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Whether you are filing for divorce or seeking a legal separation from your child’s other parent, custody is likely to be an important topic of discussion in ensuing legal proceedings. However, if you go into a child custody dispute without legal counsel, your odds of achieving an outcome that serves your and your child’s best interests and child support needs may be slim.

Whether that child is your own, your grandchild, niece, or nephew, child custody lawyers could help you fight your hardest to give them the best home possible. In addition to guiding you through initial child custody hearings and advocating on your behalf for a child custody agreement in family court, a Greenville attorney from Steele Family Law could also help you seek a modification of an existing order if its terms no longer fit your family’s needs.

An Anderson family law firm can help regardless of your goal for custody. Call Steele Family Law today to schedule a consultation.

How Does South Carolina State Law Define Child Custody Rights?

State law defines child custody in two ways. First, the responsibility of providing a safe place for a child to live and caring for their physical, emotional, and social needs daily is called physical custody. Legal custody, on the other hand, grants a parent or guardian the right to decide on a child’s behalf regarding their educational or religious upbringing, medical care, and extracurricular activities.

How parents share custody is another matter. Splitting the decision-making authority is known as “joint legal custody,” and housing the child in both parents’ homes equally is known as “joint physical custody.” When the court designates one parent as the primary custodial parent, they will have the child living with them most of the time.

A non-custodial parent is usually granted visitation rights (i.e., “parenting time”) as long as their parental rights are not terminated or the child (if they are of a certain age) does not explicitly object to parenting time with one parent. A Greenville child custody attorney could explain child custody rights in greater detail and help a parent pursue an arrangement that suits their preferences and their child’s needs.

How Custody Decisions in Anderson Are Made

South Carolina Code of Laws §63-15-240 lists several factors a court must consider when determining what kind of custody agreement would best serve a child’s interests and ensure their healthy development.

These factors include:

  • The emotional and physical health of the child and their parents
  • The child’s relationship with their parents
  • Whether the child has already adjusted to a particular home, neighborhood, or school
  • Pre-existing relationships with family members
  • Each parent’s capacity to be involved in their child’s life and provide a safe and supportive home
  • Whether both parents are willing to work together for their child’s benefit

A child custody lawyer in Anderson or Greenville can help an individual parent emphasize one or more of these factors in pursuit of a preferable custody distribution.

During a Divorce

During divorce proceedings, a parent will be chosen to have legal, physical, or both forms of custody of the child or children. This will occur alongside a decision for visitation rights, child support payments, and other responsibilities, so it is crucial to have timely and relevant responses.

Unmarried Parents

Currently, the default legal custody of the child in the state of South Carolina is with the mother. That’s why unmarried fathers must establish legal paternity to secure custody rights. Unless legal paternity has been established, an unmarried father cannot enforce any of his parental rights.

Nonparental Custody Decisions

There are two ways a non-parental custody decision is made in Anderson. First, if both parents have been proven to be unfit to care for their child, there is an opening for another person to fight for custody. Second, if the child is currently being taken care of by a non-parent and has a significant, positive relationship with that person, there is an opening for that person to be awarded custody.

Talk to an Anderson Child Custody Attorney Today

Child custody cases can be some of the toughest, most emotional cases handled by a local family court. Having a compassionate legal advocate by your side can be an enormous relief during a difficult custody battle. A qualified Anderson child custody lawyer could help you through this case, determine the most realistic options, and give you the support and resources you need to make the best decision. Call or schedule an appointment with a Greenville family law attorney at Steele Family Law for skilled legal representation or practical legal counsel.

Steele Family Law serves communities all throughout South Carolina, including Anderson, Greenville, and Greenville County.

The Process

Success for you and your family will be different. We want to serve you with care specific to what you need. That begins with knowing the beginning and desired outcomes. This allows us to navigate the journey – so you do not have to.

1. Get Prepared

Talk to the intake team to get ready to get together. Gather your documents and pertinent information. We are looking forward to meeting you!

2. Share Your Life

No matter the legal matter, we want to know about you and how we can help support you and your family.

3. Chart A Course

After our discussion, we will collaborate with you for a direction to strategically navigate your circumstance and move you toward your goals.

4. Advocate For You

Your family is our business and your best interest is our concern during this time where we find the best outcomes for you and your family through mediation or family litigation (sometimes both).

5. Turn The Page

Even after your Family Law matter is resolved, we are here as a member of the community and asset whenever you need us in the next chapter of your journey.

You Choose How Things Get Better

Anxiety-Fueling Fear About What’s Next OR Clarity and Peace Through The Process

Angry Arguments About Parental Time OR Happy and Healthy Co Parenting

Fighting, Feuding, and Bitterness OR Moving On and Getting Better

Trapped, Caught, and Afraid OR Confident, Cared For, Supported

We can help
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What our Clients Say

FAQ: Child Custody in Anderson, SC

How is visitation decided in South Carolina?
If I have custody of my child, can I move out of state with them?
Does my child have a say in who they live with?

Areas Served

  • Anderson
  • Allendale
  • Belton
  • Centerville
  • Central