Q: Can South Carolina require an Unwed mother to return to the state with children after she has already moved?
My wife and I have 2 children from her previous relationship. The father and her never married, under SC code 63-17-20 states that custody is solely the natural mothers. We have tried to work with the father to work out visitation with a court case in SC where she currently resided with children. For what ever reason the father has refused to turn in documentation and since the case has gone past a year the case is being dismissed. We never made it to mediation. My wife and I are confused to this process as we were trying to setup a schedule. Now the case has been dismissed we are being told he does not have ANY custodial right and can not limit her moving into GA 4 hours away. We fear that he will re-file for visitation/custody and force the kids back to SC. We are not trying to stop visitation and we have come up with several plans and the father refuses to mediate or discuss them at all. Can his refusal to move forward with previous case be used to help us in GA.
A: She can move. It's unlikely the court will make her move back. In fact, the court can't tell anyone to move. The court just awards custody to either party. However, she should inform him of the move, give an address of where she will be living and offer to make arrangements for him to see the kids if they have had a regular schedule in the past. That will help her if he does file a case in Georgia.
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