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Children cannot move between custodial parents during 21-day lockdown

Written by: Barbara Friedman

As the government announced lockdown regulations last week, many divorced and separated parents were desperately wanting to know what it means for their shared custody.

Verlie Oosthuizen, the head of Social Media Law, and a labour law specialist at Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys, talks to Refilwe Moloto about the minefield divorced parents face during the 21-day lockdown when it comes to shared custody of children.

It's simple, the kids where they are and where they were at the time the lockdown started is where they stay.

Verlie Oosthuizen, Lawyer - Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys

On Saturday Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu stated that the movement of children during the lockdown period is prohibited.

They cannot be moved unless there is a medical emergency and they have to leave the house for that medical emergency.

Verlie Oosthuizen, Lawyer - Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys

If it means that they were not with the primary parent or they were on visitation, it means they will stay with that parent.

Verlie Oosthuizen, Lawyer - Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys

In the case of a primary parent arrangement, she says given that the announcement was made two days before the start of lockdown it was expected that children would be able to be moved back to the primary parent in most cases.

But obviously it becomes more complicated when you have a co-custody situation, 50-50 custody...unfortunately there has to be a call made as to which residence is in the best interests of the children.

Verlie Oosthuizen, Lawyer - Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys

How will that get decided?

That is a value judgement by the parents I suppose, and it is very difficult because in many situations the emotions run very high.

Verlie Oosthuizen, Lawyer - Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys

Children's rights are still paramount.

Verlie Oosthuizen, Lawyer - Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys

Oosthuizen says for those with access, using online video platforms such as Skype will provide the other parent with access to children during the lockdown.

Listen to the interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Children cannot move between custodial parents during 21-day lockdown




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