It is with pleasure and relief that we announce the final closure of one of our most challenging and difficult cases in the One Child A Year (OCAY) campaign.
The case first came to ProBono.Org in 2014 by the mother of two minor children after her husband had filed for divorce in 2013. In 2007, the mother sustained brain injuries and as a result was unable to understand complex language and was not able to work due to difficulties in mobility.
ProBono.Org referred the case to attorney Candida De Freitas for legal assistance on a pro bono basis. A number of other legal practitioners also assisted in the matter. The longest standing of them were attorney Jonathan Stephens and advocate Leigh Franck. Due to the mother’s medical condition, in May 2014 Adv Leigh Franck was appointed as curatrix ad litem. The duties of a curator ad litem are normally to represent the patient during legal proceedings and to compile a report on his or her investigation. The curator also advises on the feasibility of appointing a curator bonis and a curator personam.
The father claimed for primary residence of the minor children. Our client opposed this application and the children stayed with their maternal grandmother. After she was discharged from hospital, our client was released into the care of her mother, who was a pensioner and had no means of income. The client filed for maintenance for the children, which was eventually successful after a long battle and the father was forced to provide for his children.
The divorce was finalised in 2021, and a curator bonis was appointed earlier this year. This was a complicated case which had many challenges and obstacles along the way, but due to the patience, dedication and tenacity of all the legal practitioners involved we were able to ensure that our client was assisted at every step of the way and the case brought to a successful conclusion.
ProBono.Org is most grateful to all the committed legal practitioners who devote their time and resources in assisting clients on a pro bono basis, regardless of how long the case may last. This case is a true victory for a vulnerable client.