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Determining where a child will live when parents divorce

When a South Carolina couple has a child, they may split parenting duties especially if one ends up working more than the other. If the couple decides to get a divorce later on, however, the parent who was primarily responsible for the child's care may be considered to be the primary caretaker. This can potentially influence where the child will live once the divorce is finalized.

The court determines who the child's primary caretaker was by considering who was responsible for certain tasks. These tasks potentially include bathing, dressing and feeding the child, arranging health care appointments and being involved in extracurricular or school activities.

If both parents show that they shared parenting responsibilities equally, the court may make decisions based on the best interests of the child. The court may potentially consider the child's wishes if the child is older. The parents' physical or mental health may also be considered. If the child had a stable home life with one parent during the separation, that parent could be granted primary physical custody. Additionally, the court will look at evidence of drug and alcohol abuse when considering where the child will live.

When one parent is granted physical custody of the child, the other parent usually is responsible for financially contributing to the costs of raising the child. If the custodial parent does not receive child support even if a certain amount was ordered by the court, an attorney may take the case to court and request assistance in obtaining the child custody funds that are owed. Such assistance could include a wage garnishment in some cases.

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