Shirné Grobler obtained both her BComm (Law) and LLB degrees from the University of Stellenbosch and completed her articles at STBB. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public and Conveyancer. She works in STBB's Cape Town litigation department, specializing in Family and Divorce Law. Shirné consults from our Cape Town and Blouberg office.

Thought of the Week | Unmarried Father Wins Right For Son To Carry His Name

Last month, the Durban High Court granted a father the right to insist that his particulars are inserted on the birth certificate of his five-year-old son, born out of wedlock. The facts showed that the father was devoted to his son and committed to playing a meaningful role in his life. The Court has a duty to determine what is in the best interests of the child. The Judge found that “a name is an important aspect of identity and personality”. Judge Jacqui Henriques ordered that the child’s surname must be double-barrelled on the birth certificate to give recognition to both his birth names. She stated ‘the alteration of his name can only be in the best interests of the child… a double-barrelled surname recognising both parents and their commitment to him can hardly be said not to be in his best interests.’

This is an important step forward in broadening the rights of unmarried fathers.

Contact STBB should you require assistance in this regard.