Child Custody Lawyers in Fort Mill, SC, Helping Parents Resolve Custody Issues
One of the most contentious issues that often accompany divorce proceedings involves parents trying to resolve custody agreements. Unfortunately, custody cases are often fraught with a great deal of animosity as each parent tries to decide what is best for their child’s welfare.
Sadly, parents may lose sight of what is in their child’s best interests and view custody arrangements as a way to punish the other parent. However, our South Carolina attorneys have extensive experience handling child custody cases and work diligently to help parents make informed decisions regarding their child’s health and well-being.
If you and the other parent are having trouble coming to a mutual decision about a custody agreement, contact Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC of Fort Mill, South Carolina, to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. Our child custody lawyers understand this is a stressful and overwhelming time for you and your family. For this reason, we will work diligently to help you obtain a resolution to help your family move on with your lives.
What is Physical Custody in South Carolina?
Physical custody refers to who will be the primary caregiver for the child and with whom they will spend most of their time. There are three separate types of physical custody which are:
- Sole physical custody: In this type of custody arrangement, one parent has all of the time with the child to the exclusion of the other parent. In this type of custody agreement, the other parent may be allowed to see the child through supervised visitation.
- Joint physical custody: Parents share equal time with a child in this arrangement. In most instances, in a joint custody agreement, the child may alternate the time they spend with each parent.
- Shared physical child custody: In this type of custody agreement, one parent is awarded primary physical custody, and the other parent receives visitation rights. The parent with whom the child lives is the custodial parent, while the other is known as the noncustodial parent.
South Carolina courts do not generally approve of joint physical custody where the child alternates weeks spent with each parent as it is seen as disruptive and lacking in a stable environment.
Instead, South Carolina family courts favor shared physical custody, where the child primarily lives with one parent and has a set visitation schedule with the other parent.
How is Legal Custody Different From Physical Custody?
Whereas physical custody determines who has the child and where they live, legal custody refers to the parent who is entitled to make major decisions for the child. This often includes deciding matters vital to their general welfare.
In South Carolina, there are two types of legal custody, sole legal custody and joint legal custody.
- Sole legal custody: One parent has the sole authority to make all of the decisions pertaining to the child’s life.
- Joint legal custody: Both parents agree on the decisions that are made for the child, including those that pertain to education, medical decisions, religious upbringing, and other activities.
Typically, a family court judge will not award one parent sole legal custody as it prevents both parents from actively being involved in the child’s upbringing. However, in cases of abuse or other aggravating factors, the courts may determine this is in the child’s best interests.
If you still need clarification about sharing legal custody or have questions in general about custody matters, contact Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC of Fort Mill, SC, to schedule a meeting with an experienced family law attorney who can answer your questions.
What Factors Does the Family Court Examine When Making Child Custody Decisions?
The main factor that South Carolina family courts focus on is what is in the child’s best interests. In addition, the court will examine various other issues in the child’s life to determine which type of custody is appropriate.
Some of the factors considered by the court when deciding child custody agreements include but are not limited to the following:
- The ability of each parent to meet the needs of the child.
- The ability of each parent to encourage and foster a continuing relationship with the other parent.
- Whether one parent has tried to make disparaging remarks about the other parent in front of the child.
- The child’s preference
- Immoral conduct on the part of either parent
- Any prior history of abuse or domestic violence in the home.
- The child’s history regarding school and other activities.
- The level of care and interaction of both parents with the child.
- The mental and physical health of each parent.
- The overall desire of each individual to parent their child.
How Can Your Law Firm Help Me With My Child Custody Case?
If you are dealing with child custody issues, you need an attorney who will not be afraid to stand up for your parental rights and work to obtain a favorable outcome for you and your children.
Our law firm can also help create a parenting plan that will meet the needs of the minor children and those of the parents.
If you are experiencing issues with the other parent not abiding by a parenting agreement or are involved in conduct harmful to your child while in the other parent’s care, you may need to obtain an emergency custody order. Our child custody lawyers can assist you with obtaining a court order to protect your child from harm.
Our SC child custody lawyers have extensive experience in helping families reach resolutions that can assist them in moving forward with their lives. If you need legal help to resolve your custody issues, contact Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC of Fort Mill, South Carolina, by calling 803-258-6449 to schedule a consultation.