How to find a divorce lawyer in Cape Town, South Africa

Child visitation rights after divorce

I consult many clients who are already divorced and are still experiencing difficulties with their ex relating to visitation rights and times of visitation. No matter what the final order of divorce states relating to the visitation and access rights, the reality of the matter is that parties very often do not adhere to the terms of the divorce order.

One client of mine had been divorced ten years ago. He was thirty six years old and had children with his ex-wife while they were both relatively young. They had got back together quite a few times, only to split up again. Even though they had loved each other at the time the children were born, the whole relationship had soured. It was an acrimonious divorce.

My client instructed me that every time he and his ex had agreed on a certain time for him to collect the children, he had driven to her house and she was either not there or when he phoned her she had some kind of excuse, such as the children had to attend a birthday party and could not see him. He advised that she was doing everything in her power to aggravate him.

He further advised me that his ex had various boyfriends who would sleep over. He told me that she was also constantly moving from place to place and that the children had no stable residence. At one stage she rented a room in somebody’s house and her and the two children all slept in the same bed there.

On a further occasion, as per my instructions, my client had bought bicycles for the two children for Christmas, and his ex had sold them. She had a love for drink apparently too and had spent the money from the sale of the bicycles on alcohol and the nightlife. She would just leave the children with a friend or babysitter, some of whom she did not even know too well.

Many a child is used as a pawn by one spouse against the other in a divorce situation. Men and women are equally guilty of this in most matters. The Children’s Act is clear that both parents have the right to know the child equally.

The best solution in a matter like this would be for both parties to attend counselling sessions with a psychologist or social worker together with the children to enable a report to be drafted recommending how the visits should be exercised. The divorce court order unfortunately is sometimes just not enough. A professional person could help in a big way in sorting out the problems.

Many people who get divorced do not act in the best interests of the children and act in their own selfish ways. The reality of the matter is that the child is the innocent victim. The child is not the one who got divorced or chose to be born.

Unfortunately once a person gets divorced you still have a relationship with your ex when there are children involved. This is an ongoing one probably for the rest of your lives. That relationship should be limited only to discussing the children, and to act in a reasonable fashion, whilst allowing your ex to move on with their life.

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