80% of remarried, or re-coupled, partners with children both have careers. In fact, there is no law (in any state) that requires you … However, irrespective as to the aforementioned principal, stepparents should take duly note of the case law MB v NB 2010 (3) SA (GSJ), the facts that were as follows: The plaintiff, MB (the wife), a widow with a teenage son, married the defendant, NB (the husband). Overall, step-children do have the right to make a family provision claim on the Estate of their step-parents, provided they can establish eligibility. He was the only father I've had my entire life. This does not always extend to non biological children, including stepchildren. Under the common law, a stepparent has no duty to financially support a stepchild during the marriage to the child’s natural parent merely by reason of the marriage. They both completed and signed, as father and mother, the application forms for the boy’s admission to the school and he was accordingly accepted and enrolled in such a school. biological parents, the management of parental responsibility where sever al people simultaneously have parental responsibility or incidences thereof in relation to a child, and the termination of parental responsibility. Parental rights and responsibilities over a Child in South Africa The rights and responsibilities of a parent is set out in the Children’s Act 38 of 2008 (the “Children’s Act”) and can be defined as a complex set of rights, duties and responsibilities which have to be performed in the best interest of the child. 2. A parent’s duty of support towards his/her child is not affected in any way by a remarriage and a stepparent is also under no obligation to support a stepchild. » What rights do stepparents have? by Editorial | Jan 9, 2016 | FAMILY LAW |. Being a step-parent may very well be the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. The finding was also in accordance with section 28(1) of the Constitution of South Africa in that every child has the right to family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment. The prevailing principle in South Africa is that a spouse has no general duty to support a child born of another marriage unless the child is, in consequences of a formal adoption and deemed to be his or her own. You don’t have to include stepchildren in your will. IN THE HIGH COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA (CAPE OF GOOD HOPE PROVINCIAL DIVISION) CASE NO: 13967/2007 ... What would the minimum length of time be during which the person concerned would have acted as a step-parent. Stated otherwise, the relationship of stepparent and stepchild does not, in and of itself, impose any obligation of support. How can you carry on your relationship with your stepchildren? According to the Children Act 1989, it defines parental responsibility as “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority” that a parent legally has in respect of the child concerned. Legal update in regards to Employment Law. Regardless of the state, most courts use the "best interests of the child" test to determine whether to award a step-parent requested visitation. TERMINATION OF ELECTRICAL SUPPLY TO A PROPERTY DUE TO ARREAR HISTORICAL DEBT INCURRED BY THE PREVIOUS OWNER, IMPORTANCE OF A FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATE ISSUED TO THE MEMBER AS WELL AS THE CLOSED CORPORATION. Step-parenting: the basics. Defining Step-Children in your Will. Both parents of a child have equal rights and responsibilities, but when they are not living together, specific rights and responsibilities may be given to one parent, either by court order or agreement between the parents. Over time you’ll find a way of step-parenting that suits you and your family. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students." In the case of duties such as pick-up from school and transportation, a stepfather is within his rights as long as the child's mother has signed an authorization. Case study. When you become a step-parent, it’s normal to wonder whether you should act like a parent from the start, or take a wait-and-see approach. The major exception to this is in the case of child abuse and is examined on a case by case basis. The best interests of the child standard in Section 7 of the Children’s Act recognises the need for children to remain in the care of their parents, family and extended family, and maintain a connection with his or her family and extended family. There have been many queries about step-parent adoptions and there seems to be little information regarding what is involved in the process from a South African perspective. April 22, 2019. Visitation rights for fathers in South Africa will often allow fathers to alternate holidays with the other parent. Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. BA LLB University of the Witwatersrand 1984 In considering such applications the court will always consider the best interests of the child in question, the relationship between the stepparent and the child, the degree of commitment that the stepparent has shown towards the child, the extent to which a stepparent has contributed towards the expenses of the birth and/or maintenance of the child, and any other factor which should, in the opinion of the court, be taken into account. Most stepfathers want to be fully involved in the lives of their stepchildren and help their spouse with parenting responsibilities. Rewards of being a step-parent Kids can see right through that." 8.2 The Diversity of Family Forms in South Africa 8.2.1 Current South … Saturday: 09h00 – 13h00, False, misleading or deceptive misrepresentations in terms of the Consumer Protection Act. Lectured for Continuing Legal Education on Information Technology issues. He has no other children. Although the husband had formed a very strong bond with the son and the son took on the surname of the husband, the latter did not adopt the son. You can acquire parental responsibility through the signing of a Parental Responsibility Agreement to which all other people with Parental Responsibility consent. Parenting is tough enough in and of itself, but at least with the children I birthed I know that I can make a major parenting mistake and they will laugh at me and forgive me for my shortcomings and then forget about it by the time they get home from school. This means that if a custody battle ensues for any reason, the courts will often maintain the custody rights of the biological parent. Case study. Ian McLaren BA LLB (WITS) This does not mean that the step parent does not have an obligation to ensure that the child is well cared for, but rather that the step parent has … Consumer Protection Act: Overbooking and Overselling, Section 61 of the Consumer Protection Act. Breakdown in the trust relationship continued – is direct evidence required by the employer? According to the Texas Estate Code, stepchildren do not figure into the law on intestate succession. In most states, a stepparent does not maintain the same custody rights as a biological parent. The law provides a right for children to have a relationship, subject to any safety considerations, with their parents. Special circumstances do exist. "Though they have good intentions, many stepparents try to buy their stepchild's love through lots of gifts or by being the really cool parent. Overall, step-children do have the right to make a family provision claim on the Estate of their step-parents, provided they can establish eligibility. The deceased’s parents, brothers and sisters will inherit nothing. It is therefore clear that although there is no reciprocal duty of support between a stepparent and a stepchild, that if a stepparent assumes the role of a parent he/she thereby attracts a legal duty to maintain such a stepchild. When we look at legislation. There is an old adage that the punishment should fit the crime, case in point. Both the son and the wife relied on this representation and that, in pursuit of the obligations implicit in this ostensible relationship, the husband joined with the wife in deciding to place the son in a private school with the undertaking to pay the school fees. Parental rights and responsibilities South Africa. What is required to be eligible is that your step-parent (as the spouse of your parent) assumed the responsibilities and privileges of a parent. My mother divorced him 7 years ago. This means you can’t legally authorise medical care, apply for passports, sign school forms and so on. Tarzan and Jane were married to each other and stayed in the jungle with their son, George. General Legal Standard Applicable to Step-Parent's Visitation Request. There is actually not a big difference in the process between step-parent adoption and regular adoption. My children are his grandchildren!! Similarly, a child from a first marriage does not have priority over a child from a second marriage when it comes to maintenance obligations. It is interesting to look at the definition of parental responsibility. Right of Appearance High Court, October 1996. Telephone: 011 475 2845 Step-parents cannot acquire parental responsibility once they are divorced from the natural parent. Stepfathers Have Fewer Rights. A parent’s duty of support towards his/her child is not affected in any way by a remarriage and a stepparent is also under no obligation to support a stepchild. 992 Fredenharry Road Only if the parent does not have children or grandchildren will the other parent inherit the entire estate. My step father passed away 2 months ago. The husband had promised to do this and the law would be blind if it could not hold him to his promise. In some circumstances, a step-parent may have financial obligations to step-children that continue after they are divorced from the children’s natural parent. The principle in South Africa is that a spouse has no general duty to support a step child unless the child is adopted, but a new case changed that. States want to keep a family intact so long as doing so is in the best interest of the child. Similarly, a child from a first marriage does not have priority over a child from a second marriage when it comes to maintenance obligations. There is no legal tie between you and your step-children. If only one parent is alive, the dead parent’s children or grandchildren will inherit in the place of their parent. States want to keep a family intact so long as doing so is in the best interest of the child. South Africa. But where one spouse has substantial assets, estate planning can be difficult. Stepfathers Have Fewer Rights. E-mail: law@leeuwmar.co.za, Monday – Thursday: 07h00 – 21h00 The Judge held that the husband was obliged to pay the son’s school fees. Parental responsibility, in relation to a child, means . Where there are no parents, the deceased’s estate will be … One step-parent may have never been a parent before, and therefore may have no experience of the different stages children go through. Photographer and motor cyclist Transvaal Provincial colours for Practical Shooting. stepparents' right to discipline generally Just as a biological parent who has custody and control over a child has the right to discipline a child in a reasonable manner, so too does a stepparent who stands in loco parentis to a child have the right to discipline a child in a reasonable manner. For short holidays, depending on the child’s age and maturity, parents will usually alternate these, so that one parent will get the children over that holiday this year and the other parent will have them over the particular holiday the following year. Stepparents have no legal rights to a stepchild, both in terms of physical custody and the right to make important decisions about the child’s health and schooling. Changes in family relationships. The question that is often asked is whether stepparents have rights when it comes to their stepchildren and/or fall into the category of family or extended family. Step parents may have no legal obligation to carry out their partner’s wishes. One of the issues contested during the divorce trial was the wife’s contention that the husband was obliged to pay the school fees of that of the son as long as the latter remained at the private school. But if you want to provide for stepchildren, you must name them in your will. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) provides that there is a presumption of ‘equal shared parental responsibility’. That is still the case in the unfortunate event of a birth parent dying. Clearly it would therefore be a stronger claim if your step parent helped you financially or assumed … Even adult stepchildren who have been adults throughout the duration of the relationship between their parent and the step-parent can still claim under the Inheritance Act. Therefore the son had the right to expect from the husband to provide him with the family and parental care that section 28 contemplates. So in terms of will-making, you have no obligation to leave anything to your step-children. If you are concerned about your custody rights as a stepparent, you should consult a family law attorney in your state to see how the law pertains to your specific situation. Friday: 07h00 – 17h00 (If you have adopted them, they are legally your children, with the same legal connections to you as children born to you.) They will then divide the share that would otherwise have gone to their deceased parent equally between them. The question that is often asked is whether stepparents have rights when it comes to their stepchildren and/or fall into the category of family or extended family. Generally speaking, this means that whether a stepparent is able to be part of a … A step-parent is under no obligation to support a step -child. A good thing about South Africa is its law which regulates family affairs. During 2008 the wife instituted a divorce action against her husband. the rights that step-parents have are minimal to non-existent. As a step-parent you don’t automatically have legal parental responsibility for your stepchild. 011 475 2845 law@leeuwmar.co.za HOME By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have … Litigation, Labour Law, Commercial Law, Family Law, Pension and Provident Funds, Customs and Excise, Wills, Deceased Estates, Trusts, Commercial Agreements, Reviewing and Drafting Government Legislation, Information Technology. Committees/ Trusts 3. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. 50% of the 60 million children under the age of 13 are currently living with one biological parent and that parent's current partner. 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