Relocation of Vacationing with your Minor Child Outside South Africa

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Travelling overseas with a minor child for the purpose of a vacation is not as easy as boarding a plane. The legal requirements to travel with a minor child outside of South Africa greatly curtail your freedom and ability to do so.

Section 18 of the Children’s Act, 38 of 2005, clearly stipulates that the consent of all persons that have guardianship of a child is necessary in respect of a child’s departure or removal from South Africa. This means that both parents must consent to a child travelling outside of South Africa’s borders.

Should you travel outside of South Africa with a minor child and failed to obtain the necessary consent, then you run the risk of facing child abduction charges in the foreign country where you are vacationing. Fortunately, our legislation allows for the High Court to dispense with such consent in certain circumstances.

As the child’s best interest is paramount in all decisions regarding care and contact of a child, the courts will always rule in favour of overseas vacation trips unless there are reasonable grounds for withholding such consent, such as fear of flying, placing the child’s life at risk, etc.

We have successfully launched many applications of this nature in favour of and against vacation travels.

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