South Carolina Child Custody Questions & Answers

Q: My ex is the custodial parent, I’m suffering hardships; loss of job, He equates visitation by support payments, can he?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for South Carolina on
Answered on Nov 26, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
Support and visitation are separate issues. If he is violating a provision of a court order, you can file a rule to show cause to compel compliance with the order.

Q: What is the punishment for 3rd offense shoplifting? Also what would be the best case scenario for the defendant?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Oct 30, 2018
Stephen Grooms' answer
A shoplifting 3rd offense is a 0-10 year felony. The State must prove the prior convictions are proper enhancement convictions. For example whether or not she had an attorney could mean the prior conviction can not be used to enhance this current charge. Even if the necessary prerequisites convictions are in place, it seems like your mother has a fair amount of mitigating circumstances that could yield some leniency from the Court. That's assuming pleading guilty is in her best interests. I...

Q: Do my boyfriend and I have to be married in order for him to adopt my son and get full custody?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Adoption for South Carolina on
Answered on Oct 19, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
A spouse of a biological parent can adopt that parent's child, but I don't know of a situation where a boyfriend adopted a child. The point of adoption a step-parent adoption is to provide two parents in a stable home for a child. A marriage shows a commitment between two people and a common intent to be a family. Two people living together shows neither of these things. As part of the adoption process, the biological father's parental rights would have to be terminated either with by his...

Q: I have daughter with a man I was with for 5 years but not married to. I want to move with her out of state. Process?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Oct 11, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
You question does not state whether there has been previous family action, so I am assuming there has not. Your question doesn't state how long your daughter has been living with the father. I'm assuming she and he are in South Carolina. You would have to file a case in family court seeking the establishment of paternity as to the father and custody of your daughter. The case would have to be filed in the state that is the child's home state under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and...

Q: Son lives in Connecticut with his mother and he wants to stay with me but his mother isn't allowing this. What can i do

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Oct 8, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
Your question doesn't state whether there is a South Carolina court order granting custody to the mother and, if so, whether you still live in the county where the order was issues, and whether the mother ever registered the order in Connecticut. And your questions does not state the age of your son. Those are all important facts to know and discuss with a lawyer in your area.

Q: I have kids with my ex bf we were never married. He sees the kids whenever he wants too. Can I file for child support?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for South Carolina on
Answered on Sep 29, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
Putting someone's name on a birth certificate only raises a rebuttable presumption that the person named is the biological parent. For a child born out of wedlock, the mother's paternity is accepted since she gave birth to the child, but the father's paternity has to be established in a court proceeding. Until then, the father has no legal rights. His paternity can be established in a child support case, but you will not be granted legal custody if all you're seeking is child support. You...

Q: I have been married in South Carolina have 2 children 8 and 6. I want to leave my husband

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Divorce and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Sep 28, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
Under South Carolina law, if you move out of the marital home and leave your children with your husband you increase the chance that he will be awarded temporary custody of the children if he files for divorce or separate support and maintenance. It's best to plan your move, get a place to live and take your children with you when you go then file a case in family court.

Q: I’m having a baby with another man but plan on marrying my current fiancé of 7 years does that terminate bio dads right

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Answered on Sep 9, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
Marriage to someone other than the putative father does not terminate his parental rights. As for adoption, the putative father's parental rights must be terminated as part of the adoption case. Under South Carolina law, if a parent fails to support or visit a child for a continuous six month period, that can be grounds to terminate that parent's parental rights. However, the failure to visit or support cannot be the result of refusal to accept support or allow visitation on the part of the...

Q: I am trying to see what forms I need to file I have sole physical custody and my ex has visitations for summers

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for South Carolina on
Answered on Sep 5, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
Your question doesn't say if you have a court ordered custody. If you have a court order granting you custody and setting out the mother's visitation rights, you can file a Rule to Show Cause. That form can be obtained from the clerk of court's office in the family court. The Rule to Show Cause action would be to ask the court to hold the mother in contempt of court for not returning the child and to take steps to return the child to you. If you don't have court ordered custody, you need to...

Q: Can I require my ex-wife to move my son from Montessori to Traditional? She has educational decisions, but nothing else.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Aug 23, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
If you ex-wife has the authority to make educational decisions pursuant to a court order, you would have to file a new court case seeking to modify that provision of the order. Modifications cases all have the same requirement which is a showing that there has there been a substantial change in circumstances since the previous court order that warrants the modification.

Q: I left my child's father (unmarried) and moved to SC after my son was attacked by his pitbull. Can I file in SC?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Answered on Jul 12, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
Your question does not state whether there has been prior child support or custody court action in Virginia. If there has been, Virginia has continuing jurisdiction. If there has been no prior court action, Virginia will still be considered the child's home state under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act because that is where the child has been living prior to your move to South Carolina. The child would need to live in South Carolina for at least six months before a custody case could...

Q: Can I legally move my son out of state without his father's consent? We were never married.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Jun 20, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
A child born out of wedlock is presumed to be the child of the mother, but the father's paternity has to be established in a family court case in order for him to assert his parental rights. A father whose parental rights have not been judicially established has no say concerning the child. Having said that, nothing prevents a father from filing an action in family court to have his paternity declared and to seek custody or visitation with the child even after the mother has moved.

Q: What kind of rights does my child’s father have if we never married

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for South Carolina on
Answered on May 24, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
An unwed father's paternity, and therefore his parental rights, has to be established by a family court order even if his name is on the birth certificate. Paternity will be the first issue that will need to be addressed in an initial child support, visitation or custody case. Paternity can be established as easily as having the father and mother admitting in court that he is the father. If there is a dispute as to paternity, DNA testing can be done.

Q: My daughter has a child with a man she does not want to marry because he’s a drunk w/ potty mouth. Can she get custody?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for South Carolina on
Answered on Apr 14, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
Your daughter can file for an order of protection through family court to ask the court to order him out of her house, to grant a restraining order, to grant her custody of her daughter and child support. The petition for an order of protection can be obtained from the family court clerk of court's office.

Q: if a temp. custody order was granted and the case was dismissed ... shouldnt i have my child back

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Apr 14, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
The better approach would be to file a case in family court seeking return of your daughter and dismissal of child support action and naming grandmother and SCDSS as defendants

Q: My soon to be 4 yr old son's biological father has never been present in his life. He didnt sign the birth certificate.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Mar 27, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
The father may be willing to sign a consent to relinquish his parental rights in turn for the dismissal of his child support obligation. Alternatively, the grounds to terminate parental rights is if the father has failed to visit or support the child for six months, but the failure to visit or support cannot be because you prevented visitation or support. You will need a lawyer to help you with a consent or a termination.

Q: Where do you file for a childs name change, birthplace or state of residency?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for South Carolina on
Answered on Mar 11, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
Virginia has continuing jurisdiction because the custody order was issued there. You can register your custody order in family court in the county where you live and ask the court to take jurisdiction which would then allow you to file for a name change in that county. Having South Carolina take jurisdiction would also allow you to enforce and/or modify your custody order in South Carolina, if that need arose. You will need a lawyer to help you do this.

Q: I was told I can either willingly sign over my rights to my kids and get visitation or fight it and not see them,

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Feb 13, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
A written consent to terminate parental rights must state that you are signing over your rights freely and voluntarily AND a lawyer must review the consent with you and explain your rights before you sign and your consent must be witnessed. You mention nothing about how your sister came to have custody or about the court order that granted your sister custody. Custody orders typically address what visitation the non-custodial parents has. If you were granted visitation by the court, you can...

Q: can my sister force me to sign over my rights even if she has custody?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Answered on Feb 8, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
No, to relinquish parental rights, the law requires that the relinquishing parent be represented by a lawyer in executing the relinquishment document and the relinquishment must be voluntary.

Q: dss closed my case in 2015. my mother has custody. does courts ruling of supervised visits still apply?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Answered on Feb 8, 2018
Cheryl Ann Truesdale's answer
The Court's order will remain in full force and effect until it is replaced by a subsequent order modifying it. Child custody, visitation and child support are always modifiable if either party petitions for a modification AND if the evidence presented shows that there has been a circumstantial change in circumstances, since the prior order, that warrants a modification.

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