Shereen was admitted as an Attorney in 1993. For the last 20 years, she has practised exclusively in the field of family law and related private client matters. Her expertise includes: divorce law, financial dissolution disputes, parenting disputes, relocation applications, surrogate parenting agreements, claims in respect of children and Hague applications. She is an experienced litigator and a mediator and facilitator. She is, as a result, particularly skilled in mediation support and strategic advice. Shereen often deals with complex proprietary disputes and advises on the formation and dissolution of relationships. She has also dealt with many international family law matters over the years. Through her position on the Cape Law Society’s Specialist Family and Gender Committee, Shereen was involved in the development of Family Law in South Africa over the past 17 years. Since the Legal Practise Council replaced the Law Societies, Shereen continues these efforts through the Western Cape Family Law Forum. Shereen is a member of STBB’s executive committee.

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.

For the best legal advice and personalised service, let's talk