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KARE - KIDS AFTER RELATIONSHIPS END

A Service maintained by Rob Green after hours

'Rob Green's phone number is: 021-851-5504 after hours

(Typed by the CAB from a pamphlet issued by K A R E )

See also > Right of access to children
KIDS AFTER RELATIONSHIPS END
Preserving the Natural Bond

Few people's lives are untouched by divorce, whether it be our own or the life of a friend, a relative, a neighbour or a work colleague. Divorce surrounds us all and is so commonplace that most people give it little thought. Unfortunately, it is usually the CHILDREN who suffer most in the aftermath of this social disease and although a few children ARE better off when their parents separate, the vast majority are not.

It is a fact that within two years of divorce, more than 50% of children lose ALL contact with the non-custodial parent, usually their father.

Children do NOT divorce their parents. Given free choice and provided there is no emotional blackmail by one vindictive parent against the other, children will ALMOST ALWAYS choose to remain in touch with and continue a proper and meaningful relationship with BOTH people who brought them into this world and whose chromosomes they share - one of the strongest natural bonds in the human species. An example of this is adopted children who, despite never having known their "real" parents, dream of meeting them and often go to great lengths to trace them when they reach adulthood.

Many non-custodial parents give up trying to maintain contact with their children because it is emotionally difficult to do so, seeing them infrequently and in artificial circumstances and often having to cope with "unfinished business" with an ex-spouse. Many pay maintenance for children they never see but our courts are kept busy with the many who don't or won't for many reasons. The children suffer.

There can be no doubt that there are enormous inequalities in our legal system as it pertains to divorce, custody, access and Children's Rights. For example, if a non-custodial parent refuses to pay maintenance he risks being jailed and earning a criminal record. Yet the courts do not treat custodial parents in the same way if they are in contempt of court and deny both their ex-spouse AND their CHILDREN the right to have contact with one another.

Some marriages are not yet formally recognised in our New South Africa and they and their offspring have no legal rights upon spearation. Neither do unmarried fathers who must pay maintenance but who have NO rights concerning the children for whom they are paying it.

It is time to demand that these inequalities and injustices are addressed. It is time to demand that the rights and wishes of CHILDREN are investigated and respected and that they are NOT used as sacrificial pawns in petty, pathetic bickerings between parents who choose to divorce.

Hence, we have decided to form this organisation.

KARE supports the right of every child to have a healthy, normal relationship with BOTH parents at all times.

KARE is committed to facilitating this right and encouraging the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent, by exploring all avenues which serve the best interests of the child, and liasing with and supporting any group or individual concerned with CHILDREN'S RIGHTS.

KARE intends to act as watchdog, commentator and pressure group on all legislation pertaining to CHILDRENS' RIGHTS, lobbying lawmakers and government agencies on relevant issues, and increasing awareness in the general public of the difficulties experienced by children ana parents in maintaining a normal, healthy relationship after separation.

KARE aims to assist divircing and separating parents towards an amicable, decent, civilised resolution of their problems with the ultimate ambition of assuring and sharing responsibility for the well-being of any child caught in the painful process of parents going their separate ways.

If you are divorced or separated with little or no access to or contact with your children, if you are a child deprived of contact with one or other parent, if you are an unmarried parent with no legal rights, if you are a grandparent but do not see your grandchildren as a result of a bitter divorce in your family, if you feel you've had an unfair deal as regards your children in your divorce, OR if you have any reason to feel strongly about our stated aims and ambitions, PLEASE JOIN US!

Simply write us a note, giving your name, address and telephone number and briefly outlining your particular problem, point of view or interest, and send it to;

KARE
P O Box 444
RONDEBOSCH
Cape Town 7700
or phone 'Rob Green' 021-851-5504 after hours

KARE stands strongly and emphatically against ANY form of child abuse. We refuse to invite or support ANYONE who, after a fair hearing in court, has been denied access to his or her child on legal grounds.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing".
(Edmund Burke, 1729 - 1797)