South Carolina Child Custody and Visitation
Child custody decisions are in the child's best interests
In South Carolina, judges will make child custody decisions based solely on the child's best interests. They consider several factors:
Circumstances of the parents
Nature of the case
Religious faith of parents and child
The child's welfare
Best spiritual and other interests of the child
It used to be that minor children of tender years were usually left by the Court in the custody of the mother and the only way for the father to obtain such custody was by proof of the mother's severe neglect or her unfitness (on the basis of morals or health) to care for the children. Keep in mind that just because it may be proven that the mother is an unfit wife for some reason, does not necessarily prove that she is an unfit mother. Therefore, sexual indiscretions may not disqualify her as a fit mother. This is a frequent misconception of clients. Today parents are on a fairly equal basis, but some Judges remember the old ways of favoring mothers.
Older children may be able to express their preferences for custody based on their age, experience, maturity, and judgment.
Once the judge signs the final custody order and it is filed with the court clerk, the order is binding. Only if a major change in circumstances occurs can a parent seek modification.
We would advise you to determine a visitation schedule with your spouse and agree on it. If you do not come to an agreement, the court will decide for you.
After the divorce is finalized, issues may arise concerning visitation. If, for instance, the custodial parent denies court-ordered visitation, the non-custodial parent may file a petition for modification and bring the issue back to the court. Keeping the best interests of the child in mind at all times and above all else, the judge may decide to modify visitation accordingly.
Contact the Law Offices of ken h. lester for your child custody and child visitation issues
Let us be your stabilizing force. We guide you through the legal process so you can make the best decisions for you and your family. Call us at 803.252.4700 or complete the online form to schedule your initial consultation.
Serving South Carolina with offices in Columbia, Beaufort, and Myrtle Beach