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Simon Dippenaar
Admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa.
B.Bus.Sci (UCT), LLB (UCT), PDLP (UCT)
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Understanding child guardianship

The topic of child guardianship can become hotly contested within divorce proceedings. Typically, the court grants guardianship to both parents as part of the divorce settlement. But, in very specific circumstances, the court may grant sole guardianship to one parent or someone who is not the biological parent at all.  

Guardianship is the right and responsibility to manage a child’s interests; manage any assets or financial aspects of the child’s life; assist the child in legal or contractual settings; give consent to the child’s marriage or adoptionand give consent for the child to travel overseas. 

The upper guardian of all South African children, however, is the High Court. For that reason, the High Court can be approached to intervene, if a guardian isnot fulfilling their duties. Considering all presented facts and, perhaps even calling upon the Family Advocate or other legal representative, the High Court can terminate a guardianship and transfer care of the child to another person or parent. 

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