DADI Blog

South Carolina Child Custody

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

In South Carolina, one statute kind of sums up the overall preference of the court and lawmakers when it comes to child custody and that statute is SECTION 20-7-100. Which are the rights and duties of parents in regard to their minor children.

It states that both parents are the joint natural guardians of the children and are equally obligated with the welfare and education of their children and also the care of the children and their belongings. Both parents have the same exact duties, rights and power. Both parents also have the right to access and obtain all medical records and educational records pertaining to their children and the right to be involved in any type of activity that their children are a part of. Neither parent shall by law take a child from the parent or guardian if they do not have the legal right to do so.

All of that is great, but that still does not answer the question as to which parent should and will be awarded custody of their minor children. The rule of thumb in the majority of the states today is that the parent will be chosen by what is in the best interest of the children involved in a child custody case. Many states today have set up guidelines to follow or at least some basic factors to look at when determining child custody. These are pretty simple and include:

* The wishes of the children if they are of sufficient age.

* The wishes of the parents.

* Which parent was the main caretaker of the children.

* Which parent will encourage and not hinder the relationship of the other parent with the children.

* The adjustment the children have in their home, community, and school.

* The physical and mental health of anyone in the home.

* The relationship the children have with both parents, their siblings and others living in the home.

* Domestic violence.

* Drug or alcohol dependency.

If both parents can agree and submit a parenting plan that will explain their goals for their children including such items as where the children will be living, how much time the children will be spending with each parent, how any disagreements will be resolved, if both parents will make the major decisions together, etc…, the a joint custody or shared custody agreement may be awarded. But, the factors above will also be looked at very closely.

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