The Daily Mail UK online published an article on the 29th of April 2015, setting out some startling statistics pertaining to the incidences of social media being cited as the catalyst which led to a divorce (the statistics were compiled by the law firm Slater and Gordon). According to the study undertaken by Slater and Gordon, one in seven spouses felt strongly enough about their spouse’s postings on Facebook that they considered divorce, a similar number utilised social media platforms to uncover infidelity and approximately one in five say spouses have regular arguments due to the manner in which their spouse utilises social media. (Read more) The impact of social media is also often felt after the decision has been taken to divorce and the spouses are in the throes of the process. It is often almost impossible for an injured spouse to resist the urge to take to a social media platform and share their feelings regarding their spouse who has either injured their feelings by embarking on an extra-marital affair, failed )to pay what they consider to be appropriate maintenance for children, or simply their feelings of anger simply due to the fact that their spouse has abandoned them. On the other side of the coin are the divorcing spouses who publish pictures of new partners or joyful announcements at the fact that they have ditched their “old” spouse and are in the process of moving on to newer and better pastures. The law in South Africa which pertains to the publication of statements which may impact upon or be damaging to another, is the law of defamation which is based on the “actio iniuriarum” which is in...Read More
This issue is very closely related to the parental responsibilities and rights of unmarried fathers so a good starting point is to analyse what the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 says about the responsibilities of unmarried fathers towards their children. Firstly, section 19 of the Act automatically confers full parental responsibilities and rights on the biological mother of a child. What this means is that the mother of the child has responsibility and right to care for the child, maintain contact with the child, act as the guardian of the child and contribute towards the maintenance of the child. But what of the father? Section 20 of the Act provides that, if the father is married to the mother or was married to the mother at the time of conception, birth or any time between conception and birth he acquires full responsibilities and rights identical to the biological mother of the child. However if the father is not married to the mother (as contemplated in section 20), the Act states (in section 21) that these responsibilities and rights can be acquired as follows. If the father was living with the mother in a permanent life partnership at the time of the birth. Or, regardless of whether or not he was living with the mother, if he consents to be identified as the child’s father (or pays damages in terms of customary law), contributes or attempts to contribute to the child’s upbringing for a reasonable period and contributes or has attempted to do so towards expenses in relation to the maintenance of the child for a reasonable period. This section however does not affect the duty of a father to...Read More
South African law automatically gives full parental responsibilities and rights to a child’s biological mother. But what rights do fathers have? The biological father of a child also has full responsibilities and rights if his is married to the child’s mother or if he was married to the child’s mother at the time of conception, birth or any time in between. Parental responsibilities and rights are defined by law as the responsibility and right to care for the child, maintain contact with the child, act as the guardian of the child and contribute towards their maintenance. But if a father wasn’t married to his child’s mother around the time of conception and birth, he can still get these rights in his child’s life if he was living with the mother in a permanent life partnership at the time of the birth, or if he agrees to be identified as the child’s father (or pays damages in terms of customary law), and has contributed or tried to contribute towards the child’s upbringing and expenses for a reasonable period. If there is a dispute between the mother of the child and the unmarried father about whether or not he is entitled to acquire parental rights and responsibilities, the dispute needs to be mediated by a family advocate, social worker, social service professional or other suitably qualified person. However, if a father doesn’t choose to acquire parental responsibilities and rights, he still has the obligation to maintain his biological child. Confirming paternity An unmarried biological father can also apply for an amendment to the registration of the birth of the child identifying him as the father of the child, if the mother...Read More
Gillian's goal is to ensure fair settlements for her clients and to educate them about the impact the law has on their specific issues.
When faced with the choice of either pursuing a career in law or classical music, Gillian chose law and embarked upon a career that has become both a passion and an ongoing personal challenge.
The aim of this blog and its contents is to highlight topical issues pertaining to family law, to give people food for thought and to provide some understanding of the legal issues impacting the area of family law.
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