The Court regards the rights of the children of paramount importance; therefore the children’s stability and wellbeing should always be ensured.
Section 6(1) (a) of the Divorce Act 70 of 1979 states that a decree of divorce shall not be granted until the court is satisfied that the welfare of any minor or dependent child of the marriage are satisfactory or are the best that can be effected in the circumstances.

Minor Children

A “child” is defined by the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 as a person under the age of 18 years. However, all the children born from the parties involved in a divorce matter must be mentioned in the divorce summons and such children will include the biological or adopted children of the parties jointly, whether the children were born or legally adopted before or during the marriage relationship.

If there are no children from the marriage, you will simply indicate on the form that:

“No children were born from the marriage”

If there are in fact children from the marriage (and who are still minors), the divorce summons must comply with and refer to the following sections of the Children’s Act:

  • Section 6(5) of the Act ensures that a child who has reached an age of maturity and stage of development as well as a person who has parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child has been notified of the matters that will significantly affect them
  • Section 10 of the Act stipulates that every child who has reached an age of maturity and a stage of development to participate in any matter concerning them by expressing their views which views should be taken into consideration
  • Section 18(2) defines parental rights and responsibilities which include the following:
  • To care for the child
  • To maintain contact with the child
  • To act as guardian of the child and
  • To contribute to the maintenance of the child: contribution of maintenance will include minor and dependent children over the age of 18 years
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