South Carolina Child Custody and Child Visitation
Courts in South Carolina realize that parents have to deal with many issues, especially where their children are involved. Among those issues, child custody and child visitation are two of the emotionally draining and complicated matters that must be addressed. While courts will not hesitate to intervene when parents cannot come to a compromise about child custody and child visitation issues. When South Carolina courts do intervene, they will appoint custody in accordance with the child's best interests and in a manner that lessens the emotional impact on the child. The great importance of the child custody process warrants that you retain counsel to assist your case for custody. As such, you should consult a South Carolina child custody attorney when going through child custody proceedings.
South Carolina Child Custody
Courts in South Carolina determine custody by examining the best interests of the child standard. The court determines the child's best interests through assessing the following factors:
In awarding custody in South Carolina, courts do not give any preference to a mother or a father. Courts will strictly decide custody issues by doing what is in the best interests of the child based on an assessment of the above factors.
South Carolina courts also recognize the concept of "de facto custodian." The de facto custodian is someone that the court finds to have been the primary caregiver for and financial supporter of the child who: a) has resided with the child for six months or more if the child is under the age of three; or b) has resided with the child for over a year if the child is over the age of three. This de facto custodian can be a nonparent. If the court finds that the child's natural parents are unfit or other compelling circumstances exist, then the de facto custodian could prevail.
When going through child custody proceedings, it is imperative that one know his or her rights and responsibilities. As such, you should consult a South Carolina child custody lawyer before going through child custody proceedings.
South Carolina Child Visitation Rights
Visitation rights refer to the noncustodial parent or nonparent's rights to visit and spend time with the child. A noncustodial parent will generally be granted reasonable visitation rights by courts in South Carolina unless it is detrimental to the child's best interests.
A parent who has committed domestic violence can be appointed only if a court finds that there is adequate safety of the child and the victim of the domestic violence. This can be accomplished by:
a) ordering that the exchange of the child occur in a protected setting;
b) ordering supervised visitation of the child;
c) force the offending parent to attend domestic violence training courses;
d) prohibit the offending parent from drinking or using controlled substances;
e) order the offending parent to pay the cost of any psychological or medical costs of the child; or
f) order the child and parent's address to be kept confidential and not released to the offending parent.
One should consult a South Carolina child custody attorney when working to gain child visitation rights
South Carolina Statutes