Can a father get custody of his child?

Does the father, when separated, have a chance of securing custody of his own children? Many fathers ask this important question of whether or not they will receive custody of their children when parents are separated and while child custody takes centre stage.

All over South Africa, the possibility for fathers to receive custody of their children can be realized. The all-important issue that the courts look at is whether it is in the best interests of the children and whether living with the father can foster a positive home life. Let us find out what the courts look at when determining the best interests of the child, and how the father may provide the best environment for his children.  What are the father’s rights in terms of South African law?

The parents’ ability to provide for their children is the court’s first priority. Secondly, if they have the means and the disposition to provide food, clothing, education and medical care, they can start identifying each parents’ ability to provide affection, love, guidance and personal time with the children. By this time, they would have determined which parent is better suited to provide a suitable environment.

In cases where the child’s present lifestyle is suitable for personal wellbeing and growth, the courts will attempt to preserve the continuation of a child’s lifestyle. What will prove detrimental to children will be the combination of moving schools as well as areas in which they live.  Measuring of the parent’s moral fitness as well as their personal and financial health may also be analyzed. The length a parent can provide for the children is more important for the courts than the amount of money the parent makes.

In the case of a father who is able to provide in every aspect of the child’s or children’s life as outlined above, then there is no reason as to why they should not have custody of their children. Many cases of fathers being given custody of their children have occurred in recent years, however, before going to court fathers should take into account the best interests of the children. There is no reason for the trauma involved during a child custody case when it is found that the children are provided for and are happy in their present environment.

For further information on your particular situation and or to find out more, please consult with one of our specialist child custody for father attorneys, or contact us directly.