Divorcing parents in South Carolina have many decisions that must be made. Parents must decide where the children will reside and how visitation will be done. It is important to understand the types of custody available so you can make the best decisions possible for your family. Every situation is different and what is right for another family may not be best for you. For this reason, it is helpful to speak with a knowledgeable divorce attorney so you will better understand your options.
Types of Custody
There are two main kinds of custody, which include legal and physical. Legal custody provides the ability to make decisions for the child, while physical custody is the location where the child will reside. Most often, both parents are legally allowed to make decisions for their child. This is called joint or shared legal custody. When parents share physical custody of the child, it is called joint or shared physical custody. Parents may be granted any combination of these options. In situations where the parents were not married, the mother is legally provided sole legal and physical custody unless the father goes to court to seek legal custody arrangements.
Important decisions must be made for children on a regular basis. Parents who have joint legal custody share the responsibilities of making these choices. Some of the decisions that must be made are regarding education, health, and religion, to name just a few. Parents who are jointly responsible for these choices must be able to communicate with each other so they can work together to provide the best possible parenting solutions.
Most often, children live primarily with one parent. This is called sole physical custody. Generally, the non-custodial parent has regular visitation with the child, and also provides financial support for the child’s needs. Courts always do what is best for the child. Visitation allows the child to spend necessary time with both parents. Parents need to realize that the child will be better adjusted when he or she spends quality time with both parents.
Children are often quite adaptable, but they require stability and consistency. Establishing a regular routine after a divorce is essential to their well-being. Parents should ensure that the plan they have in place will work for their situation. For example, some parents may choose to split the time they spend with their children by alternating every few days, while others may prefer to alternate weekend time with their kids.
Parents are expected to come to an agreement regarding custody issues as part of the divorce settlement. In cases where there is a disagreement, the judge may ultimately make the decision. Keep in mind that the parenting choices must be made according to what is best for the children, and not simply for convenience. Those who are going through a difficult divorce may seek guidance from an experienced divorce attorney in Greenville, SC. Contact the legal team at Greenville Family Law to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.