The Family Advocate helps the parties to achieve an agreement on disputed issues, in particular, custody, access, and guardianship. If the parties are incapable to reach an agreement, the Family Advocate evaluates the parties’ situation in light of the best interests of the child and makes a recommendation to the Court with regard to custody, access or guardianship.
Upon request by the parties, the Family Advocate institutes an inquiry during which the Family Advocate, aided by a Family Counsellor, interviews the parties to ascertain their personal condition and the background details to their issue. The Family Advocate then interviews the children to permit them the chance to be heard. This prevents the child from having to present in Court.
Points To Note About The Family Advocate
The Family Advocate in South Africa cannot become engaged in any issues that have already been concluded by the Court.
The Family Advocate cannot be subpoenaed to the Court as a witness to give evidence on behalf of any party even if his/ her recommendation is in favor of that party.
The recommendation of the Family Advocate is intended to help the Court in adjudicating an issue and arriving at a specific order. The recommendation itself is not enforceable unless incorporated in a Court Order.
The Family Advocate is a neutral institution and cannot act as the legal representative for either litigant, in an issue.
You May Consult The Office Of The Family Advocate If:
There is a dispute about contact or care of a child.
A person demands to draft a parental rights and responsibilities agreement.
They want to record their parental rights and obligations agreements.
A person wants to alter or terminate parental rights and obligations agreements registered with the Family Advocate.
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There is a dispute on whether the unmarried father of the child born out of wedlock has satisfied the requirements which makes him eligible to acquire full parental rights and obligations in terms of the law.
Courts additionally make orders that the Family Advocate has to conduct an inquiry with respect to what is in the best interest of the child.
For more details contact family lawyers in South Africa.
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