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By Ilse de Lange


Parents settle differences over child custody

The parents of a four-year-old boy settled their differences when he agreed to let her take their son on holiday to Mauritius in December.

In turn she agreed to let him see their son if he underwent drug and hair-follicle tests.

The mother, a quantity surveyor from Centurion, turned to the High Court in Pretoria for permission to take her son to Mauritius without his father’s consent.

This was after he allegedly refused unless he could see his son.

She claimed in court papers her former boyfriend, with whom she broke up in 2016 after a five-year relationship, used drugs such as cat and crystal meth in their son’s presence, was unemployed and did not contribute a cent towards their son’s welfare.

She claimed he ignored requests to undergo drug tests and was using his cooperation as a bargaining tool for contact with their son.

She said she had already paid for the holiday but could not book flights, as she needed the father’s consent to get the son a passport.

The father opposed her application and sought a court order allowing him supervised contact with his son every alternate weekend on condition that he underwent drug tests.

He said in court papers he was not opposed to his former girlfriend taking their son on holiday, but feared she might be planning to remove him from the country permanently, as she had a Belgian passport.

He claimed that, in the past, she had threatened to take their son out the country.

The father admitted to “occasionally using drugs in the past” but denied ever using in front of their son and said he had provided the mother with proof that he was rehabilitated.

He now lived with his parents and was employed by a property firm on a casual basis.

In terms of the settlement, the father agreed to the Mauritius trip and to help the mother obtain a passport for their son – on condition that she left her Belgian passport at home.

She agreed to let him see their son under his parents’ supervision and to undergo treatment.

– ilsed@citizen.co.za

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