Fort Mill Child Custody Attorney
Child custody is one of the most difficult battles in a divorce or legal separation case involving shared minor children. One thing that can make your fight easier is hiring an experienced child custody attorney in Fort Mill. David W. Martin Attorney at Law, LLC, will work hard to deliver the best possible results for you and your family. Your children’s best interests are our number one priority. Enlist our firm’s help to receive personal legal attention, advice, and representation during child custody cases.
Types of Child Custody in Fort Mill
Two types of child custody exist in South Carolina: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the rights of a parent to make decisions for the child in terms of his/her education, health care, and welfare. Physical custody refers to where the child will reside. Although the courts typically grant legal and physical custody to the same parent, it is possible to divide these rights between parents. It is up to the courts to determine what will be in the child’s best interests. The courts will further divide physical custody into joint or sole custody.
Joint custody means that parents share custody of children. Joint custody can take many different forms, but generally, the courts do not favor arrangements in which time between parents is exactly split in half. Instead, a typical joint custody arrangement will look something like one parent having the children during the week and the other on the weekends. Sole custody means that one parent has 100% custody of children, while the other may or may not have child visitation rights.
How Do the South Carolina Courts Determine Child Custody?
Each state has its own rules in deciding the terms of a child custody agreement after a couple divorces. One thing remains the same throughout the U.S., however: The divorce court will do what it believes is in the best interests of the child. A judge will review a long list of factors in making a child custody decision if parents cannot come to an agreement on their own. This list includes:
- Child’s preference for custody, if applicable
- The religious faith of child and parents
- History of domestic violence
- Parental behaviors
- Child’s relationship with a parent
- Home environment
In general, the courts will make a custody decision based on what will provide a child with the greatest amount of stability. South Carolina abolished the “Tender Years Doctrine” in 2008 – a law that awarded custody to mothers in cases involving children in their “tender years.” Today, the courts cannot award custody based on a parent’s gender.
Finding the Right Custody Attorney in Fort Mill
The courts prefer parents to come up with their own parenting plans. It is beneficial to all involved to try to work with your spouse to come up with a parenting plan you both agree upon. A judge will approve the plan if he or she believes it suits the children’s best interests. If you cannot agree on a plan, the matter will go to court. You and your spouse will present your cases and a judge will determine the final child custody arrangement.
Our Fort Mill child custody lawyer will work diligently to find the best custody plan possible for you and your children. We want to safeguard your children during this process, not only working to reduce any stress on them but producing the healthiest parenting environment possible. A smooth transition for your family during the divorce is possible, and we want to provide you with the tools to ensure that. Call or make an appointment today to speak to an experienced Fort Mill child custody attorney.