Charlotte, NC asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina

Q: Can someone be charged with custodial interference if there is no court order?

I was charged with custodial interference after refusing to return my child to her mother due to the mother not properly caring for my child. There was no court ordered custody and I signed the birth certificate, so I was under the impression that I had the right to keep my child in my care while filing for custody.

1 Lawyer Answer
Cheryl Ann Truesdale
Cheryl Ann Truesdale
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Greenville, SC
  • Licensed in South Carolina

A: In South Carolina, signing a birth certificate provides merely rebuttable evidence that the signer is the biological father of a child born out of wedlock. The putative father's paternity must be established in a family court hearing, before he is legally recognized as the father and before he can legally exercise visitation or seek custody of the child. Until then, the putative father has no legal rights in the child. If, however, the mother brought a child support case against the putative father and child support was ordered, his paternity would have been established in that case.

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