South Carolina Divorce Custody
Similar to other states in USA, child custody guidelines in South Carolina are based on the premise that the best interests of the child are not to be compromised. All measures are to be taken that the welfare and safety of the child are safeguarded and the final custody awarding will not be detrimental to the child. These factors are considered while awarding South Carolina divorce custody:
- While defining the best interests of the child, the judge try to determine the basic needs and wishes of the child. Then they try to analyze the priorities of the parents and how much importance is given to the child’s care. The parent who is found to “fit the bill”, is awarded the custody of the child.
- Considering the maturity level of the child and determining his/her intelligent reasoning, judges may ask parental preference to the child and in most cases, child custody is awarded based on the child’s interests. However, SC divorce child custody laws specify that courts must ensure that the child is under no pressure form any parent and has a sound logic behind such a preference.
- Judges also try to look into issues of domestic violence in the family or cases of child neglect or child abuse perpetrated against the child or if the child has been a witness. If such a case exists, then joint custody is not awarded to the parents. In most cases, one parent gets the physical custody of the child and also the legal custody. The other parent may get supervised visitation rights. If the presence of the non-custodial parent is found to be detrimental for the child, then visitation rights of the parent may be removed by the courts.
- Child custody in the state of South Carolina is not gender or race biased. Both the parents have equal chances of contesting for the child.
- In cases of joint custody, for all practical purposes, one parent who has been the “primary caretaker” of the child is generally awarded the physical custody of the child. The other parent gets the visitation rights and can meet the child in weekends, take the child on trips etc. Physical custody of the child is awarded to the parent who also encourages the child to bond well with the other parent and does not attempt to alienate the child from the non-custodial one.
- The parent who offers to provide a family unit and the community to which the child has always been used to, is preferred for awarding custody of the child.
- If a non-custodial parent finds that he/she is being denied his/her visitation rights, then that parent can file a case for modifying the earlier court ruling. If it is in the best interest of the child, then courts may bring about changes in the custody order.
- SC divorce custody laws mention that an emancipated child (when the child turns 18 years old or when the child graduates from high school), is freed from the custody of the parent that the court had earlier awarded to.
- SC child support laws specify that the incomes of both the parents must be pooled in and a proportion of it needs to be provided as child support amount to the child for his/her financial needs. The child support figure is calculated considering the special needs of the child, financial capabilities of the parents and other related financial obligations of the parents.
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