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Who gets custody in a pending divorce?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2022 | Divorce

Divorce is often a challenging process, and couples with children will have to make arrangements for custody. Divorce-child custody impacts the entire family so it is important that the children are in the best environment for their growth and development. If you’re a South Carolina resident, here are some things to keep in mind about custody in the midst of your divorce.

Settling the custody issue

The divorce-child custody issue can take months or even years to settle in some cases. From the start of a divorce case, both parents have equal rights for custody if there is no prior agreement in place. Both parents also have visitation rights if there are no legal objections to either parent seeing their children regularly.

Going further in the divorce process

In situations where divorce is inevitable, it is best to seek legal counsel right away to learn more about child custody laws. State laws will determine which parent(s) will be awarded divorce-child custody rights.

Custody does not solely depend on the income of either parent. However, this factor is considered since financial stability can contribute to the well-being of the child. The rights of the stay-at-home parent who is not earning money could be based on that parent’s earning potential. Child support is usually requested from the higher-earning parent.

If a child is in the “tender years” and needs complete care, custody rights will likely be preferred for the child’s mother. However, once the child is old enough to discern the situation, the court will consider the child’s preferences when determining custody. The courts will also consider whether the child would more well-adjusted if they continue going to the same school or living in the same neighborhood. If the child wants to live with the parent who is moving out of the marital home, the courts will investigate to see if this is the best decision for the child.