If you have children and have gone through separation recently, you may be concerned about your children’s welfare and future. Naturally, the quality of your children’s upbringing is influenced by the people involved in raising them. Therefore you are left to wonder, who will be responsible for them? In addition, some parents find parenting agreement over child custody and visitation difficult to work out. Whether you want to discover more information about child custody or you have an open case needing modifications, our experienced custody lawyer at Davis Law can answer all of your questions.

Custody Explained

Children born to married couples render both parents to have full custody rights and this will remain so until a family court rules otherwise. The father and mother equally share responsibility as joint guardians in raising their minor children, providing them education and welfare. More importantly, the law does not favor the mother over the father and vice versa, therefore granting both parents equally with access to the children and again will only remain so until otherwise decided by the court.

On the other hand, a different rule applies to unmarried parents. In this situation, the birth mother has full child custody until she decides to relinquish her rights over the child or if there is a court order stating otherwise. The father may also petition for child custody or visitation rights if paternity is acknowledged.

The highest priority in almost all custody cases decided in family courts is “best interests of the child”. Generally speaking, custody laws and decisions favor continued and consistent contact between the parents and the child. Child custody and visitation arrangements are often very flexible giving way to a variety of options to consider when negotiating the terms.

Child Custody Lawyer In Greenville, SC

Comparing Legal Custody To Physical Custody

There are two important types wherein each have certain varying limits and responsibilities towards their child. Custody awarded to custody disputes in SC are:

Physical Custody

As the name implies, it involves deciding which parent will stay and accompany the child “physically”. Sole physical custody (joint custody) can be awarded to the parents and maybe customized to some degree depending on some specific arrangements. In other words, Physical custody can be solely the responsibility of one parent, shared equally between the two or some other option between the two.

Legal Custody

Legal custody involves determining which parent has the legal ability to make decisions and control important issues related to the child. In legal custody during divorce, the four common areas that must be apportioned between the parents are education, religion, medical care, and extracurricular activities. Other extensive information regarding custody can be explained and provided by our custody lawyer.

The bottom line is, there is actually no right or wrong way to apportion custody between the two parents. It is highly dependent on your unique situation and what serves the family best. At Davis Law, our custody lawyer will help you navigate through the entire process – from start to finish.

Child Custody Lawyer In Greenville, SC

How Is Child Support Determined?

Child support in South Carolina can now be determined by using a formula in order to determine how much you are required to expend in child support – with the exception of exceptionally high income earning individuals in which other factors are taken into account. As opposed to basing child support on wonder, the expenses for the children are estimated and then divided between the parents while factoring in custody obligations and income.

What Factors Do Judges Consider When Deciding Custody?

Family courts consider the following among many factors:

Child Custody Lawyer In Greenville, SC

Is It Possible For Children To Decide On Custody?

Some children (especially nearing legal age where they become aware of their decisions) may already have the ability to express themselves in a more mature manner and more than likely have an influence on the custody process. As a matter of fact, children of nearly all ages are given the opportunity to express their opinion and choose which parent they want to go with. However, this does not necessarily mean that the judge will agree –especially for children under age 12 wherein their preferences or requests may likely carry very little weight.

Can Custody Be Modified?

Custody In Greenville, SC

All matters pertaining to custody and child support are subject to modification. However, this does not necessarily mean that modification is easy to achieve since you must first convince a South Carolina family court judge that the circumstances have substantially changed. A seasoned custody lawyer at Davis law will help ensure that the outcome only favors you and your family’s best interest. Consult with us today.