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How Will The Judge Decide Your Charleston Child Custody Case?

Child Custody Law Firm In Charleston, SCChild custody matters to you.

Your child is one of the focal points of your life.  However, everything is about to change. You’re getting a divorce.

Divorce will change the time you are with your child and how your child relates to you.

You fear you will lose your child in your divorce.

You want to know: How will a Charleston judge decide child custody in my divorce case?

Your divorce judge will apply South Carolina child custody law to decide all child custody issues. In reaching a child custody decision, your Charleston judge will be focused on determining the “best interests” of your child.

South Carolina child custody law does not provide a specific definition of the “best interests” of a child. Since no two children are exactly alike, the meaning of the legal phrase “best interests” is different for each child. Your success or failure in proving what you perceive to be the “best interests” of your child will determine whether your judge awards child custody to you in your divorce case.

South Carolina Child Custody Law Is Complicated

            The South Carolina child custody law requires Charleston divorce court judges to consider 16 specific factors and one general factor in deciding child custody cases. The more significant factors in the South Carolina child custody law include:

  • The needs of the child.
  • The preferences of the child regarding child custody.
  • The ability and willingness of each parent to understand and meet the needs of the child.
  • The preferences of each parent regarding child custody.
  • The interaction and relationship of the child with the parents, siblings, and others, including grandparents.
  • Evidence of child abuse or domestic abuse.
  • The current and proposed residences for the child.
  • The mental and physical health of each of the parents and the child.
  • The prior involvement of each parent with the child, particularly who has been the primary caregiver for the child.

In addition to these factors, your Charleston judge can consider any other evidence that may be relevant to deciding child custody in your divorce.

Divorce will change the time you are with your child and how your child relates to you.

At the outset, your divorce judge will want to know whether you and your spouse are able to place your child’s “best interests” ahead of your individual “wants.” Your judge will also listen carefully to evidence regarding the extent to which your child has emotionally bonded with you and your spouse.

Child custody may also be determined – in part – by how much time you and your spouse will be able to devote to your child in the future. The respective financial resources of you and your spouse could also affect the child custody decision.

Your Charleston divorce judge may appoint a guardian ad litem (“GAL”) to investigate and report to the court on various child custody issues. For example, the GAL may want to know if you or your spouse have been criticizing each other in the presence of your child. The GAL may also take a close look at your parenting skills. In addition, the GAL may interview family members, teachers, physicians, counselors, and others regarding the relationship that you and your spouse have with your child.

Helping You with Child Custody

Child custody cases are complicated, time consuming, fact intensive, and emotionally draining. Often, the battle over child custody becomes the most critical part of a Charleston divorce.

Child Custody Help At The Peck Law FirmYou may think that the “best interests” of your child are obvious. However, if your spouse has a different opinion, you may encounter significant difficulty proving what are the “best interests” of your child.

With so much at stake, you need the help of an experienced Charleston child custody lawyer to protect your father’s rights (if you are the father) or your mother’s rights (if you are the mother). You won’t get a second chance to have a court decide child custody.

If you are facing a divorce or legal separation with child custody issues, it is best to get the help that you need now. As an experienced Charleston divorce and child custody attorney, I can help you.

Please call me now at 843-631-7117 or use the contact form to ask me questions. I will respond quickly.

Working together, we will build a better future for you and your child in Awendaw, Charleston, Daniel Island, Goose Creek, Isle of Palms, James Island, Johns Island, Kiawah, Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, Sullivan’s Island, Summerville, or West Ashley.

 Recommendations for Additional Reading

Can I Move from Charleston with My Child After My Charleston Divorce?

Introduction to Charleston Child Custody Law

Will My Child Get To Choose Where She Will Live?

The South Carolina Child Custody Law

Charleston Child Custody Myths – Part 1

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