CAN PARENTING PLANS BE CHANGED, AMENDED OR ENFORCED IN SOUTH AFRICA?
South African Law recognises that parents’ circumstances can change over time and that, likewise, a child’s needs for care and support will evolve. It is always a good idea to, after consulting with either the other parent or your family lawyer, continually review and amend existing parenting plans to benefit the child’s ever-changing needs to best benefit the child. New agreed and negotiated terms will be included in the revised written parenting plan registered at the Children’s Court or Family Advocate’s Office.
In cases where one of the parents is consistently not honouring the parenting plan agreed to, the aggrieved parent is urged to exercise his/her legal right in terms of the signed legal parenting plan. Both parents are legally obliged to stick to their responsibilities and commitments. The parent not complying with his/her duties is thus technically in breach of the agreement, and the other parent can approach the Children’s Court or Maintenance Court (depending on the situation) for legal assistance and determination on the issue. By Law, the defaulting parent can face penalties, including fines, garnishee orders and jail time.