Section 23 of the Children’s Act 33 of 2005 enables any person having an interest in a child/ren to apply to the children’s court for an order for care or contact with the child/ren. The children’s court has been designed to be user friendly in that unlike the High Court it can be approached without the assistance of a legal representative. The clerks are trained to assist the public to launch applications in the children’s court on their own. Even a child is entitled to approach the children’s court in his or her own right.
How to launch a contact and care application in the children’s court?
Go to the Magistrates’ court nearest where the child/ren (not the applicant) live. This is the court that has jurisdiction. There are two documents that must be submitted to the clerk.
- The Form 2 which can be found here, or in the Forms section of this website. https://www.justice.gov.za/forms/child/J767.pdf
- An affidavit stating briefly the basis of the claim and why approaching the court is necessary. You can go to your local SAPS and ask them to give you their preformat affidavit which you can write up and get commissioned there at the police station.
These two documents must be lodged with the clerk of the children’s court and a court date will be allocated by a magistrate with instructions to subpoena the other parties to court.