What are the different Family Courts in South Africa?
Children’s Courts - Children’s Courts have been established for circumstances where for example, a person or parent has the responsibility to look after the daily needs of a child (child custody). That means they will provide a home for the child, feed and support them, look after their daily needs and make sure they get an education.
Maintenance Courts - The Maintenance Court is situated in the Magistrate's Court. Mothers or fathers who do not get support for their children from the other parent can go there to claim maintenance from that parent. There is a Maintenance Officer in charge of the Maintenance matter. It is not necessary to have an attorney to claim maintenance. The Maintenance Officer will help you to fill in the necessary forms. If one of the parents of the child refuses to pay maintenance then the case must go to the Maintenance Court. If so, the Maintenance Officer will give details on when to appear in court and which court to go to.
Divorce Courts - Previously there were three stand-alone Divorce Courts (Central, North Eastern and the Southern Divorce Court) which heard divorce related matters exclusively. These courts were integrated into the Regional Civil Jurisdiction by the Jurisdiction of Regional Courts Amendment Act, 2008 (Act 31 of 2008). There is now concurrent jurisdiction between with the 63 Regional seats and their relevant High Courts. This initiative facilitates greater access to courts to hear divorce matters and the parties can now choose the court that is closest to the area where they live to initiate divorce related matters.