South Carolina Parental Rights Lawyer
If you are facing divorce or the end of a relationship where children are involved, do not make the mistake of making assumptions about your legal rights. What seems obvious to many parents is often incorrect, and you may lose the right to custody, visitation or find your parental rights terminated if you do not take the proper legal actions to protect your rights and your relationship with your child. Parental rights lawyer J. Darrell Beckham is here to help you understand your rights and options in your unique situation.
Married parents have equal rights and responsibilities regarding their children. Under older South Carolina laws mothers were automatically favored in custody disputes, but that is no longer the case. When a married woman becomes pregnant, the law assumes that the husband is the father and neither party needs to prove paternity in most cases.
In the case of unmarried parents, custody automatically goes to the mother. A biological father can get custody, but it requires proving paternity and seeking custody in court. As crazy as it may sound, this applies even in families where the biological father has an established relationship with his child. By the same token, an unwed mother will need to establish paternity to get a child support order.
An unmarried biological father can sign up with the Responsible Father Registry to be notified when there is an action for termination of parental rights or adoption.
Withholding Visitation or Child Support
Custodial parents cannot violate visitation orders because the other parent has failed to pay child support. Similarly, noncustodial parents cannot withhold child support because the other parent has denied their right to visitation. Either action is in violation of the law. When seeking enforcement of support or visitation orders you must go through the proper process or you could go to jail.
Termination of Parental Rights
Termination of parental rights (TPR) is a very serious matter that neither parent should take lightly. After TPR a parent has no right to see or contact their child, nor do they have a legal responsibility to support the child. But, TPR also terminates the child’s rights, except for the right of inheritance which may be terminated in some adoptions.
There are certainly circumstances in which TPR is in the best interest of the child. Whether you are seeking or fighting TPR, attorney J. Darrell Beckham can help.
To learn more about parental rights in South Carolina, please call the Law Office of J. Darrell Beckham, LLC, at 803-364-9111 or contact us online right away to schedule your consultation.
Attorney Beckham represents clients in Newberry County, Richland County, Lexington County, the City of Columbia and throughout South Carolina.