In South Carolina, the law tells the judges that, after reviewing all factors, it’s what’s in the best interest of the child that’s most important. While other states may consider joint custody to be in the best interest of the child, South Carolina may be somewhat reluctant to consider joint custody because joint custody may be presumed to not be in the best interest of the child and many times parents are divided and don’t cooperate with each other.
Although the South Carolina courts are starting to look at joint custody more than they have in the past. The law offices of Thomason & Pracht, LLC., encourage you to retain a qualified family law attorney in any custody matter in Anderson, South Carolina.
South Carolina judges consider many relevant factors in the life of your child and when they evaluate what is your child’s best interest they will look at:
There are two types of custody arrangements in South Carolina, sole and joint.
Sole custody is you or the other parent has temporary or permanent custody of your child and…” the rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child including… education, medical and dental care, extracurricular activities, and religious training.”
In South Carolina, joint custody means that you and the other parent have equal rights and responsibilities for any major decisions about your child. The law requires that judges consider all the custody options in a case where you or the other parent is contesting custody, or if you or the other parent are requesting joint custody.
More and more the family courts in South Carolina are looking at joint custody as a viable option, but only if it is in the best interest of the child.
The first step in custody in South Carolina for an unwed father is to prove paternity. Once you’ve established paternity, unless the case has been brought before the court by the Department of Social Services, the case will move forward in court much like any other custody matter.
The court will look at many factors to determine what is in the best interest of your child such as drug and/or alcohol use by you and the other parent, the jobs of you and the other parent, whether the father has financially contributed to the pregnancy or to your child after it was born, who has the most suitable home environment, etc.
Gaining custody of your grandchild in South Carolina can be a difficult process because in many cases, the parents must be found to be unfit, or have voluntarily or involuntarily given up custody of your grandchild.
The process of gaining custody of your grandchild starts with a motion being filed with the court. A hearing will take place after the motion has been filed and served on the parents, and evidence can be presented at that time. After the hearing, the court will make its decision as to whether granting you custody of your grandchild is in the best interest of the child.
Without legal custody or guardianship of your grandchild, you will not be able to make any medical decisions or educational decisions in regards to your child or grandchild.
It may be that the parents of your grandchild have voluntarily given you custody of your grandchild on a temporary basis due to financial hardship or illness, and once they are able to take care of your grandchild they will reclaim custody of their child.
However, in other cases where the parents of your grandchild don’t voluntarily give up custody of your grandchild, it will be necessary for you to petition the court for custody.
South Carolina’s primary concern is what is in the best interest of the child. For example, if your grandchild is in foster care, you may be able to have custody of your grandchild transferred to you.
However, it’s important to remember that the parents of your grandchild have “superior rights” that supersedes anyone else, even grandparents. You need to be able to prove in court that the parents of your grandchild are unfit and your grandchild would be better off under your care.
The attorneys at Thomason and Pracht, LLC. recommend that you consult with a qualified Anderson, SC family law attorney in South Carolina to assist you in gaining custody of your grandchild.