Child Custody Attorneys in Greenville, South Carolina
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our child custody attorneys in Greenville, South Carolina represent parents who are seeking to obtain sole or joint custody of their kids following a breakup, after a divorce, or during emergency proceedings when they believe their child(ren) may be in danger in the care of the other parent or guardian.
Our Greenville County child custody lawyers fully understand how emotional these circumstances may be, whether you are determining where your children will live, how they will split their time, or what type of parenting plan will work best for your unique circumstances.
We know you want what is best for your child, and so do we, which is why we listen to your complete needs, concerns, and objectives, so together we can pursue the best outcome available for your family.
How is Child Custody Determined in Greenville, South Carolina?
The goal of our Greenville County Family Courts is to oversee child custody arrangements that support the best interests of the children.
In doing so, many factors are reviewed to determine how the children will split their time between both parents’ homes.
First, we must establish the different types of custody, and how they will be effectively managed by the parents — either solely or jointly.
First, legal custody will need to be determined to outline who will make both the day-to-day and long-term decisions about the welfare of the children, which may include choices regarding their healthcare, education, and religious upbringing.
Typically, when possible, both parents will share legal custody of the children, so they are combining their efforts to maintain consistent parenting and lifestyle values. However, shared legal custody may only be feasible when the parents have the ability to communicate effectively regarding the needs of their children. If the parents are unable to communicate for the children, then one party may be named as the primary custodial parent.
Next, we will need to determine physical custody, which resolves where the children will live and how the visitation arrangement and schedule will work for the other parent. Like legal custody, physical custody may be awarded solely or jointly.
When one parent is awarded sole physical custody, the children will primarily reside with the custodian, which will require a visitation schedule to be put in place, so the kids have assigned days, nights, and/or weekends they spend with the other parent.
When both parents share physical custody of the children, the kids will effectively split their time between the two households using a shared parenting schedule, which our Greenville child custody attorneys can assist in negotiating.
To determine child custody in Greenville, South Carolina, the courts will consider:
- (You may want to include the following factors that the court would look to, opposed to these 5 you listed. I have copied this from another site, so may not want to paste it directly, etc)
- SC Code Section 63-15-240(B):
- the temperament and developmental needs of the child;
- the capacity and the disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child;
- the preferences of each child;
- the wishes of the parents as to custody;
- the past and current interaction and relationship of the child with each parent, the child’s siblings, and any other person, including a grandparent, who may significantly affect the best interest of the child;
- the actions of each parent to encourage the continuing parent child relationship between the child and the other parent, as is appropriate, including compliance with court orders;
- the manipulation by or coercive behavior of the parents in an effort to involve the child in the parents’ dispute;
- any effort by one parent to disparage the other parent in front of the child;
- the ability of each parent to be actively involved in the life of the child;
- the child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community environments;
- the stability of the child’s existing and proposed residences;
- the mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability of a proposed custodial parent or other party, in and of itself, must not be determinative of custody unless the proposed custodial arrangement is not in the best interest of the child;
- the child’s cultural and spiritual background;
- whether the child or a sibling of the child has been abused or neglected;
- whether one parent has perpetrated domestic violence or child abuse or the effect on the child of the actions of an abuser if any domestic violence has occurred between the parents or between a parent and another individual or between the parent and the child;
- whether one parent has relocated more than one hundred miles from the child’s primary residence in the past year, unless the parent relocated for safety reasons; and
- other factors as the court considers necessary.
Each child custody decision is unique and may involve extenuating circumstances that require the court to look deeper into each parent’s personal or professional life, including whether one frequently travels for work, has medical issues, or if the child has special needs.
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our child custody lawyers in Greenville will review each aspect of your child custody case to ensure no detail is left to chance when pursuing the best outcome on your and the children’s behalf.
After child custody is determined, the parents must follow the legal arrangement that was agreed upon going forward.
What if My Ex-Spouse is Not Following Our Greenville, South Carolina Custody Agreement?
Our Greenville child custody lawyers know that sometimes parenting arrangements require scheduling changes and compromises. It is not unusual for one parent to have a conflict during their assigned days with the children or make requests for last-minute changes that will affect their visitation status on a certain day or even longer when there is a true emergency — like a medical issue or when work dictates an unavoidable need.
Each of these scenarios can usually be worked out between the parents, so the conflicts do not disrupt the time spent with both going forward.
However, if your children’s other parent is consistently violating your child custody arrangements, by either refusing to present the children for the exchange or not showing up to get the children on schedule, you may have grounds for modifying the existing child custody agreement.
A change in circumstances justifying revisions to an existing child custody agreement requires us to present facts to warrant the conclusion that the best interests of the child will be served by the change.
Our Greenville child custody attorneys can help build and strengthen your case to pursue the enforcement of the existing agreement or a modification that represents the best interests of the children.
What if I Believe My Kids are in Danger When They are at Their Other Parent’s South Carolina Home?
If you believe your child is in danger while they are at their other parent’s home, contact our experienced emergency child custody attorneys in Greenville today to learn about your legal rights and the proper solution to intervene and protect your children.
In South Carolina, a child may be removed from the home of a parent or guardian when the environment poses an immediate danger to the child’s safety and welfare. That is true even if they are visiting one parent who shares custody or who temporarily has the children during their visitation arrangement.
The most common reasons for an emergency child custody hearing may include, but are not limited to:
- Abusive behavior toward a child or domestic violence within the household
- Parental drug or excessive alcohol use
- Criminal activity, arrests, or convictions
- Inappropriate partner or visitors in the home
- Suicide attempt by the parent
- Parental incapacity
- Severe neglect of the child
Emergency child custody hearings require proof of wrongdoing or bad behavior and cannot be based on allegations regarding one parent’s conduct, which makes building a strong case an imperative part of your success.
Certainly, if a parent has been arrested for a crime, was caught driving while intoxicated with the children in the vehicle, or other dangerous circumstances that can be supported by arrest records or witness testimonies, the request for emergency custody will be much easier to prove.
If one parent is simply unhappy with sharing custody with their ex-spouse for personal reasons that do not affect the welfare of the children, emergency custody will be harder to pursue.
Depending on your unique circumstances, we will petition the Family Court to grant an emergency hearing to address the issues that pertain to your unique circumstances, so your children’s safety is the priority.
Contact Our Child Custody Attorneys in Greenville Today to Learn More About Your Parental Rights in South Carolina
If you have questions about how child custody will be awarded after your divorce, or believe you have grounds to file for emergency child custody, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Greenville at David W. Martin Law Group to discuss your unique legal representation needs by calling (803) 590-1958 today.