We understand that divorce or separation is stressful time in the lives of our clients, which is why our professional Charleston family law attorneys work to create supportive services where you will find the resources to help you settle your case. In many cases, child custody is difficult to negotiate between spouses, which is why we help people who are going through a divorce decide which parent is best fit for the job. It can be difficult to make a case to a judge as to why you are the best fit parent to care for your children, which is why our divorce lawyers provide you the support and guidance you will need.
In South Carolina, either parent can file for custody in a family court during a divorce. If one of the parents lives out of state then they are unable to file for custody in South Carolina. In addition, if one of the parents recently moved to South Carolina, then the child must have lived in South Carolina for at least six months before the custody case. In some states, the court requires that one parent show that the other parent is unfit to care for the child; however, in South Carolina, child custody does not include this type of information. In fact, the court is given the responsibility of determining the best interest of the child.
For some parents, it can feel overwhelming that the court has significant authority over the best interest of the child. Parents should know that there are many factors that go into determining what is in the best interest of the child, including factors that will impact the child over their life. A judge will examine each parent for their age and health, income and education, parenting style and religion, employment and work schedule, review evidence of abuse or neglect, and whether they are currently in a romantic relationship. In addition, a judge will evaluate the age, gender, relationship to each parent, ability to adjust, and the physical and mental health of the child in question. In many cases, a judge may ask a guardian ad item to look into the history of the parents and the child in order to make a decision about child custody.
Unfortunately, children do not have a say in custody agreements in South Carolina. A judge may place additional restrictions on custody arrangements if they feel as though it is helpful for the wellbeing of the child. A judge may make sure that the child is not exposed to their parent’s lovers, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, inappropriate entertainment, or violence and abuse. We understand the child custody process is difficult for most parents, which is why we have experienced family law attorneys to work with you on your case. If you have questions about child custody you can contact Sarji Family Law online or by calling 843-323-4341