30 Aug

Who Has Responsibility Of Supporting a Child When Parents Cannot?

Sometimes both the custodian parent of the child as well as the parent responsible for the payment of maintenance do not have the means to support a child. There can be financial reasons for the limitations, as well as numerous other reasons. If the child’s parents cannot look after the child, who does this responsibility pass on to? Take a look at the list of people who take responsibility toward looking after the child.

Grandparents 

Both the maternal and paternal grandparents are responsible for supporting a child if neither parent is able to do so. Often all four grandparents can be responsible for contributing financially toward the child, and at least one can be found responsible for the custodianship over the child. Alternatively, if a custodial parent is not receiving maintenance from the other parent, then he/she can claim maintenance from that parent’s parents.

Siblings 

In many cases, siblings are found to be custodians of children, responsible for the upbringing of their brother or sister. This is not uncommon, and legally siblings are responsible for their other siblings’ upbringing if parents, grandparents, and stepparents are unable to do so.

However, this is only considered an option when siblings are adults and have the financial capabilities toward supporting a child.

Image result for child and older siblings

Steparents 

Stepparents are not responsible for the upbringing of the child as the parents themselves. By marrying their spouse who has maintenance or custodial duties, these duties cannot legally fall upon the stepparents too. However, there have been instances whereby parents have taken stepparents to court and the stepparents were ordered by judges to pay maintenance toward their stepchildren.

The above cases, however, are very rare, and only apply when the stepparent has the overwhelming financial security and the capability to look after their stepchildren without much effort.

As you can see, there are many people who are found responsible for the upbringing of a child when his/her parents are unable to do so. If you require legal assistance regarding the custody, support, and maintenance of children, don’t hesitate to contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys at the soonest opportunity.

23 Aug

How Can The Legal Profession Tackle Corruption?

When Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng spoke at this year’s SADC’s Lawyers Association conference in Cape Town he mentioned how lawyers and other legal professionals are ultimately responsible for weeding out corruption in government, public and private sectors. He also mentioned how lawyers and judges should refrain from taking part in a corrupt system of rule, an unfortunate common occurrence in South Africa’s municipal governance. But what Chief Justice Mogoeng did not mention was how the legal profession will go about making this nation-wide change.

Legal Strategies To End State Corruption 

  • By getting legal professionals involved in the auditing of government spending more often, instead of leaving the process largely internalised within municipal and national departments is key to ending corruption. Many countries post lawyers within government departments to audit on an ad hoc basis, rather than systematically auditing departments at a set time and date in the year.
  • International corruption conventions should be arranged to facilitate dialogue between governments that both suffer or have successfully tackled corruption. By integrating said dialogue between governments and international legal organisations, such as the SADC’s Lawyer Association, actual, tangible policy may be drafted to eliminate corruption.
  • When it comes to tackling corruption within the courts, legal professionals are very limited when it comes to using certain evidence against officials who may otherwise be found guilty of corruption. Corrupt officials are often one step ahead of legal professionals in their use of technology such as mobile devices, messaging platforms and the like, knowing full-well that some evidence cannot effectively be used in court. Much of this, as well as a considerable amount, of red tape needs to be eliminated if lawyers and public protectors are to have any success against corrupt politicians and officials.

Although there is much room for improvement, Ivan Zartz Attorneys supports the sentiments of the Chief Justice, and we all look forward to a transparent and well-governed future in South Africa.

Contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today for more legal news and views.

17 Aug

Are You Expected To Pay Maintenance If Prevented From Seeing Your Child?

This is a question often asked by those following a child custody case. The parent who only has visitation rights is sometimes restricted or even prevented from seeing their child following traumatic instances of emotional conflict between the two parties. If a father is prevented from seeing his child, should he really have to continue paying maintenance?

Please remember: By not paying maintenance, you are only harming your child and not the parent with custody and care obligations towards the child! 

Separating Child Custody From Maintenance 

It is important that you understand this important principle before you stop paying maintenance; child custody and visitation agreements are considered separate from that of a maintenance agreement.

Under no conditions is a parent obligated to stop paying child maintenance. Child maintenance is arranged so that the custodian or carer of the child has the financial means of providing food, education, and medical expenses for the child. Additionally, you cannot stop paying maintenance even in the event that the other parent prevents you from having contact with the child. If your ex-spouse remarries, has more children or finds themselves a new job, you are still expected to pay monthly maintenance according to the maintenance contract.

Here are a few things to keep in mind in the event of restricted visitation and contact, or the restructuring of the maintenance agreement:

Amending Maintenance Order 

If you cannot afford the maintenance for your child, then you may begin the procedure of amending your maintenance order. This can be done with the assistance of a divorce lawyer, or you can make the application yourself at the Family Court.

Restricted Visitation and Contact 

Your right to visit your child, or have your child stay with you on certain days, is outlined within the child custody agreement. A breach of a lawfully authored agreement is illegal, and a parent who prevents their child from seeing their mother/father may have their ability to care for the child questioned.

The best thing to do in the event of visitation restrictions or prevention is to contact a child custody attorney. With their consultation and assistance, you will be able to take the matter to court or begin a remediation procedure so that you may spend valuable time with your child again.

Contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today if you are intent on spending more time with the children you love!

15 Aug

The Most Common Excuses That Debtors Make

As a creditor, it is important that you identify whether or not the debtor is having cash flow issues. If you quickly determine that the debtor is unable to pay their dues, then you can use the time to contact a debt collection agency or debt collection lawyer. There are a few telltale signs that the debtor is unable to pay his or her debts, most often by these overused excuses; take a look.

  • “Yes, of course! I will pay the account as soon as possible.” This is the classic delay strategy. The objective is to fool the creditor into thinking that they will pay the account momentarily. The truth is that, on this occasion, they have not provided the creditor with an exact date, and there will come a time where the debtor will have to be contacted again.
  • “I have paid the account, it must not have reflected yet.” If the debtor has used this excuse more than once for a single invoice over the space of 30 days, then it is a clear and blatant lie. On the rare occasion that the bank is the guilty party, it is the debtor’s responsibility to pursue the issue with the bank.
  • “I have not received an invoice yet.” Probably the most common excuse of the lot. The reason why this excuse is so well used is because it works. However, there are some tactics that can be used to avoid this problem. The first is by ensuring a receipt and ‘item read’ notification on your emails, or by having the debtor pick up a physical receipt from the post office.

In any event, if you believe that the debtor in question is delaying payment or without financing the invoice, ensure that you contact a debt collection agency. For commercial and larger debt issues, contacting a debt collection lawyer is often the best thing to do. If you are looking for an experienced and well-versed debt collection lawyer in South Africa, then make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today!

08 Aug

Introducing Children To A New Partner

The divorce process is traumatic and complicated, however, life moves on. After what could be a messy child custody battle or a simple matter of ‘moving on’ parents often find other partners with which they want to share their lives.

This can be a very awkward time for both you, as a parent, and your children, and introducing your kids to the ‘newfound love’ can lead to them experiencing a number of emotions. There are, therefore, a number of measures involved during this introduction, both of the psychological and legal sort. Take a look:

Remain Professional 

A parent must remain professional as well as amicable when introducing a new partner to the family. The same goes for those parents whose ex-spouse has now introduced a new partner. There are many instances of parents returning to courts at the instance of one of the parent’s new romance. This reignites a pointless legal battle because they believe that the new partner may negatively influence their children.

Both the parent in a new relationship, as well as the other parent, must respect their ex-spouse enough to amuse their concerns and/or allow the ex-spouse the freedom to date other people. What needs to remain of utmost importance is that any new decisions are made in the best interests of the children. This means that the new partner should not stay overnight with the children for at least a couple of months into what has to be a strong and committed new relationship. If a parent is only having casual relationships with one or multiple partners, it is best to not involve the children in any way whatsoever.

Emotional Sensitivity 

When a parent is introducing his/her children to a new partner, it is important that the first couple of visits are incredibly casual and quick. All visitation should occur away from the home in an environment in which the children are comfortable, such as at a restaurant. Don’t enquire from your children what they think of the new partner at this stage.

Once there is a moderate amount of affinity between the new partner and the children, then the partner may be allowed home visits. Be very careful when allowing new partners to sleep over during stays with the children. Be sure to consult the children at this stage. Find out what they think of your new partner, and encourage a prosperous relationship. To those parents whose ex has introduced a new partner; do not feel threatened by the introduction. Children understand that there is no replacing you as their parent, and the new partner may actually be beneficial to all parties involved.

If you are concerned about your children’s health during the stage whereby new family members are introduced, feel free to contact a mental health expert (such as a registered child psychologist) and/or a child custody attorney.

If you are looking for a child custody attorney in South Africa, don’t hesitate contacting Ivan Zartz Attorneys as soon as possible.