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Child Custody

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Established Mount Pleasant Lawyers Manage Child Custody Disputes

Knowledgeable counsel for custody and visitation matters

Child custody is one of the most difficult issues a parent faces during divorce. At Barker Family Law, our child custody attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights to raise your child in a healthy, thriving environment. Our attorneys represent parents in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties in all aspects of child custody and visitation.

Types of child custody

South Carolina recognizes two types of child custody:

  • Legal custody — This refers to which parent will make important decisions that impact the child’s well-being, such as those related to education, medical and dental treatment, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. Legal custody can be sole (held by one parent) or joint (shared by both parents).
  • Physical custody — Physical custody refers to which parent the child will primarily live with. Typically the child lives primarily with one parent, the custodial parent, while the noncustodial parent has a right to reasonable visitation, unless that contact is deemed dangerous for the child.

Custody arrangements, including parenting time schedules for the noncustodial parent, can be negotiated or agreed on through mediation. If the family court decides the case, it will not only award custody but also will specify the overnight and visitation schedule. The attorneys at Barker Family Law work diligently to make sure your rights and your child’s welfare are considered in the court’s decision.

How South Carolina courts decide child custody

Under South Carolina law, family courts must determine the best interest of the child when awarding custody. The court often gives weight to the parent who has been the primary caregiver. The law requires the court to consider the following factors:

  • Temperament and developmental needs of the child
  • Parents’ ability to understand and meet the child’s needs
  • Child’s preferences
  • Parents’ wishes
  • Parents’ relationship with the child
  • Parents’ actions to encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • Parents’ manipulative, coercive or disparaging behavior
  • Parent’s ability to be actively involved in the child’s life
  • Child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community environments
  • Stability of the child’s existing and proposed residences
  • Mental and physical health of all individuals and ability to handle special needs
  • Child’s cultural and spiritual background
  • Any history of child abuse or domestic violence
  • Whether one parent has relocated more than one hundred miles from the child’s primary residence in the past year

Our attorneys are very familiar with these factors and know how to successfully advocate for parents seeking either sole or joint custody of their child after a divorce.

Child support in South Carolina

Child support is determined based on several factors relating to each parent:

  • Gross income from all sources
  • Daycare expenses
  • Insurance expenses
  • Other prior child support and alimony obligations
  • Physical custody of the child

We work hard to help our clients obtain fair child support payments that properly care for raising children. When circumstances change, we help clients obtain post-divorce modifications. Either parent can request a change to child custody or child support orders. The parent seeking the change must show a substantial change in circumstances to justify modification. In the case of child support, a substantial change includes losing a job, developing a medical condition or disability that limits the ability to work, or the child’s status.

We also assist clients in enforcing support orders when the parent ordered to pay child support fails to do so. The penalties for nonsupport are serious: they include automatic payroll deductions, seizure of bank accounts, and finding the parent in contempt of court, which could result in jail time.

Contact an experienced and reputable family law attorney in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Call Barker Family Law at 843-640-0532 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated family law attorney in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

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Our Office
  • Mount Pleasant Office
    1051 Chuck Dawley Boulevard
    Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
    Phone: 843-640-0532
    Fax: 843-310-1031
Client Distinction Award
Douglas Barker has received the 2015 Client Distinction Award from Martindale-Hubbell. This award is given only to lawyers who earn a Client Review Rating Score of 4.0 or higher (on a scale of 1-5). Less than 1% of the 900,000+ attorneys listed on Lawyers.com and Martindale.com earn this honor! Mr. Barker's rating actually exceeds the required 4.0, coming in at 5.0 out of 5.0.
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