Putting You At Ease Regarding Child Custody

When parents face the prospect of a divorce, two of their biggest concerns are tied to either custody of their child or the future of their finances. In this post, we are going to address the former. To give you some peace of mind, we want you to be aware that the child custody laws in South Carolina are designed to protect the best interests of the children involved in the divorce. 

The “Best Interests of the Child”

In South Carolina, the standard the court employs is determining the path that aligns with the child’s best interests. Though that may seem nebulous, several factors contribute to discovering what is in the child’s overall well-being. This extends to their physical, emotional, and physiological needs. When making custody decisions, the court will want to learn more about the following areas of the child’s life. 

  • The child’s maturity level 
  • The parenting skills of each parent (i.e., whether they are fit parents)
  • The previously established relationship that the child had with each parent (was one parent the primary caretaker?)
  • The ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child financially
  • The child’s life regarding where they go to school, where they have established relationships, and what their extracurricular activities are (among other things)
  • And any previous history of domestic violence (which speaks to the parent’s ability to raise the child in a safe and nurturing environment)

Different Types of Custody

The most prevalent form of child custody in South Carolina is joint custody. During heated divorces, one parent may “threaten” the other by taking the children away. People who have struggled to be strong marital partners can still be fantastic parents. Under joint custody, both parents share equal rights and responsibilities for the child. With this arrangement, you and your spouse can make important decisions concerning their education, medical care, and religious upbringing. 

One of the misconceptions about joint custody is that it automatically translates to the child splitting an equal amount of time between both parents. Although this can be the case, the abovementioned factors will help the court decide where their child should be physically located. Every decision, including physical custody, will be made in accordance with what is in their best interests. 

In certain circumstances, the court could award sole custody to one parent. Conversely, this means that one parent has decision-making authority over the child. The other parent could still have visitation rights. Because this is the area where many parents have the most anxiety, remember that specific factors could lead a court to make this determination.

  • The ability of the parents to co-parent and raise the child jointly
  • The parents past behavior 
  • The presence of any special needs that the child has

Navigate Child Custody with Cate & Brough

Child custody issues can be daunting, but it is essential to have an experienced and qualified family law attorney to help you. If you are going through a divorce and have concerns about custody, our dedicated team can work with you to develop a custody plan that aligns with your child’s best interests. Schedule a consultation with us today so we can comprehensively understand your situation and goals. We are here to answer your questions and support you during this challenging time. 

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Cate & Brough, P.A.

At Cate & Brough, we all have personal experience with family law and family court. We know more than just what the law says about your issue – we know what you are going through.

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