South Carolina Custody Laws
When it comes to child custody, South Carolina law requires that the courts look at a variety of factors in order to determine what is in the best interests of the child and award custody accordingly. If you are considering filing for child custody in South Carolina, it is important to understand these laws so that you can make the strongest case possible.
At Sarah Henry Law, we understand how important your children are to you and we are committed to helping you get the custody arrangement that is in their best interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our office.
What the Courts Consider in Child Custody Cases
In South Carolina, the courts will look at a variety of factors in order to determine what is in the best interests of the child and award custody accordingly. Some of the factors that the court may consider include the following:
- The age and health of the child
- The relationship between the child and each parent
- Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and financial needs
- A child’s preference (if the child is of sufficient age and maturity)
- The stability of each home environment
- The quality of the parenting skills of each parent
- Any history of abuse or neglect by either parent
It is important to note that the court will not award joint custody when it believes doing so would not be in the best interests of the child. The court may instead award sole custody to one parent when this is the case.
For example, if one parent has a history of abuse or neglect, the court may find that it is not in the best interests of the child to have joint custody with that parent.
South Carolina Custody Laws Require a Parenting Plan
Another important aspect of South Carolina’s custody laws is that they require the parties to submit a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a document that outlines how the parents would like the court to allocate custody, visitation, and responsibility for the child. The parenting plan must be approved by the court and made part of an order before it can take effect.
Your proposed parenting plan should include a number of different elements:
- A schedule for when the child will be with each parent
- A method for making decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, and other important matters
- Plans for dealing with conflict between the parents
- Any other information that the parents feel is important
Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody
As mentioned earlier, the court may award either sole custody or joint custody to the parents. Sole custody means that only one parent has legal and physical custody of the child. Joint custody means that both parents have legal and/or physical custody of the child.
Every case is unique and the court has a variety of custody arrangements it can choose depending on the circumstances. . There are some circumstances where the court is more likely to award sole custody to one parent. These circumstances include the following:
- One parent has a history of abuse or neglect
- One of the parents is unable to provide a stable home environment for the child
- One parent is unable to care for the child’s physical, emotional, and financial needs
It is important to note that even if the court awards sole custody to one parent, the other parent may still have visitation rights. The visitation schedule is determined separately by the court and will be based on what is in the best interests of the child.
Under South Carolina law, grandparents do not have an automatic right to visitation with their grandchildren. However, they may petition the court for visitation rights if they can show that it is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider a variety of factors in determining whether to grant grandparents visitation rights, including their relationship with the child and the child’s parents.
Get Legal Help Now
South Carolina has a number of laws that govern child custody. These laws are designed to ensure that children have a stable and loving home environment. If you are facing a custody battle, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal process.
At Sarah Henry Law, we understand the importance of child custody. We have represented many parents in court and are familiar with the laws that govern child custody in South Carolina. If you are facing a custody battle, we want to help. Contact us today at 864-478-8324 or through our contact form on this page to schedule your consultation.