Divorce South Carolina Custody

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The child custody is basically the right that allows the divorcing parents to take all essential decisions about their child after being separated from the respective partner. The decisions are about various conditions that are raised after the separation between the parents. The child custody in South Carolina is mainly resolved by referring to the laws and rights defined for the state. The The South Carolina Code of Laws Section 20-7-1515 through 20-7-1530 and 20-3-160 are used to determine the best interests of the child. As per these, it is seen whether there is any proof of sexual or physical abuse. The religious faith of the child has some significance. The court attaches some importance to the preference of the child after doing analysis on few of the conditions like recognition of the age, judgment, maturity, experience and capacity to express a preference.

Queries Regarding Divorce South Carolina Custody

A father resides in South Carolina along with the child. Can he begin a custody action in this state, irrespective of where the mother resides?

The precise location for filing a custody case is a jurisdictional issue. The UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement act) is the law that decides which state has the authority to decide custody. When the parents reside in different states, the UCCJEA directs that the state in which the child has lived for six months prior to the start of the custody action is the correct choice for filing a custody case.

When the child completes 13 years of age, can he or she choose the custody arrangements?

As per the state law, the minor child does not have an absolute say regarding which parent he or she desires to live with at any age. It has been observed that as the child grows up, he or she develops a liking for staying with a particular parent. Now, this parent can file for custody as there is a presence of reasonable preference by the concerned child. The court appoints a GAL (Guardian ad Litem). This GAL listens to the preferences of the child and the reasons for the same. Further, the GAL conveys the preferences of the child to the family court judge. These professional can immensely contribute during the legal proceedings conducted by the court in South Carolina.

The custodial parent can refuse visitation to the non custodial parent, in case the latter does not disburse child support.

This is the most trouble causing legal urban myth. When the non custodial parent does not disburse child support, he/she is in contempt of court. As a reaction, if the custodial parent denies visitation, this parent is also in contempt of court. The judge may put both parents in prison. So the custodial parent should not react by refusing visitation. Instead, this parent must file a Rule to Show Cause against the non custodial parent.

Legal Requirements before Filing Child Custody

Before filing the child custody in the court, you are required to fulfill definite legal formalities. The residency requirement is one of the crucial formalities required before filing such rights in the court. In South Carolina, it is necessary that the child related to whom the child custody case is filed must reside in the state for at least six months. On the other hand, the court mainly gives priority to the best interest of the child instead of considering the proof about the unfit parent for the child.

Overview of Divorce South Carolina Custody

In this state, both parents have equal rights with respect to the award of custody. The court takes into account the below mentioned factors to establish the best interests of the child:

  • Welfare of the child
  • Spiritual and other interests of the child
  • Religious faith of child and his or her parents
  • Conditions of the parents like the kind of job they are doing and their work schedule
  • Child's preference regarding the custody plan on the basis of the judgment, maturity, experience, age and capacity to express a preference

Most importantly, the relation shared by the child with each of his or her parent and the personal interest of the child are the two major factors taken into consideration during settlement of such issue. The judge signs the custody order and then it is filed with the court clerk. Now, both the parents are legally bound to observe it. In case there is a major change in circumstances, custody might be altered. Therefore, the child custody in South Carolina can also be modified as per the demand of the divorced parties.

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