Shereen is a Director of the firm and is an experienced and dynamic family law expert. Over the last 30 years she has successfully represented clients and resolved disputes in private client matters as diverse as divorces and relationship break-ups and post-divorce disputes, parenting disputes, relocation disputes, Hague applications and estate related disputes. She also drafts ante-nuptial contracts and co-habitation and surrogate parenting agreements. She is particularly skilled in mediation support and strategic advice. She often deals with complex proprietary disputes and all private law consequences relating to the formation and dissolution of relationships. She has dealt with many international family law matters over the years. She always considers matters from the unique perspective of her client and empowers her clients with clear explanations of their options in any given family law situation. She problem-solves creatively in order to find the best outcome for the individual client. Shereen was a member of the Cape Law Society’s Specialist Family and Gender Committee for 17 years. She is a member of the Western Cape Family Law Forum and remains involved in lobbying for positive change to the law relating to family structures and private relationships in South Africa.

Thought of the Week | Divorce law and having your close ones near on special occasions

Agreements regarding access to children after divorce cannot always foresee future complications. Consider, for example, the many instances where it would be necessary to make arrangements to adapt the agreed times that the child may be with one parent: The ex-spouse may wish to surprise the child with a special overseas holiday treat for a period exceeding the agreed times; or may seek that the child remains for a longer period at a family wedding week-end or even funeral.

A spouse may not simply decide not to stick to a court order and the rules contained therein.

Over the past festive season, a related scenario presented itself when a Cape Town mother denied her former husband access to their children. The father had gone to great lengths to regularise his right to see his children. This included the appointment of a social worker and a psychologist to conduct reunification therapy. This despite, the mother took every opportunity to cause further delays and the father only had his first contact session with the minor children almost four months later. The mother continued to place obstacles in the way of the process, and in disregard of court orders, left on holiday with the children without discussion with the father or any of the professionals, and without notifying the father’s attorneys.

The father had no choice but to ask his attorneys to approach the Western Cape High Court with a claim based on the wife’s contempt of the court order. This elicited a stern warning from the bench. The High Court stated that for the next year the mother must spend Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 5pm ‘at Pollsmoor Prison: medium B section … should she frustrate the father’s contact in future’ and continue to ignore the existing court order.

Speak to our Family Law Professionals Shereen Volks and Shirné Grobler.

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