How does South Carolina decide child custody?

How does South Carolina decide child custody?

On behalf of Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law posted in Child Custody on Monday, October 6, 2014.

Negotiating child custody can be a long and emotionally taxing progress, particularly if you and your former partner no longer see eye to eye. Although there is a good chance that you both have the best intentions for your children, those intentions may not complement each other. If this is the case, the matter may need to go to court.

We discussed in a previous article the factors affecting the venue in which your case will be decided. However, what are the factors that ultimately influence the outcome of your case? There are many matters that need to be taken into consideration, although the best interests of your child lie at the heart of the matter.

The child's preference is one factor in deciding child custody, as is each parent's home environment. The weight the child's preference has is largely dependent on that child's perceived maturity and ability to make decisions regarding his or her future. Any reports of domestic abuse will also come into play during this decision, as will the religion of the child. The court will make every effort to house a child with a family or institution that adheres to that child's faith.

Another important factor is which parent is perceived to have acted as the primary caregiver for the child for a designated period preceding the decision. This period is at least six months for a child under the age of three. For children of three or over, the period is a minimum of a year.

Of course, as is explained in more detail on the South Carolina Statehouse website, there are far more elements of this important decision to consider. An attorney can help you to establish whether you have overlooked anything and help you to secure an arrangement that favors both you and your child.