Sometimes the custody plan does not work. Either one party fails to live up to the parenting plan or a party’s circumstances change. Whatever the reason, parents should recognize that the guiding principle with children in all South Carolina Courts is “the best interests of the child.” Further, unless the parties are in agreement, modifications in custody agreements require a “substantial change in circumstances” before any action will be heard by the Court.

The Miller Law Firm, PA can help parties assess whether their situation qualifies as a substantial change in circumstances, whether it would be beneficial to file, and how best to proceed, keeping in mind the client’s ultimate goal – the well-being of their children.

Below are some common questions regarding child custody in South Carolina:

Can I enforce an out of state order?

Yes, but the order should be registered in the State of South Carolina, and in the county in which the child resides. The Miller Law Firm, P.A. can assist in the registration of foreign orders.

What is standard visitation?

“Standard Visitation” can be a misleading term. Typically, couples think of standard visitation as every other weekend, with additional time for holidays and summer. However, visitation is not a “one size fits all” schedule. Visitation plans should be worked out between the parties and if they cannot be worked out, the Court will order a plan based on the evidence provided and the work schedule of the parties.

If I never married do I have any rights to see my children?

Every fit parent has a right to seek visitation with their minor child and the Courts do their best to encourage the involvement of both parents. If one party is denying visitation to the other party, the Miller Law Firm, P.A. can help a parent seeking visitation find a solution.

What is primary placement?

Primary placement is granted to the party who will be the primary caretaker of the child. The party granted primary placement is eligible to receive child support.

What is a Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”)?

A GAL is appointed by the Court, typically at the request of one or both parties, to help look out for the best interests of the child in custody disputes. Unlike the parents’ attorneys, the GAL’s only interest is in the well-being of the child or children. GAL fees are typically shared by the parties.

What is the difference between shared custody and joint custody?

“Joint custody” is generally a defined term in an agreement. It typically signifies that the parents share access to medical and academic records and agree to work together to care for the minor child or children by sharing information regarding special events and extracurricular activities. “Shared custody” generally refers to an arrangement where the parties have an equal or similar amount of overnight visitation with the minor child or children and share the expenses of the minor child or children; however, a shared custody agreement can begin with as few as 110 nights for one parent. “Split custody” refers to a scenario involving multiple children where each of the parents has primary placement of at least one child.

There are many factors that can impact child custody agreements and it is important to obtain good representation to help you achieve the best outcome for you and your children. Call the Miller Law Firm, P.A. today at (864) 527-0413.