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.
The Family Advocate’s offices will not be able to conduct an investigation into the circumstances of the "children" if they are older than 18 (eighteen) years - as they are then, legally, considered adults.
The Family Advocate is a neutral institution which cannot act as the legal representative for either party in any matter.
The Family Advocate’s offices afford the children of the parties the opportunity to voice their views on their parents’ pending divorce.

Family Advocate, Annexure A & Annexure B

You have indicated that there are in fact children ‘born from’ the marriage.

This means that specific averments will have to be made regarding the children and must be approved of by the Court. To this end, the Family Advocate’s offices assist the court in matters where children are involved.

In all divorce matters where minor children are involved, you will have to complete a so-called “Annexure A” form. This form mainly deals with the arrangements that has been made regarding the children and takes the form of an affidavit (so you will have to sign and affirm the contents, under oath, in front of a commissioner of oaths – such as a police officer). You must then attach this form to the summons. The Family Advocate will eventually have to stamp this form to indicate that their offices have perused the contents and are satisfied that the interest of the children have been sufficiently safeguarded.

Annexure B is also a form, but is not attached to the summons. It is only used in cases where there is a dispute regarding the minor children (for example, the parties cannot agree on where the children must stay). Once this becomes necessary, you are again in territory where you are most strongly advised to NOT proceed on your own, but to seek legal counsel.

Where an annexure B is completed, the Family Advocate’s offices will conduct an investigation. Such investigation will normally include interviews with both parents and, depending on their age and maturity, also with the children. This investigation is conducted with the purpose to file a report at the Court which report contains recommendations regarding the care, primary residency and contact with the children.


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