I am divorced. Can I move abroad with my child?

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South African family law does not explicitly govern international child custody/care matters. However, the Children’s Act states that if one parent intends to leave the country with the child and relocate, the consent of both parents is required.

The best interests of the child(ren) are the uppermost concern. In certain instances, the move might be in the child’s best interest if it, for example, results in the enhancement of the child’s quality of life or education.

International child custody is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, taking all considerations into account, especially the best interest of the child(ren).

It is critical to follow the correct procedure and give due consideration to the law. Taking a child overseas without the consent of the other parent amounts to child abduction and can have very serious consequences.

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The information on this website is provided to assist the reader with a general understanding of the law. While we believe the information to be factually accurate, and have taken care in our preparation of these pages, these articles cannot and do not take individual circumstances into account and are not a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal matter that concerns you, please consult a qualified attorney. Simon Dippenaar & Associates takes no responsibility for any action you may take as a result of reading the information contained herein (or the consequences thereof), in the absence of professional legal advice.

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