A parenting plan must comply with the best interests of the child standard as set out in Section 7 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.
The following are some of the factors that must be taken into consideration when considering the best interest of the child:
a) The nature of the personal relationship between the child and the parents, or any specific parent; and
b) The child and any other care-giver or person relevant in those circumstances;
c) The attitude of the parents, or any specific parent towards the child and the exercise of parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child;
d) The capacity of the parents, or any specific parent, or of any other care giver or person, to provide for the needs of the child;
e) The likely effect on the child of any change in the child’s circumstances, including the likely effect on the child of any separation from both or either of the parents or any brother or sister or other child , or any other care -giver or person, with whom the child has been living
In preparing a parenting plan, the parties must seek the assistance of a family advocate, social worker or psychologist or mediation through a social worker or other suitably qualified person.
A parenting plan must be in writing and signed by the parties to the agreement and may be registered with the Family Advocate or made an order of court.
A parenting plan registered with a Family Advocate may be amended or terminated by the Family Advocate on application by the co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights who are parties to the parenting plan.
A parenting plan that was made an order of court may be amended or terminated only by an order of court on application by the co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights who are parties to the plan, by the child, acting with leave of the court or in the child’s interest, by any other person acting with leave of the court.