Coparent App is a Social Justice Foundation NPO project | 165-06 NPC 2017/653567/08 with Section 18A status. To obtain your Section 18a certificate send email to admin@socialjustice.org.za

Counseling Children Through Divorce

Divorce may be a common experience for today’s couples and families, but that doesn’t make it any less distressing for the families going through it–especially when children are involved. Children of all ages can have a lot of questions, confusion, and conflicting feelings when they have to deal with divorce, and even the most compassionate and attentive parents may struggle to meet all of their children’s needs. Counseling children and their families through a separation and divorce is so important, it is actually recommended, and even legally required in more than half of all counties in the United States.¹

Given these circumstances, there is an incredible need for dedicated professionals to practice in one of the several specialized counseling roles that allow them to support children as they deal with divorce. School counselors and family/marriage counselors can all play a role in providing both individual and family support during and well after a divorce.

Helping Children Understand

Will Smith famously asserted that “parents just don’t understand.” But during a divorce, it is often young children as well as parents who struggle to make sense of what is happening to their family, and what the future holds.

Helping children understand–and cope–with their situation is an important goal. For the family and marriage counselor, this means being an advocate for children as well as a coach for the parents during a divorce. Spending time listening to the child or children whose parents are divorcing can enable the counselor to help provide a voice, ensuring their needs are being considered and their feelings understood by parents. It can be hard, especially for very young children, to make sense of the many emotions brought on by a separation and divorce proceedings, much less put those feelings into words. Counselors can provide perspective, reassurance, and sometimes interpretive aid to these children during a vulnerable time.

At the same time, these counselors can help parents evolve into their new roles, using and developing their parenting skills to make the divorce a collaborative, rather than an isolating, process.² Divorce is not just a legal process for the adults; parents very likely have as much need for emotional support and therapeutic guidance as children. Family and Marriage Counselors can provide whole family coaching that helps them support one another, communicate about challenges and concerns, and feel understood and included throughout the divorce.

At Home and At School

Of course, divorce doesn’t just affect children when they are at home or in the company of family members. Problems at home very often manifest at school, where children are prone to anything from minor misbehavior to more serious disruptive acts, and academic performance may suffer. Teachers and other students are prone to misunderstand, or miss entirely, the emotional triggers and stress that influences a child’s behavior at school over the course of a divorce, and punish these kids in a way that only exacerbates the problem. School counselors are often a child’s best advocate for contextualizing and dealing with misbehavior resulting from emotional issues.

Counselors can provide a lifeline for children while at school, coordinating with parents as well as teachers to constructive deal with behavior, performance, and communication barriers. Counselors can help students meet and connect with others who are going through or already experienced a divorce, enabling them to support one another and understand that they are not alone.

In some cases, school counselors may also have to act as advocates or even shields for children of divorce. Handling issues of legal rights, privacy, and well-being. Even well after a divorce, counselors have to balance the interests and rights of children with the expectations of parents.

New Beginnings

The emotional journey for children doesn’t end with the divorce itself. Continued counseling is important to help them adjust to their new, developing sense of “normal” in the aftermath of the legal separation. The changes to their home situation can send ripples of disruption through their social lives, academics, and of course their continuing development of identity, so having the communication outlet and emotional support of a counselor can be a source of stability and reassurance that helps children cope.²

The same support the family and marriage counselors provided during the divorce process remains valuable long afterward. Parents can use the help to turn their love and compassion into skills for dealing with their children, especially if they are going from a couple to a single-parent household. Children and parents alike can struggle with changes to custody and how that affects relationships, rules, and support for a child’s schooling.² Counselors can help bridge the gap from before and after, and provide lasting guidance to families as they continue to grow and change.

Counselors play an essential role in helping children deal with the news, process, and aftermath of a divorce. Whether they work at a school or provide therapy in a more clinical environment, the need for counselors to work with children and whole families is certain to continue as long as marriage and divorce exist. By earning your Master of Arts in Counseling online at Wake Forest, you can help serve the children and families in need of professional support and guidance through a divorce.


The CoParent App

Working together on child care arrangements post-separation can be tricky if as parents you do not communicate well.

Co-Parent is a proudly South African App aimed to simplify the communication process between parents.

phone only 1a newmore_info_button_360px.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Co-Parent app has the primary focus to facilitate and improve communication between parents, to ensure the best interests of the child are met.

This is ideal for parents who are divorced, separated, do not live together, or who have busy schedules.


 

Loans and Financial Assistance for single mothers

Single Mothers Loans and Financial Assistance

 

Single mothers loans and financial assistance is available if you have bad credit and financial hardship. It’s hard to find finance when you are divorced, separated or widowed. You need money to support your families or yourself. You may find that you have been left with very little financial support. Especially in the event of an unanticipated death of your spouse. Which can amount to a lot of stress. Similarly, if you have recently ended a marriage the legal system does not always facilitate things well. So that you can be left with hardly any maintenance money for your children. In some instances, no money at all. Read More: 4 Ways to Get Out of Debt Fast

 

Single Mothers Loans Applications

If you would like to apply for single mothers loans and financial assistance then there are several steps you can take. In an attempt to make your application go smoothly.

Firstly, write a statement detailing the circumstances that have resulted in your need to borrow money. Whether it is because you have recently separated and only need a small amount to get you through while you adjust to single living. Or because you are unexpectedly widowed and simply had not budgeted to be supporting your family on your own. Or because you have recently become divorced.

These details as well as information about your credit history, current earnings and all costs related to your children will assist the banks determine the amount of finance they are able to give you.

The South African constitution makes provisions to look after the females in South Africa. Whether it is through provision of land, access to education or access to financial services.

If you have any difficulty accessing loans then perhaps seek legal assistance.

 

Financial Assistance for Single Mothers

There is financial assistance for single mothers that proves to be very useful at the best of times.

There is help out there when it comes to coping with the finance your little ones demand so unintentionally.

You may have more than one job. However this is still not always enough and you have to borrow money from somewhere else to get through the month.

Making loans from banks is always an option. But you will have to check on their interest rate before you decide to apply for a loan. Make sure it is not too high.

Being a single Mother is hard and not all divorced or separated Women receive maintenance. However there is additional financial assistance for single mothers out there.

Some women will know the feeling all too well. You constantly have to borrow money. And as much as you hate asking, your child/children have needs.

All banks offer assistance in the finance department. No matter the size of the loan you require, speak to someone at the bank. Apply for a loan if everything is up to your standards.

Grieving the loss of your soul-mate, looking after your kids and having financial problems all at the same time is unbearable. But there are many women that go through this. You will be fine in the end and your children will turn out to be fantastic when they’re older.

In Conclusion…

Getting loans all the time isn’t a good choice. Especially if you are blacklisted with bad credit. Also see if you’re entitled to an unemployment grant while you are not working.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. There is assistance for single mothers that will help you get through financial hardship.


The CoParent App

Working together on child care arrangements post-separation can be tricky if as parents you do not communicate well.

Co-Parent is a proudly South African App aimed to simplify the communication process between parents.

phone only 1a newmore_info_button_360px.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Co-Parent app has the primary focus to facilitate and improve communication between parents, to ensure the best interests of the child are met.

This is ideal for parents who are divorced, separated, do not live together, or who have busy schedules.


 

Unmarried mother's rights

UNMARRIED MOTHER’S RIGHTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

 

Being an unmarried mother in South Africa does not mean that the father is exempt from his responsibilities as a parent. If you are an unmarried mother your child is entitled to financial support from the father of the child, whether he wants to be involved in the child’s life or not. If you are going into battle with the father of your child, you will need to understand what an unmarried mother’s rights in South Africa are so that you are equipped to gain the best possible outcome for your child. In terms of the Children’s Act, the best interests of the child and front and foremost. The “best interests” principle is the determining factor that is taken into consideration by the South African courts when reaching any decision in respect of a child.

Joselowitz & Andrews Attorneys are experienced Family Law attorneys who assist parents and other parties in finding resolutions that are in the best interests of the children. We handle the legalities in order for our clients’ primary focus and energy to remain vested with their children. Together, we will do everything in our power to ensure that all issues involving children are resolved expeditiously, professionally and affordably. At all times throughout this trying process, the emphasis will be focused on the health and well-being of your children.

 

PRIMARY RESIDENCE:

Although the new Children’s Act provides for unmarried mothers and fathers in South Africa to have equal parental responsibilities and rights in bringing up and supporting the child, mothers have a distinct advantage when it comes to the primary residence of the child and where the child will live permanently. There have been a number of cases where fathers can be equally ‘mothering’, in the majority of those cases the child will still reside with the mother. This sometimes contradicts conditions whereby the father provides a better environment in which the child can develop.

 

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

If the mother feels that it is in the best interest of the child not to have any contact with the father, she can apply for a termination of parental rights of the father. This process will take into consideration the relationship of the father with the child when deciding whether or not to grant the application. When considering unmarried mother’s rights in South Africa, a mother who feels the child’s father is unfit to be involved in the child’s life is able to due to specific reasons stated in Section 28 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.

 

MAINTENANCE:

Since the passing of the Maintenance Awareness Act, parents who do not pay maintenance will find themselves in trouble and could be blacklisted. The passing of this act was considered a step in the right direction with regards to unmarried mother’s rights in South Africa and celebrated by woman’s rights groups and single mothers throughout the country. Once the mother and father have come to a formal agreement, the father is required to pay the expected maintenance to the mother for the child.

SASSA grants

Being an anomaly among the developing nations, South Africa recognises the need to create an equitable society by wealth distribution. It does this by having a well-established social welfare system that offers social grants to the less fortunate members of the society. Every month there are more than 18 million SASSA grants payouts in South Africa.

 Social grants in South Africa are guided by section 24 through to 29 of the Bills of Rights of the constitution and are directed by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). Are you in need of financial assistance? Here is some useful information for individuals that receive SASSA financial help. If you need one, you can find what you need here to know about the qualifying SASSA grant requirements as well as the procedure for applying for these social grants in South Africa. 

Types of SASSA grants 2020 

According to the Social Assistance Act 2004, there are seven types of SASSA financial help offered in the country. These include grants for: 

  1. Child support.
  2. Care dependency
  3. Foster child

Who qualifies for a SASSA grant? 

All of the social, non-refundable government financial aids are ‘means tested’. By means tested, we mean that your income and assets are evaluated, and you will be eligible for the grants if you fall below the given limit. One of the questions most individuals seeking government financial aid always ask is how much must you earn to qualify for a SASSA grant and who qualifies for SASSA grants? SASSA evaluates the income of the applicant as well as their assets to ascertain if they fall within the income assistance threshold. The amount changes with the type of social grant, and below we have given the SASSA grants increase 2020 for each category. 

What are the requirements to apply for SASSA grant?

Here are some of the prerequisites needed to qualify for the social financial help depending on the type that one is applying for. 

  1. Child support grant

How much money is a child grant? Previously the monthly SASSA payout for child support was R425, but in the 2020/2021 financial year, it increased to R445. So, who qualifies for child support grant in South Africa?

  1. The primary caregiver must be a South African native, permanent resident or refugee.
  2. Both the applicant and the child must be residing in the country, and the kid must be below 18 years of age.
  3. In case you are not the biological parent of the kid, you need to provide evidence that you are the primary caregiver. This can be an affidavit from a police officer, a social worker report, correspondence from a school’s head, or an affidavit from the biological parent.
  4. The kid or kids should live under the care of the primary caregiver who is not paid to look after them.
  5. The applicant should not have a monthly income that exceeds R4,000 per month or R48,000 a year if they are single. If they are married, the combined annual income should not be more than R96,000 or R8,000 per month.
  6. The child should not be under the care of a state institution.
  7. If you are an adoptive parent, you cannot apply for more than six non-biological kids unless they are legally adopted. 

   SASSA child grant application requirements 

An applicant should present the following documents and provide the required information regarding them. 

1. Their 13-digit bar code smart card ID.

2. The child’s birth certificate (the certificate should have an ID number.).

3. The applicant's proof of income: This could be a bank statement for three months, salary slips, or pension slips. 

4. If the applicant is unemployed, they should present the discharge certificate that was issued by their most recent employer. Alternatively, they can show their Insurance Fund (UIF) card. 

5. A written proof that the parents or guardians of the child have accorded them the responsibility of taking care of the child or children.

6. Proof that you are the child's primary caregiver.

7. Proof that the applicant tried to get the child's parents or guardian to pay for the child's maintenance.

 

2. Care Dependency Grant 

This type of financial aid is offered to birth parents, foster parents, or primary caregivers of children with disabilities. The payout value per month for care dependency grant in 2020 is R1,860. These requirements should be met for one to qualify for this funding:

  1. The applicant and the disabled child must be South African citizens, permanent residents or immigrants unless the applicant is the child's foster parent. 
  2. Both the applicant and child must reside in South Africa at the time of applying for the funding.
  3. The disabled child must be below 18 years.
  4. The applicant's annual income should be less than R405,600 if they are married and R202,800 if they are not married.
  5. The applicant should legally be the child's caregiver, so one should have a court order that recognises them as a foster parent or guardian.
  6. The care-dependent kid(s) must not be permanently cared for in a government institution.

   SASSA child grant application requirements 

During the application process, the following documents should be presented:

  1. The child's birth certificate (the certificate should have an identification number.)
  2. The applicant's 13-digit bar code smart card ID
  3. The child's functional assessment report to evaluate the child's capabilities
  4. Foster parents should present a court order that qualifies them to be recognised as foster parents.
  5. The applicant's proof of marital status (They can present their spouse's death certificate or marriage certificate.)
  6. Proof of a medical or assessment report showing the kid’s permanent disability and its severity
  7. The applicant' proof of income
  8. The child's proof of income                                                                                                                                                                                                     It is important to note that you cannot benefit from a care dependency and a child support grant at the same time.

 3. Foster Child Grant

The payout for Foster Child government financial aid is R1,040 per month. One has to meet the following requirements to qualify for the funding.

1. As the foster guardian, you need to be a South African national, permanent resident, or refugee. 

2. You and the child must be residents of South Africa. 

3. The child must be younger than 18 years. 

4. You must provide official court documents indicating that legally you are the foster parent. 

5. No means test is needed for this financial help as the kid must remain in your care as the foster caregiver. 

What do I need to apply for SASSA grant?

These are the documents that will be required during the application process:

  1. A 13-digit bar code smart card ID. If you are a refugee, you should provide the refugee ID.
  2. You must present the foster kid’s birth certificate. Alternatively, you can present their baptismal card, academic certificate, health clinic card, or a signed statement by a reputable person who knows you and the child.

  3. The CoParent App

    Working together on child care arrangements post-separation can be tricky if as parents you do not communicate well.

    Co-Parent is a proudly South African App aimed to simplify the communication process between parents.

    phone only 1a newmore_info_button_360px.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Co-Parent app has the primary focus to facilitate and improve communication between parents, to ensure the best interests of the child are met.

    This is ideal for parents who are divorced, separated, do not live together, or who have busy schedules.


     

Child maintenance

Maintenance

Maintenance is the obligation to provide another person, for example a minor, with housing, food, clothing, education and medical care, or with the means that are necessary for providing the person with these essentials. This legal duty to maintain is called ‘the duty to maintain’ or ‘the duty to support'.

Who must provide maintenance?

The duty to maintain is based on blood relationship, adoption, or the fact that the parties are married to each other.

A child must be supported or maintained by:

  • his or her parents, whether married, living together, separated or divorced, including parents who have adopted the child; and/or
  • his or her grandparents, whether or not the child's parents were married to each other. However, this varies from one case to another.
  • The duty to support a family member is not limited to supporting a child. Any family member, irrespective of his or her age, can ask any family member to support or maintain him or her, provided that the following two conditions are met:
    • The family member who claims support is unable to maintain himself or herself.
    • The family member from whom maintenance is claimed is able to afford the maintenance that is claimed.
    • The main requirement of the means test is that the person who is liable to pay maintenance must have MEANS and the maintenance claimed must be REASONABLE.

What expenses may be claimed?

You may claim reasonable support that is necessary for providing the child or other person who has a right to maintenance with a proper living and upbringing. This includes providing necessities such as food, clothing and housing, as well as paying for a proper education. The court may also order the father to contribute to the payment of laying-in expenses and maintenance from the date of the child's birth up to the date on which the maintenance order is granted. The court may also grant an order for the payment of medical expenses, or may order that the child be registered on the medical scheme of one of the parties as a dependant. To enable the court to grant a fair maintenance order, both parties must provide the court with proof of their expenses.

Your view of the other parent's behaviour has no effect on your children's right to maintenance. You still have to pay maintenance, even if the other parent:

  • remarries
  • is involved in another relationship
  • does not allow you to see the children or
  • if either party later has more children.

Your duty to pay maintenance and your right of access to your children are two entirely separate matters and one has no relation to the other. Furthermore, children of either party do not influence the duty to support. However, the amount of maintenance to be paid may be amended by the court if either of the parties should bring such an application.

Steps to follow to apply for Maintenance

  • Apply for maintenance at the magistrate's court in the district where you live.
  • If you are in doubt, your local court will tell you at which court to apply for maintenance.
  • Go to the relevant court and complete and submit J101, Form A: Application for a maintenance order (Afrikaans).
  • In addition to the completed form, submit proof of your monthly income and expenses, such as receipts for food purchases, electricity and/or rent bill payments.
  • The court will set a date on which you and the respondent (the person whom you wish to pay maintenance) must go to the court.
  • A maintenance officer and an investigator will investigate your claim and look into your circumstances.
  • The court will serve a summons (a letter instructing a person to come to court) on the respondent (the person against whom the claim is brought) to appear in court on a specific date to discuss the matter.
  • The respondent then has a choice between agreeing to pay the maintenance as claimed, or contesting the matter in court.
  • If the respondent agrees to pay the maintenance as claimed, a magistrate will review the relevant documentation. He or she will then make an order, and may decide to do so without requiring the parties to appear in court.
  • If the person who is allegedly liable to pay maintenance does not consent to the issuance of an order, he or she must appear in court, where evidence from both parties and their witnesses will be heard.
  • If the court finds the person liable for paying maintenance, it will make an order for the amount of maintenance to be paid. The court will also determine when and how maintenance payments must be made.
  • The court can order maintenance money to be paid in one of the following ways:
    • At the local magistrate's office or any other government office designated for this purpose
    • Into the bank or building society account designated by the person concerned
    • Directly to the person who is entitled to the money
    • By means of an order that directs the employer of the person who is liable for paying maintenance to deduct the maintenance payment directly from the employee’s salary, in accordance with the new Maintenance Act, 1998.

Changing (increase or decrease) the amount of maintenance (variation or substitution)

You can request that the amount paid for maintenance be increased or decreased, either because it has become insufficient or because you can no longer afford to pay that amount of maintenance.

Steps to follow
  • If you are the person who receives maintenance:
    • Apply at the magistrate's court that is situated in the district where you as the applicant and the child resides or lives.
    • Complete the relevant application form and submit it, together with a statement of income and expenditure, to the maintenance officer.
  • If you are the person who pays maintenance but can no longer afford the amount:
    • Apply for the decrease/ variation order at the magistrate's office where your maintenance order was made.
    • Complete the relevant form and submit it to the maintenance officer.
  • Submit a complete statement of income and expenditure, as well as a statement explaining the reasons for the application, to the maintenance officer regardless of whether you are the recipient or the payer of the maintenance money. The same process as when a claim for maintenance is first instituted will then be followed.

  • The CoParent App

    Working together on child care arrangements post-separation can be tricky if as parents you do not communicate well.

    Co-Parent is a proudly South African App aimed to simplify the communication process between parents.

    phone only 1a newmore_info_button_360px.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Co-Parent app has the primary focus to facilitate and improve communication between parents, to ensure the best interests of the child are met.

    This is ideal for parents who are divorced, separated, do not live together, or who have busy schedules.


     

Copyright © 2021 Co-Parent. All Rights Reserved. Coparent App is a Social Justice Foundation NPO project | 165-06 NPC 2017/653567/08 with Section 18A status.
To obtain your Section 18a certificate send email to admin@socialjustice.org.za

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