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oa Codicillus - South African courts and the 'best interests of the child' in custody disputes

 

Abstract

Izinkantolo zibhekana nomsebenzi obucayi uma kumele zithole ukuthi yikuphi okuzosebenzela ingane kahle kunakho konke, ngenxa yokuthi akunandlela elula yokuthola ukuthi yikuphi lokho. Umbhali ubheka lokho okuthiwa okuzosebenzela ingane njengoba kukleliswe ku<I>McCall v McCall</I>. Iningi lezingane elizithola liphakathi komdonsiswano wokuthi ngubani ozogcina izingane, zihlushwa yingcindezi eyenzeka esikhathini eside nesifushane yokuthi zehlukanise phakathi ukwethembeka kwazo. Kusala imibuzo eminingi enikezana inselelo: njengokuthi ngabe ukuthola ukuthi yikuphi okuzosebenzela ingane kahle kusho ukubonelela konke okuthinta ingane noma ngabe kusho ukuthi izibonelelo ezithile kumele zilahlwe yini; ngabe lokho okuzosebenzela ingane kahle kumele kubukwe ngeso elibheke okuzokwenzeka maduzane; esikhathini esimaphakathi nendawo noma eside; ngabe kumele kubukwe ngasohlangothini olufaka nemizwa yomuntu ngokuthile noma ngakulolo olubheka isimo sodwa yini. Yize umbhali ebeka ukuthi lokho okuzosebenzela ingane kahle kumele kuvezwe ngabathathizinqumo abangabantu abadala, bebe bebheke isimo leso ngaphandle kokuxhuma neminye imifakela, kunokuthi babheke izifiso zengane ezihlanganise neminye imizwa, uyexwayisa ukuthi kuqashelwe ukubeka lezo zinto ezizosebenzela ingane ngokuthi kugxilwe kulokho okuzosebenzela umzali. End

The courts face a complex task when having to determine the best interests of the child, for there is no easy way of establishing what these interests are. This article examines interests of the child as listed in <I>McCall v McCall</I>. Most children who find themselves at the centre of a custody battle suffer the long-term and short-term stresses of divided loyalty. Several challenging questions remain: whether determining the best interests of the child means attending to everything that affects the child or whether certain considerations should be disregarded; whether the child's interest should be viewed from a short-term, medium-term or long-term perspective; whether they should be viewed from a subjective or an objective point of view. While the author submits that the best interests are to be determined by adult decision makers, on the basis of objective criteria rather than on the basis of a child's subjective wishes, he warns against conceptualising the interests of the child in terms of the interests of parents. End

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/content/codi/46/1/EJC27463
2005-01-01
2016-12-04
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