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Your South Carolina Custody Lawyer

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Going through a divorce is difficult enough. If you have children and have gone through a separation recently, you may be concerned about their welfare and future. Some parents find parenting agreements over child custody and visitation a difficult matter to be worked out. Whether you want to discover more information about custody or you have an open case needing modifications, our experienced child custody attorney at The Howze Law Firm LLC will help you however you need. If you need assistance with your child custody case (or other family law issue), contact our compassionate Rock Hill custody lawyer to set up a case review.

Child Custody In Rock Hill, South Carolina

Child custody concerns more than just determining which parent the child will live with but also identifying which of the two will make important decisions about the child’s overall welfare and upbringing. There are two important types of custody, with each having certain varying limits and responsibilities to the child. These include: Call us at 803-266-1812.

Physical Custody

As the name implies, it involves deciding which parent will stay and accompany the child “physically”. Sole physical custody or joint custody can be awarded to the parents and may be customized to some degree depending on specific arrangements. In other words, Physical custody can be solely the responsibility of one parent, shared equally between the two, or some other option between the two.

Legal Custody

Legal custody involves determining which parent has the legal ability to make decisions and control important issues related to the child. In legal custody during divorce, the four common areas that must be apportioned between the parents are education, religion, medical care, and extracurricular activities. Attorney Bomar-Howze is experienced in family law matters and can answer any questions regarding custody.

Parents Start With Equal Custody Rights

Children born to married couples render both parents to have full custody rights, and this will remain so until a family court rules otherwise. The mother and father equally share responsibility as joint guardians in raising their children (of minor age), providing them with education and welfare. More importantly, the law does not favor the mother over the father and vice versa, therefore granting both parents equal access to the children and again will only remain so until otherwise decided by the court.

On the other hand, a different rule applies to unmarried parents. In this case, the birth mother has full child custody until she decides to relinquish her rights over the child or if there is a court order stating otherwise. The father may also petition for child custody or visitation rights if paternity is acknowledged.

The highest priority in almost all custody cases is the children involved. Generally speaking, custody laws and decisions favor continued and consistent contact between the parents and the child. Child custody and visitation arrangements are often very flexible, giving way to a variety of options to consider when negotiating the terms.

The bottom line is there is not necessarily a right or wrong way to apportion custody between the parents. It is highly dependent on the unique situation of the case at hand and what serves the family best. At The Howze Law Firm LLC, our custody lawyer will help you navigate through the entire process – from start to finish.

How Is Child Support Determined?

Child support in South Carolina can now be determined by using a formula to determine how much you are required to expend in child support – except for exceptionally high-income earning individuals in which other factors are considered. The expenses for the children are estimated and then divided between the parents while factoring in custody obligations and income.

Factors Considered When Deciding Custody

Family courts consider the following among many factors:

  • Domestic violence, including physical and sexual abuse
  • Any conduct of the parents that have a detrimental impact on the children
  • Physical, psychological, educational, medical, and other needs of the children as well as the ability of the parents to meet these needs
  • Character and fitness of each parent
  • The religion of the parents and the children
  • Which parent serves as a caretaker

Are Children Able To Decide On Custody?

Some children (especially those nearing legal age, where they become aware of their decisions) may already have the ability to express themselves in a more mature manner, and more than likely influence the custody process. As a matter of fact, children of nearly all ages are given the opportunity to express their opinion and choose which parent they want to go with. However, this does not necessarily mean that the judge will agree, especially for children under age 12, wherein their preferences or requests may likely carry very little weight.

Custody Modification

In South Carolina, all matters pertaining to custody and child support are subject to modification. However, this does not necessarily mean that modification is easy to achieve since you must first convince a South Carolina family court judge that the circumstances have substantially changed. A seasoned custody lawyer at The Howze Law Firm LLC will help ensure that the outcome only favors you and your family’s best interest. Consult with our custody lawyer today.