While facing a divorce, are you focusing on the best interests of children?

The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (hereinafter “the Act), states that both parents have parental responsibilities and rights towards their children. The focus should be on the child’s right to parental care and not parental powers. It is sad to see when parents are going through a divorce, how parents can act without considering the best interests of their children. Some parents can be of the opinion that he or she is entitled to “have” the children because he or she is the better parent.

It is not about who is the better parent, but what is the best interest of the children. The Children’s Act sets out factors that must be taken into consideration when considering how to act in the best interest of the children. Just to high light some of the factors, one should consider, the nature of the personal relationship between the child and the parents, the attitude of the parents towards the child, the capacity of the parents to provide for the need of the child, the likely effect of the child relating to any change in the circumstances, the child’s age, maturity and stage of development.

It is not denied that both parents can be capable of loving and caring for their children, but the parents must act in best interest of their children when the decision is made to proceed with a divorce. The parents have a responsibility towards their children to co-parent in the best interest of the children. Co-parenting means that the children spend a significant amount of time with each parent. It also means that the tasks of child-rearing, not just the cost, are shared by both parents. All major decisions should be made jointly. Successful co-parenting requires flexibility and a sincere recognition that parental conflict is destructive to the children’s future (The co-parenting survival guide, 2001).

To help put the children’s interests first, it is important that parties facing a divorce, come to a mutual agreement and settlement of the divorce, rather sooner than later. At Aldi Writes Attorneys, it is our passion and drive to assist parties in doing exactly that, come to a mutual agreement, early in the divorce proceedings, before the situation is out of control.

Through mediation, we assist parents, as co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights in respect of their children, who is experiencing difficulties in exercising their responsibilities and rights to come to an agreement with regards to the exercising of their parental responsibilities and rights whereafter we attend to the drafting and registering of a parenting plan.

If you have any queries or need legal assistance in divorce proceedings involving children, please do not hesitate to contact the writer on 083 564 9214 or email aldi@aldiwritesattorneys.co.za.


Leave a Reply