Where Must The Modification Of A Divorce Decree Be Filed?
There are now Uniform child support and custody laws throughout most of the states regarding where a modification for custody, visitation, or support can be filed. In most instances, the county where the initial divorce was granted will be where the modification must be filed. There are many possible scenarios if both parents no longer reside in the state where the original divorce was granted. Please contact us for a consultation on the complicated issue of jurisdiction.
What Restrictions Does A Divorced Parent Face In Regards To Relocation?
It depends on if there are any restrictions in a prior custody agreement regarding relocation. If not, then either parent is free to move, but if it would involve relocating the child as well that could be considered a significant change in circumstance warranting a modification of custody or visitation.
Do Courts Generally Favor The Mother Over The Father In a Custody Battle?
South Carolina’s Code of Law §63-5-30 states, in part, that both parents of a child born of a marriage have equal power, rights and duties, and neither parent has any right paramount to the right of the other concerning the custody of the child. If a child is born out of wedlock, the mother has custody until a family court issues a custody order but during that custody proceeding, there is no presumption the mother should have custody of the father. The family court is required to base their decision of custody on many factors and always what is in the best interests of the minor child.
What Are Grandparents’ Rights In Child Custody Cases?
Grandparents or any third party who are not the biological mother and father have no rights in a custody case unless they meet the criteria of a “De Facto” Custodian or a “Psychological Parent”.
What Are The Most Common Issues That You Face In Handling Child Custody Matters?
The most common issue is when the visiting parent wants additional time with their child. The court is going to base their decision on the best interest of the child. There are many different scenarios for when it is appropriate to have equal time between both parents, but that requires greater communication by the parents. Other factors in determining an increase in visitation time are the distance between parents, age of the child, and stability of each home.
How Long Do Child Custody Matters Generally Take To Get Settled?
Custody matters generally take between 4-8 months, but just as with a divorce the case must be resolved within 365 days from the date of filing or have requested a final hearing because if not the case will be dismissed and any temporary orders in place become null and void.
When Would The Court Need To Use A Guardian Ad Litem Or a Custody Evaluator?
The court will appoint a Guardian Ad Litem if custody or visitation are contested and the majority of the time both parents will be required to split all costs and fees of the Guardian. The Guardian’s role is to investigate and represent the child and their best interests. The Guardian will provide the Court with a report based on the investigation to assist the court in determining custody and visitation and what is in the child’s best interests.
Will My Child Ever Need To Appear In Court?
Your child will never appear in court and the court routinely places restrictions on the parents to not discuss the litigation with the child. If you are in a contested custody battle, a Guardian Ad Litem will be appointed to speak with the child in a controlled setting and at any court hearings, the Guardian will be the voice of the child.
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