I Want Custody of My Kids

Treating Your Family Like Our Family

At Cate & Brough, we know that children are the most important thing in the entire world to any parent. Most parent’s first thought in a divorce is of their children. This often becomes the most contentious element of any divorce. Matters relating to child custody can be decided in a divorce or in a stand-alone proceeding. At Cate & Brough, we believe in keeping families together and serving the best interests of the children at all times. We will work to make sure you get to stay with your children.

Here are some of the custody-related services we offer:

  • Child Support – Raising children is not realistic without financial support, and we can help you make sure it is properly determined.
  • Support Modifications – If you or your spouse has gained or lost a job since your child support order was made, there may be grounds to adjust it now.
  • Fathers’ Rights – We know that some fathers may face an uphill battle to retain custody of their children. That challenge does not frighten us.
  • Grandparent’s Rights – It is not uncommon that the best guardian for a child is not their parents but their grandparents. We will work to make sure your side is properly represented in court.
  • Guardian Ad Litem – A private Guardian ad Litem is appointed in contested child custody cases to protect the interests of any minor child involved.
  • And Much More!

Best Interests of the Child

In South Carolina, the best interests of the child is the primary consideration of the court in any child-related matter. In determining what is in the child’s best interest, the court considers the following:

  • The needs of the child and the ability of the parents to understand and meet those needs
  • The preference of the child
  • The wishes of the parents
  • The past and current interaction and relationship of the child with each parent, as well as siblings, grandparents, and other persons whose relationship may be impacted by the custody decision
  • The actions of each parent to encourage an ongoing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Any manipulation or coercive behavior of the parents
  • Any effort made by one parent to disparage the other parent in front of the child
  • The ability of each parent to be actively involved in the life of the child
  • The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • The stability of the child’s existing and proposed residences
  • The mental and physical health of the parents and children
  • The child’s cultural and spiritual background
  • Whether the child or a sibling has been abused or neglected
  • Whether one parent has committed domestic violence or child abuse
  • Whether once parent has relocated more than one hundred miles from the child’s primary residence in the past year, unless the parent relocated for safety reasons
  • Any other factors the court deem necessary

Father’s Rights

When a child is born out of wedlock, a father does not have equal rights to the child until paternity has been established. Section 63-17-20(B) states that “custody of an illegitimate child is solely in the natural mother unless the mother relinquished her rights to the child. If paternity has been acknowledged or adjudicated, the father may petition the court for rights of visitation or custody…”

Before a father brings such an action, he has no legal right to see the child nor does he have any legal power in making medical, religious, or educational decisions for the child. If you have a child out of wedlock, the attorneys at Cate & Brough want to help you establish your rights to that child.

Child Support

As a parent, you are legally obligated to provide for your children financially. The amount of child support a parent will pay is established pursuant to the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines take into consideration the income of both parents, the number of children to be supported, child care and health care expenses, whether alimony is being paid or received, among other things. Some of these issues, such as determining a parent’s true income, can become complicated. It is important that you have an attorney well versed in this process to ensure that you and your child’s needs are being properly met.

We know that protecting your children is essential to you. It is also essential to us. We treat it with the utmost seriousness and compassion. Contact Cate & Brough today to help get custody of your children settled for good.