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Joint custody in the time of coronavirus - what the law says

1 April 2020 5:30 PM
Tags:
Divorce
Coronavirus
child custody

Thousands of parents affected by the government's strict lockdown rules say here's an urgent need for clarity in the law.

Like many parents in South Africa, Cape Town mom-of-one Amy MacIver wants answers.

She hasn't seen her son for three weeks, and there's the possibility that it could be even longer than that before she sees him again.

MacIver is just one of the thousands of parents who're affected by the government's strict lockdown rules and says there's an urgent need for clarity around parents who share custody of their children.

For her, the lockdown came into force while her son was visiting his father as per a court-ordered Parenting Plan.

He refused to allow me to collect my son saying he rightfully had him until the end of holidays on March 31st. He insisted his lawyers had said children would be able to go back and forth between parents.

Amy MacIver, parent

However, according to the Social Development department children will, for now, have to remain with the parent with whom they were staying when the lockdown came into effect on Thursday.

Family lawyer Anton Neethling agrees that clarity is urgently needed.

There was no clarity, prior to the lockdown, as to whether or not movement would be allowed.

Anton Neethling, Attorney in family law

Over the weekend, regulations were issued stating that children must stay with the parent they were with when the lockdown came into force.

You've got children who are in the home of the parent who it might not be best for them to remain for the duration of the lockdown, but in terms of the regulations they're stuck there.

Anton Neethling, Attorney in family law

Listen to the full interview below:


1 April 2020 5:30 PM
Tags:
Divorce
Coronavirus
child custody

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