Parents’ rights to care and contact their children during lockdown level 4

Parents’ rights to care and contact their children during lockdown level 4
12 May 2020

On 23 April 2020, the President announced that from 1 May 2020, lockdown would be extended at level 4 – which provides for reduced restrictions. On 29 April 2020, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, published and issued new Regulations in Government Gazette 43258, Government Notice No. R.480 of 29 April 2020, which Regulations affect parents’ rights to care and contact during lockdown.

The new Regulation sets out the documents required for the movement of children in the same metropolitan area or district municipality, as well as for the movement of children between different metropolitan areas, district municipalities or provinces.

Movement in same metropolitan area or district municipality

Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or a caregiver, in the same metropolitan area or district municipality is allowed. When moving children in these circumstances, the parent or caregiver must be in possession of a:

1. divorce court order;

2. parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan, registered with the family advocate; or

3. permit issued by a magistrate if the above documentation is not available.

In order to obtain the permit, the magistrate will need to be provided with the children’s’ birth certificate or certified copy thereof, together with written reasons as to why the movement of the children is necessary.

Movement between different metropolitan areas, district municipalities or provinces

Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or a caregiver is allowed between different metropolitan areas, district municipalities or provinces. The parent or caregiver must be in possession of a permit issued by a magistrate.

The Regulations further provide that any children who were not at the residence of the primary caregiver before the lockdown period began, will be allowed on a once-off basis to return to the residence of the primary caregiver, if the co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or the caregiver is in possession of a permit issued by a magistrate

In order to obtain the permit, the magistrate must be provided with the following documents:

1. divorce court order;

2. parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan, registered with the family advocate; or

3. birth certificate or certified copy thereof; and

4. written reasons as to why the movement of the children is necessary.

The permit template, which will be issued by the magistrate is provided in Annexure A, Form 3 of the new Regulations. Should you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

See also:

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
Laura Schlebusch
Laura Schlebusch

Laura Schlebusch is a senior associate at Eversheds Sutherland's litigation group. During the course of her experience Laura has been involved in both litigation and employment law matters and has...

Rebecca Wise
Rebecca Wise

Rebecca Wise is an associate in the litigation department at the Melrose Arch office in Johannesburg. She graduated from the University of Pretoria with a BA Law degree in 2014...

Peter van Niekerk
Peter van Niekerk

Peter van Niekerk is the Managing Partner and head of Eversheds Sutherland's litigation department. He specialises in commercial litigation, insurance, construction, and employment law. Peter has served as an Assessor...

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