Divorce and Family Law Frequently Asked Questions will be answered here.The purpose of our website is to inform people and to show them they are not alone. We will not be giving any legal advice for individual cases, but we will discuss the general legal principles applicable. If you have any questions, visit our Facebook page and we might just select your question to be answered.

Return of Engagement Gifts

The question often arises whether a person must return an engagement gift.  It depends very much on the type of gift and the reason why the 
engagement has been terminated. Normally, if the engagement is cancelled by mutual agreement then all gifts, except for small, inconsequential gifts, relating to the engagement gets returned, including the engagement rings.  If the engagement has been wrongfully terminated by one of the parties, 
the innocent party may recover all material gifts.

What rights do unmarried fathers have?

The Children's Act 38 of 2005 deals with Parental Responsibilities and Rights of Unmarried Fathers. This Act reformed many of the traditional 
concepts regarding Minor Children and their families.
Section 21 states the following;

(1) The biological father of a child who does not have parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child in terms of section 20, acquires full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child

(a) if at the time of the child's birth he is living with the mother in a permanent life-partnership; or
(b) if he, regardless of whether he has lived or is living with the mother

(i) consents to be identified or successfully applies in terms of section 26 to be identified as the child's father or pays damages in terms of customary law;

(ii) contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute to the child's upbringing for a reasonable period; and

(iii) contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute towards expenses in connection with the maintenance of the child for a reasonable period.

Fathers now have more rights and automatically have certain parental rights and responsibilities if they comply with the requirements as set out in this section. Fathers can as such more easily enforce their rights pertaining to their children.