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In recent years, there has been an undeniable trend that many families have chosen to emigrate from South Africa for a variety of reasons ranging from the increase in crime, to wanting a more stable political framework to superior access to education, job opportunities and healthcare.

In many of these families, there are children born from a previous relationship whose parents have shared parental rights and responsibilities (the old word for this phrase being ‘custody’). In such scenarios, a child or children would normally have some pre-determined contact regime where certain days and nights are spent with their mother and others with their father.

In such a situation, where one parent raises the issue of wanting to emigrate, it is almost inevitable, and completely understandable, that the parent who would remain in South Africa would feel that their relationship with their child or children will be hampered by such a move.

There is also a widespread (and incorrect) belief that it is easy to stop a parent from leaving and for this reason many families choose to either wait until the minor children become majors (at the age of 18) or simply forego the opportunity to emigrate as a result of not wanting to engage in what is perceived to be a long and acrimonious legal battle.

Ironically, and provided the parent wanting to emigrate takes proper advice, it is extremely difficult to fight against such emigration. It is correct that should one parent refuse to consent to such relocation, then the matter must be ventilated in court. These matters seldom, if ever, actually get to be argued in court as there are steps that a prudent attorney would institute, that would make the opposing of such a relocation application unwise.

So far, Richard Wands and the team at HJW Attorneys have a 100% track record of successfully assisting people who wish to emigrate, and to date, none of these matters have even landed up being argued in court. This is because with the correct legal approach, the matters should all become settled and the relocation will be allowed to proceed on an unopposed basis.

If you or your family is wanting to emigrate and you are being threatened that you will be fought and stopped, rest assured that our team will be able to assist you and you will be able to emigrate if you follow our sound legal advice, backed by years of experience and a successful track record.

Richard Wands specialises in family law, and is a managing partner and the co-founder of HJW Attorneys, a bespoke law firm and winner of the 2021 Boutique Law Firm of the year award by Acquisition International.