South Carolina child custody law is the subject of many “myths.” As I discussed in Charleston Child Custody Myths – Part 1, misunderstandings of SC child custody law can have serious consequences.
As a divorce and child custody lawyer in Charleston, SC, I often explain to clients the difference between “fact” and “fiction” regarding various Charleston child custody myths. Below, I address five more Charleston child custody myths.
Charleston Child Custody Myth No. 1. I Don’t Have To Make The Kids Go To Child Visitation If They Don’t Want to Go.
False. You can be held in contempt of court, fined, put in jail, ordered to pay attorney fees, and/or suffer other serious legal consequences if you fail to obey your child custody order. Your Charleston divorce judge expects you to follow the Court’s order. The parents – not the children – are supposed to be in control of child visitation. Just as you are expected to deliver your children to school each day, you are required to deliver your children for child visitation.
If you believe your children are in danger of being hurt by your spouse, you should immediately consult with an experienced Charleston child custody attorney. Your child custody lawyer can file a motion for modification of the child custody order or take other family law actions to protect your children.
Charleston Child Custody Myth No. 2. My Child Will Get To Decide Child Custody.
Not True. Your child – regardless of age – does not get to choose with which parent he or she will live after your divorce or legal separation. Children do not get the “last word” regarding the child custody decision. However, as I explain in greater detail in “Will My Child Get to Choose Where She Will Live,” Charleston divorce judges are required to consider a child’s preference when deciding child custody. The extent to which your divorce judge will be influenced by the wishes of your child will depend upon the age, maturity, judgment, and ability of your child to express a preference concerning child custody.
Charleston Child Custody Myth No. 3. I Will Get To Make All Of The Decisions Because My Child Lives With Me More.
Wrong. South Carolina child custody law clearly distinguishes between physical child custody and legal child custody. In a SC divorce or legal separation, physical child custody refers to the time that your child will spend with each parent. In contrast, legal child custody concerns how major decisions will be made for your child.
Your Charleston divorce judge can divide physical child custody and legal child custody as your judge determines to be in the best interests of your child. For example, your Charleston divorce judge could give you primary physical child custody (i.e., the child will live primarily with you) while also ordering joint legal child custody (i.e., you and your spouse will jointly make all major decisions for your child). For more information regarding the different types of SC child custody, please read: “Introduction to Charleston Child Custody Law.”
Charleston Child Custody Myth No. 4. Unmarried Fathers Have The Same Child Custody Rights As Divorced Fathers.
Incorrect. As an unwed Charleston dad, you have no father’s rights unless you have a child custody order from a Charleston family law judge. This is true even if; (a) you or the mother of the child listed you as the father on your child’s birth certificate; (b) you signed a paternity acknowledgement affidavit; or (c) you were ordered to pay child support.
A Charleston, SC child custody attorney can advise you on the steps that you must take to establish your father’s rights to: (a) make decisions for your child (legal child custody); and (b) have child visitation (physical child custody).
Charleston Child Custody Myth No. 5. I Can’t Afford the Cost of a Charleston Child Custody Lawyer.
A Potentially Disastrous Mistake. What is more important to you than your relationship with your child? How much is that worth to you? Can you afford to lose child custody? You need the assistance of an experienced Charleston divorce and child custody lawyer.
If you are concerned with what you think will be the cost of a Charleston divorce and child custody attorney, please call 843-631-7117 now to speak directly with me. I look forward to discussing with you how much your divorce may cost and how you can pay for it.
Alternatively, please use the contact form to ask me any questions that you may have regarding your mother’s rights or father’s rights in your Charleston divorce or child custody case. I will be quick to respond.
Working together, we will protect your parental rights and build a better future for you and your child in Awendaw, Charleston, Daniel Island, Goose Creek, Isle of Palms, James Island, Johns Island, Kiawah, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Sullivan’s Island, Summerville, or West Ashley.