Legal Articles and Guides
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The government will research the law governing the recognition and dissolution of all religious marriages, as it plans to appeal a Western Cape High Court judgment that ordered the state to recognise Muslim marriages under law. According to a Cape Times report, the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) had argued that by not recognising Muslim marriages under common law, Muslim women were not afforded legal protection and did not have access to the courts to assert their rights.
Judge Siraj Desai, of the Western Cape High Court, has authorised the Cape Fertility Clinic to perform artificial fertilisation requested by a same-sex couple that includes the simultaneous transfer of one embryo fertilised with sperm from the one father and another that had been fertilised by his husband. If the in vitro fertilisation is successful, the couple’s children would be twins with different DNA, notes a Sunday Times report.
A mother, who was ordered to return her biological son to a diplomat who helped raise him, will appeal the judgment, her Advocate Eliot Buthane said. As reported in Legalbrief Today, Gauteng High Court Judge Pierre Rabie ruled that should the mother fail to immediately return the minor child, the diplomat shall be entitled to apply for her to be held in contempt of court.
The Family Advocate: A hero for children's best interests. The purpose of the family advocate is to promote and protect the best interests of minor or dependent children in parental responsibilities and rights disputes. The family advocate assists parents to reach an agreement on disputed issues involving children.
Process for obtaining a court order for the enforcement of a parental plan
Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai has expressed dissatisfaction at the state’s failure to fulfil its obligation to introduce legislation to recognise Muslim marriages as valid, and to regulate the consequences of these unions, ordering the President and Cabinet, together with Parliament, to rectify the failure within 24 months.
In a landmark ruling, a single parent has been given the go-ahead to attach retirement annuities in lieu of unpaid maintenance, notes Legalbrief. Venessa Lees, a mother of two young boys, has been hailed as the driving force behind the ruling by the Wynberg Maintenance Court, says a Cape Times report, noting the annuities can be attached ahead of maturity.
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Child Law (CCL) are appealing against a ruling that helped pave the way to have all children’s births in SA registered. Several groups called on government to change the rules about birth registration after a ruling by the Eastern Cape High Court (Grahamstown) that some of the rules that impacted single fathers and couples‚ where either one or both were foreigners‚ were unconstitutional.
Legal experts said the jail sentence issued to a businessman for failing to pay spousal and child maintenance, was one of the toughest awarded for criminal contravention of the Maintenance Act. The Durban businessman this week began serving an effective four and half years' prison sentence after being criminally convicted of failing to pay spousal and child maintenance, says TimesLIVE.
Grahamstown father Mzileni Naki has won what The Herald reports is a landmark legal victory after a judge ruled that a law barring him from registering the birth of his child was unconstitutional. Liesl Muller, of Lawyers for Human Rights, said the judgment was highly significant as it removed clear gender discrimination from Home Affairs regulations. Lawyers for Human Rights have handled 780 similar cases since January last year.
When we were little we were taught that “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words cannot harm me”. In reality, words and actions do harm a person, whether directly or indirectly. I have been reading articles lately and came across many stories where bulling and harassment has been so bad, that victims resort to suicide. The world is cruel, and if no one makes a stand, nothing will change.
Our names are important to us, not only in a deeply personal sense but also in a multiplicity of practical and legal situations. So think carefully about what surname you want to use if as a woman you are getting married or divorced, or are widowed. The choice itself is by law your own personal one to make, but we’ll have a look at what exactly those choices are, at the practicalities involved, and at how this all affects men.
A woman who dreamed of being a single mother asked her ex-boyfriend to impregnate her – and got more than she bargained for, says a Times Select report. As well as a son (3), KZN High Court (Durban) Judge Piet Koen told her the boy’s father must have extensive co-parenting rights which include custody every alternate weekend and at least four hours of father-son time on birthdays.
A case in the Free State High Court will test whether enticement is still a ground to claim damages in SA law. Rapport notes that Bloemfontein businesswoman Lizette van Schalkwyk (49) is claiming damages of R1.5m from Christie-Ann Roberts (25) for allegedly enticing her husband, Willem (49), into an affair.
Marriages performed under the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act are recognised as legal and may only be dissolved by a court through a divorce. The Star reports this was the opinion of attorney Selwyn Shapiro, who said since the Act came into force and these marriages were now recognised in law, it followed that the union had to be dissolved through divorce.