Let’s talk Justice, a South African show that aims at educating citizens about their rights and any justice-related topics, had a live broadcast on Facebook yesterday. They were discussing with a Senior Family Lawyer, Adv. N. Britz about the rights of children during divorce or separation.
This episode aimed to educate people about the existence and the purpose of the office of the family advocate.
A lot of families are currently going through turmoil due to a separation, and the children are probably suffering the effects of this.
The biggest theme that was discussed is what happens to the children during and after a divorce. Young children cannot make the big decision of deciding who to live with, and this is where a family lawyer comes in. According to Adv. Britz, the family lawyer is a neutral and unbiased representative of the family. They are not the child’s lawyer.
They get the views of the child and help the family reach a decision with the wellbeing of the child in mind.
Children over the age of 18 years of age are old enough to make the decision, so a family lawyer cannot be requested to intervene.
The lawyer can also help the parents draft a parenting plan that stipulates the parental responsibilities and rights that include “care of the child, contact with the child, guardianship of the child and maintenance of the child”.
A family lawyer is employed by the Department of Justice and render their services for free. A family lawyer can also request a social worker, free of charge, to do a forensic investigation into a situation depending on its complexities.
Click here to find a family lawyer near you.