such matters, that support the need to remove the child from the current guardianship arrangement. In other words, why this existing situation is not suitable.
Do You Need A Family Lawyer Near You?
Contact The Law Offices of Karen Olivier, a law firm in Durban that you can trust. We will make sure that one of our family lawyers assist you and/or provide you with advice.