Lawyer- Hilton Head SC Child Custody Attorney & Visitation Attorney
Whether the parents are married or unmarried, the breakup of a relationship can be traumatic for children. South Carolina courts recognize this fact and place a special emphasis on adhering to a “best interests of the child” standard in resolving the tough family law issues of child custody and visitation.
Absent an agreement or court order regarding child custody, both parents are equally entitled to the custody of children born during the marriage. Our Hilton Head SC Child Custody Attorney helps people on all sides of this complex equation to find practical solutions that protect the best interests of their children. Child custody and visitation are emotional issues for parents.
Under the legal standard of “the best interests of the child”, some of the relevant factors in determining custody include but not limited to who has been the primary caretaker; the conduct, attributes, and fitness of the parents; the opinions of third parties (including the guardian, expert witnesses, and the children); and the age, health, and sex of the child. The court favors a parent who makes an effort to encourage a positive relationship between the child and the other parent. In sum, a determination of the best interests of a child will depend on the particular facts of each case.
While many people think that child custody has to do solely with the primary residence of the child, this only addresses “physical custody”. Another aspect is “legal custody” – the right of each parent to participate in important decisions about the child’s life, such as educational and medical decisions. Often the courts award legal custody to both parents through what is called “joint legal custody,” even if physical custody is awarded primarily to one parent. Court-ordered child support payments will be determined in part by the physical custody arrangement.
In many instances parents choose to resolve all custody and visitation issues through negotiation and/or mediation. If that is the case in your child custody dispute, then I will do everything in my power to negotiate a fair and reasonable parenting plan on your behalf Hilton Head SC Child Custody Attorney. If negotiation fails and all or some of the issues remain unresolved, then I will not hesitate to go to court to protect your rights and your child’s welfare.