Child Welfare Issues such as Custody /Access / Guardianship / Maintenance

  • Custody:- Custody refers to the day-to-day care and residency of children of dependent children. Dependent children in custody matters are children who are under the age of 18. In cases of judicial separation or divorce, one parent is usually granted custody. A Custody Application can be brought by either parent.
  • Access:- Access refers to the right of a child to maintain contact with the parent with whom the child does not reside. The Judge will order appropriate Access depending on the age of the child.
  • Guardianship:- Guardianship describes the legal responsibility of parents to make decisions and perform duties in relation to their child's upbringing.  Married parents are automatically joint guardians of their children. Neither separation nor divorce changes this.  A father who is not married to the mother of his child does not have automatic guardianship rights in relation to that child and will need to bring an Application in the District Court.
  • Maintenance: - Parents, whether married or unmarried, are legally obliged to maintain dependent children.   If the parties cannot agree upon maintenance, either party can apply to court for a maintenance order.