As you move through your divorce in Anderson or Greenville, South Carolina, making sure your children have the absolute best care and support is number one. So, when child custody matters arise, you’re undoubtedly overwhelmed by all the possible outcomes and wondering just how to proceed. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through it alone. Our Upstate South Carolina child custody lawyers are here to help you find the best custody arrangement for your family. Here’s what you need to know about that process.
During a divorce, the courts have to determine how to best award both legal and physical custody. Legal custody determines if one or both parents should maintain decision-making authority over the child. The decisions may pertain to medical care, education, religion, and even their recreational activities.
Although it’s common to give one parent the right to make decisions within all four areas, it’s also possible to divide them between the parents. Or the judge may rule that both parents must come to an agreement on the matters at hand.
Physical custody determines how the child will split their time between their parents. This decision involves who the child will live with full or part time along with visitation with their non-custodial parent.
In South Carolina, there are three main types of physical custody:
Although the courts generally favor joint custody, it’s not always possible to arrange. Both parents must be willing and able to provide care for the child on a recurring basis. Plus, like all child custody arrangements, the schedule must be in the best interest of the child, which can prove difficult if it interrupts school and other activities. For those reasons, sole custody typically gets awarded more often than not.
South Carolina courts weigh all the factors to determine which physical and legal custody arrangements are in the best interests of the child.
The most important factors include:
The courts will also take the parents’ overall character and fitness into account while deciding child custody. If they find that any past or current conduct could have a negative impact on the child, then they could potentially disallow that parent to have full legal and physical custody.
Due to Code § 63-5-30, the courts must consider both the mother and father equally responsible for the care and education of their children. So, there’s no bias favoring either gender. All that matters is the best interests of the child, so they can get the best quality of care through the years.
If you need help with your child custody case, our lawyers can help. At White, Davis & White Law Firm, we have the experience needed to help you navigate your case with ease. We’ll help you understand what to expect every step of the way and work toward a great outcome for your family. We serve clients all across South Carolina, including Greenville, Summerville, Orangeburg, and beyond. So, no matter where you’re at in the state, please reach out to our team at 864-231-8090 to set up a consultation.
*Civil & criminal consultations are free, the charge for family court consultations varies by attorney.