“My name is Sandra. My husband and I recently instituted divorce proceedings and are still awaiting the endorsement of our Settlement Agreement with regards to the care of our minor children by the Family Advocate. This means that during the lockdown period, we do not have a court order in place governing the arrangement of our minor children, nor do we have a Parenting Place in place that is registered with the Family Advocate to allow us to move the minor children between him and I. What do the regulations in your latest article mean for us? My ex-husband and I would both love to see our children during this lockdown and cannot continue this way. Please advise and thank you for your help!
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, released a regulation on the 16th of April 2020. In the said regulation, an additional regulation of the Directions published on the 07th of April 2020 with regards to the movement of children during the lockdown, takes place.
The said regulation released today states that the movement of children between co-holders of Parental Responsibilities and Rights or a caregiver, during the lockdown period is PROHIBITED, except where arrangements are in place for a child to move from one parent to another in terms of:
- A court order; or
- Where a Parental Responsibilities and Rights Agreement or a Parenting Plan, registered with the Family Advocate, is in existence; or
- The co-holder of Parental Responsibilities and Rights is in possession of a birth certificate or certified copy of a birth certificate of the child or children to prove the legitimate relationship between the co-holders of Parental Responsibilities and Rights.
The above three points are provided that:
- in the household to which the child is to move, there is no person who is known to have come into contact with, or is reasonably suspected to have come into contact with, a person known to have contracted, or reasonably suspected to have contracted, COVID-19; and
- The parent or caregiver transporting the child concerned must have in his or her possession, the said court order or agreement, or at least a CERTIFIED copy thereof, or the birth certificate, or CERTIFIED copy thereof of the child or children, as required.
In short, if there is no court order in place, no agreement in place that has been registered by the Family Advocate, or if you do not have your child’s birth certificate or a certified copy thereof to prove the relationship, stay put with your child(ren).
Protect your well-being, but most important, protect theirs. Where there is a court order, agreement registered with the Family Advocate or birth certificate in place, do not abuse it – use it wisely and only for the benefit of the children.