South Carolina Child Custody Lawyer serving Newberry County, Richland County, Lexington County and the City of Columbia
Child custody is typically the most emotionally charged aspect of divorce or a breakup. When parents cannot agree on custody and visitation, the court must decide for you. South Carolina’s child custody process can be frightening and confusing for parents. Child custody lawyer J. Darrell Beckham will work closely with you to ensure that you understand how the court makes these decisions and that your child’s best interests are protected. Please to not hesitate to call our office and learn more.
The Child’s Best Interest
When the court makes a custody order, the priority is the best interest of the child. However, this may not line up with what you believe is in the best interest of your child or children and the factors considered in South Carolina may not be what you expect if you are familiar with child custody in other states.
Factors that South Carolina courts must consider when determining the best interest of a child include, but are not limited to:
- The temperament and needs of the child
- Each parent’s ability and willingness to understand and meet the needs of the child
- Each parent’s ability to be involved in the child’s life
- Stability of the child’s residence and proposed residences
- The child’s preference
- The wishes of the parents
- The child’s relationship and interaction with each parent and others such as siblings and grandparents
- Mental and physical health of everyone involved
- The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community environments
- The child’s cultural and spiritual background
- The willingness of each parent to encourage a parent-child relationship with the other parent
- Attempts by either parent to involve the child in the dispute between the parents
- Any disparaging the other parent in front of the child
- Abuse or neglect of the child or siblings
- Domestic violence involving either parent and its effect on the child
- If a parent has moved more than 100 miles away from the child’s primary home in the last year other than for safety reasons
Guardian Ad Litem
A guardian ad litem (GAL) is often appointed by the court in contested custody cases. The GAL represents the best interest of the child, not either parent. After interviewing the parents and other parties, investigation various aspects of your child’s life, and possibly conducting visits of each parent’s home, the GAL makes a report to the court. This report greatly influences the decisions of the court.
For parents, child custody is often the most important aspect of divorce. To learn more about how we can help protect your rights and the best interests of your child, please call the Law Office of J. Darrell Beckham, LLC, at 803-364-9111 or contact us online right away to schedule your consultation.