The rights of minor and dependent children are governed primarily by one important principle in South African Law, namely the best interest of the child.
The otherside of the coin to the rights of minor and dependent children are the obligations of parents, guardians, the state and courts in giving effect to this fundamental right of our children. Fathers and mothers also have equal rights in relation to minor and dependent children.
Child custody disputes may arise when children are born out of wedlock, while parents may be still married to each other, during and after divorce proceedings, and generally throughout the childhood and dependancy of the child.
When attending to child custody issues that may arrise during any stage of the minor or dependent child's life, it is important that the attorney takes care of the best interest of the child by providing sound and informed advice to the client; understand the facts, law, circumstances, emotions and other relevant dynamics involved in the matter; and proceed with efficiency to bring the legal process/es to finality.
It is not only the parties to the dispute that go through enormous emotional distress during child custody disputes. The child also experience distress. When distress of this magnitude is experienced by children, the distress may scar the child for years to come lasting into the child's adulthood.
A great attorney in child custody disputes is always mindful of the trauma being experienced by the client and children in question, while at the same time, having the best interest of the children at heart.