12 Jul

Moving Overseas And The Custody Of Your Child

If you have  child with a partner that you are now separated from, then your ability to move overseas is severely strained by the legal requirements associated with the Hague Convention, International Law, as well as the new laws regarding child travel to and from South Africa. Here are a few tips for separated parents that plan to move overseas with their children:

Limits To International Relocation 

It is important to keep in mind that if you travel overseas with a partner, then there will be restrictions regarding your movement out of the country with your child (whether brought to the country with your partner or born on foreign soil). In countries that are party to the Hague Convention, permission from both parents is required to move with your child elsewhere. This may even be the case if there was a written agreement before the move took place regarding the movement of children in the event of a breakup.

Father’s Domicile 

The domicile of the child’s father at the time of marriage is an important factor regarding relocation of a child after a divorce. The Hague Convention upholds the right that the laws inferred at the time of divorce are those in which the father/husband was domiciled at the time when the marriage contract was signed, even if the contract was signed in a different country. This may have far-reaching consequences for children and their relocation. For instance, the power of the prenuptial agreement is limited in the UK, and the courts in the country do not necessarily have to enforce the decisions made in the agreement.


When moving overseas, even with a foreign partner that you love dearly, make sure that you keep a permanent residence in South Africa in the event that you feel you need to move back to the country with your children. When appealing to a foreign court to be able to move back to the country, proving that you have a permanent domicile will greatly improve your chances of relocating. This may be tricky regarding expenses, but co-owning a home with close family members (like your parents) can help you in this case.

Consult a Professional

This is the most important tip! Do not, under any circumstance, attempt to leave a foreign country with your children in tow. You are likely to be found guilty in a foreign court of child abduction according to the Hague Convention international laws. Consult with a legal professional and child custody attorney whether in the country of residence or your domicile country. Don’t be found guilty of a crime when you actually have the best interests of your children at heart.

For more information regarding child custody in South Africa, why not contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys. Make us your first choice regarding all cases of child custody in South Africa. Simply fill out the enquiry form on the contact us page, and we will get back to you.

Take a look at our child custody as well as our Hague Convention page for more information regarding these issues in the country.

31 May

International Child Custody Disputes Involving China

Any international child custody dispute can be incredibly traumatic and terrifying for both parents and children. Most of the time (when parents live in separate countries), the results of such a dispute are almost always psychologically taxing for at least one of the individuals involved. Who gets custody of the child, and what freedoms the parents enjoy in relation to relocating and having their children visit them internationally, is outlined in the Hague Convention and the International Child Abduction laws. However, for those cases that involve China and the few additional states who are not party to Hague Convention, international child custody disputes can be terrifyingly difficult affairs.

For those countries that have not signed the Hague Convention treaty, there is little that a parent can do to prevent a child from being taken to and removed from said country. As it stands, a parent from an outside country has no legal right to remove their own child from China if the child is living with a parent of Chinese nationality. According to the Hague Convention, which outlined the typical case of international child abduction by a parent, a child cannot be removed from the country of his/her habitual residence without approval from both parents.

Child Custody in China 

The underlying problem regarding child custody in China (and other countries not party to Hague Convention treaties) revolves around the difference of their child custody laws when compared to other states. In China, negotiation is deemed an important factor in conflict mediation, and for this reason the state usually facilitates in matters that are otherwise considered informal agreements.

During cases of international child custody, as well as international child abductions involving China (or other countries not associated with the Hague Convention), it is important that parents wconsider the nationality of the child. For example, if the child is of Chinese nationality, both parents will be required to solve their custody dispute with local Chinese courts. If the child is of non-Chinese nationality, then the child custody dispute must be settled in his country of ‘habitual residence’.

Please consider the laws of those countries of which your spouse is a foreign national before having children. It is the parents responsibility to understand the implications of certain laws with regards to issues involving international child custody disputes.

For more information on international child custody as well as the Hague Convention, make sure you keep checking on the Ivan Zartz Attorneys blog page.

If you require a lawyer that specialises in matters of international child custody, then contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys as soon as possible.

25 May

The Best Interest Of The Child: The ISIS Case

The best interests of the child are the primary considerations with regards to all actions concerning children, whether it be in the courts of law , private welfare and social welfare of the child. This standard is maintained across the board and in all countries that are susceptible to international law and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The ISIS Case

A recent situation occurred in England that perfectly highlights the government’s responsibility, as well as their right, to make decisions regarding the custody of the child and to do so in the best interest of the child. A mother of three from Leicester UK decided to move to an ISIS-controlled region within Syria with her children, obviously to pursue a lifestyle invested in religious ideology and warfare. Her arrest at the airport (on the suspicion of religious radicalisation and affiliation with ISIS) provided evidence of her interest in having her children grow up in the war-afflicted country and under ISIS law.

Child custody services appealed to the court and its judge that he come to a written agreement regarding the lives of the children, and what their futures entailed. The court came to the decision that it was in the best interest of the children to be removed from the custody of their mother, and placed in the care of their maternal grandparents. The woman now faces criminal charges as well as international charges for her affiliation with jihadists.

The Best Interest Of The Child

The police protection order, submitted by airport security, was enforced, and the children were then immediately placed into foster care before being handed to their grandparents. This event highlights the state’s right to ensure that ‘the best interest of the child’ precedent is upheld, and that the courts, as well as the law, should do everything in its power to enforce change in the best interest of the child.

For more news regarding family law, commercial law and debt collection, make sure you keep visiting Ivan Zartz Attorneys Articles page!

Contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today for the best debt collection and family law legal assistance in the country!

25 Apr

Holiday Tips For Separated Parents

It’s easy for parents to get side-tracked and plan vacations and holidays without their children so as to not alienate the other parent. Other times parents plan exotic and flamboyant holidays just so they can ‘get one over’ on the other parent. In both cases, the children are not considered, and parents should make more of an effort to show their children love and attention. Here are a few holiday tips for separated parents that help ensure that the children enjoy themselves and that the other parent accepts the vacation.

  1. Make sure that you plan ahead with regards to vacation ideas. Most separated parents will have a schedule in place that sets out times and periods in which parents are allowed to take their children on holiday. Follow up on dates with the other parent, and discuss the vacation in more detail a few months before the holiday.
  2. Make sure that all the vacation plans and necessary information are provided to the other parent. The other parent has a right to know where their child is staying, who else will be in contact with the child, and where their child is going. Little or no details can be used against you if a matter is brought to court regarding the care and custody of the children.
  3. Make sure that you understand the legal and regulatory requirements when travelling abroad with children. Consider the written consent required from both parents, as well as the limiting yet protecting Hague Convention and international child abduction laws. Countries bound by the Hague Convention will require the written consent of both parents. This is one of the most important holiday tips for separated parents.
  4. Make sure that the children are aware of the nature of the vacation. They must understand that both parents are supportive of the vacation and that the parent who is not attending the vacation will not be saddened by the fact that the children are going on holiday with the other parent. If this is not communicated the children may feel guilty by going on holiday.
  5. Make sure that the children are properly looked after, and all their needs are considered. Medication, health insurance and constant observance on the part of the travelling parent are important for their own legal protection and the wellbeing of their children. Both parents must understand that vacations should not be used as a competitive tool, neither should they be used to alienate the other parent.

The following holiday tips for separated parents will ensure that both parties agree on the holiday and that the children are most likely to enjoy their vacation.

For more information and tips regarding child custody make sure to keep visiting the Ivan Zartz articles page.

If you require a child custody attorney, make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today.

22 Feb

Overseas Child Custody Battle

If you have been keeping abreast of the news, then you may have heard of the recent child custody battle that is taking place in the UK. If not, then here is a rundown of the situation that has captured the attention of the media both in the UK and locally.

A South African mother, living in Mpumalanga, will now have to return her son to the child’s father who lives in England. This comes after protracted court battle where both the English courts as well as the South African courts have charged the mother to return to the UK. The child, who hasn’t seen his father in two years, was being looked after by his mother in South Africa. The father was not paying maintenance because of his unemployment status due to bad health.

However, according to the Hague Convention, this does not give the mother the right to take her child away from his father, and because the child is British, it is the courts in the UK that ultimately settle his fate. The mother and child will have to resume their time in British courts while they will receive housing and financial assistance from local British council in the interim.

According to the Hague Convention, of which South Africa is a contracted state, the above-mentioned case is otherwise known as an ‘incoming’ case. This means that a child has been illegally abducted and brought into South Africa without consent from both parents. In this case, the father has submitted an application for the child’s return, and the matter will be solved in the British courts.

Ivan Zartz Attorneys is an experienced child custody attorney, based in Gauteng, who specializes in child custody cases with regards to the interpretation of the Hague Convention laws. If you are embroiled in a case of child custody with evidence of the illegal abduction of children to and from South Africa, then contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today!