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


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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