FS VS JJ and Another 2011

This case highlights the rights and obligations of unmarried fathers.The court /Lewis JA held that since the enactment of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 unmarried fathers automatically acquired parental rights and responsibilities, from 1July 2007.

It was clear from the various reports studied by the court that the child’s best interests would be served by placing her with her father.

The court also pointed out that the litigation of this case had not been in any of the parties’ interests.It endorsed the views expressed in The Brownlee case that Mediation in family matters is the better way to deal with these matters and should be the first resort in order to avoid lengthy and costly litigation.

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