Does Fault in Divorce Effect Child Custody?

In South Carolina, the best interest of the child is the controlling factor in child custody determinations. Our family courts are routinely working with families in an effort to create child custody and visitation schedules that benefit both the parents and the child. Child custody should not be granted to reward or punish parents, but the fitness/unfitness of a parent or a parent’s ability to care for a child certainly play a role.

Typically, adultery does not have an impact on child custody determinations in South Carolina (other than in circumstances where the adultery directly effects the children).

Other fault-based grounds for divorce (i.e. Physical Cruelty, Habitual Drunkenness or Drug Abuse, and Desertion), however, can definitely impact a child custody determination. These fault-based factors often speak to characteristics of a parent that could be detrimental to a child’s welbeing. Sometimes, a parent exhibiting behaviors that would put a child at risk may be given an opportunity for rehabilitation in order to have a chance to regain custody or visitation rights. Courts can also place restraining orders on parental conduct to limit parent behavior and protect the best interest of the child. A parent who has previously been denied custody rights or has had their custody or visitation rights limited, may petition the court for a modification of child custody if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.

If you have questions about divorce, child custody, or visitation call our office to set up a free consultation.

Best Interest of Your Child

At Christophillis and Gallivan, we strive to help families develop custom child custody arrangements that fit your specific needs. Whether you are seeking an original custody order or a modification of your current custody situation, our attorneys work within the bounds of sole custody or shared custody arrangements to reach your goals.

 

South Carolina law, §63-15-240(B), requires the court to consider the best interest of the child in issuing an order for custody. The best interest of the child includes consideration of factors such as:

(1) the temperament and developmental needs of the child;
(2) the capacity and the disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child;
(3) the preferences of each child;
(4) the wishes of the parents as to custody;
(5) the past and current interaction and relationship of the child with each parent, the child's siblings, and any other person, including a grandparent, who may significantly affect the best interest of the child;
(6) the actions of each parent to encourage the continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, as is appropriate, including compliance with court orders;
(7) the manipulation by or coercive behavior of the parents in an effort to involve the child in the parents' dispute;
(8) any effort by one parent to disparage the other parent in front of the child;
(9) the ability of each parent to be actively involved in the life of the child;
(10) the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community environments;
(11) the stability of the child's existing and proposed residences;
(12) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability of a proposed custodial parent or other party, in and of itself, must not be determinative of custody unless the proposed custodial arrangement is not in the best interest of the child;
(13) the child's cultural and spiritual background;
(14) whether the child or a sibling of the child has been abused or neglected;
(15) whether one parent has perpetrated domestic violence or child abuse or the effect on the child of the actions of an abuser if any domestic violence has occurred between the parents or between a parent and another individual or between the parent and the child;
(16) whether one parent has relocated more than one hundred miles from the child's primary residence in the past year, unless the parent relocated for safety reasons; and
(17) other factors as the court considers necessary.

 

If you have questions about child custody or visitation, contact us to set up your free consultation.

Posted on March 11, 2015 and filed under Child Custody.

JUDGE BROWN'S STANDARD VISITATION SCHEDULE

Judge Brown's Standard Visitation Schedule is a child custody and visitation schedule that is commonly used in Greenville, South Carolina and surrounding areas. All family law attorneys in the Upstate should be familiar with Judge Brown's Standard Visitation Schedule as most attorneys use this as a basis to begin a discussion with their clients about child custody and visitation. At Christophillis & Gallivan, we like to work with our clients to customize visitation schedules to fit each family's specific needs. We will walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of using Judge Brown's Standard Visitation Schedule and restraining orders to see if this schedule is the right fit for your family.

 

Judge Brown's Standard Visitation Schedule

 

If you have any questions about child custody, please contact us for a free initial consultation.

The Cost of Divorce

One of the first questions we are asked in our initial consultations is "How much is a divorce going to cost me?" Our answer is and always will be the same...it depends on the specific facts. Each family is different and thus each divorce is different. So much will depend on the grounds for filing for divorce, whether children are involved, and the complexity of dividing the marital assets and debts.

Recently, we read an article written by Susan Caminiti on CNBC's Today show blog that echoed the same messages we often tell our clients.

See: http://www.today.com/money/how-get-divorced-without-breaking-bank-2D80482116

The more willing the parties are to compromise and fully disclose their information, the less expensive the divorce process can be.

The Today show article lists four major mistakes people make that can create more expensive legal fees, which include:

1) Fighting about minor parenting issues;

2) Not being flexible;

3) Treating your lawyers like a therapist; and

4) Not being financially prepared

At Christophillis & Gallivan, we work closely with our clients to ensure that each client's goals are fully heard and are kept as the focus of the case. Divorce is difficult and there is no easy road when it comes to your most personal issues. However, we expect the best from our clients and implore each and every client to stay focused on the big picture. We walk each client through the issues that commonly arise with divorce, child custody, child support, and division of assets. We firmly believe that the best resolutions are the ones that can be reached by compromise between the two parties

We want our clients to know that there is not a "one-size fits all" approach to the divorce process.  At the end of the day, our job is to help you through the divorce process and create a new "normal" that allows you to look towards the future with hope.

2014: A Year in Review

Wow....it's hard to believe that 2015 is in full swing already! Our team at Christophillis & Gallivan is working hard to make 2015 our best year yet. In doing so, we are also looking back at 2014 and the milestones we accomplished.

Undoubtedly, our biggest success in 2014 was the addition of our office manager, Barbara Rheney, and our certified paralegal, Stephanie Pauling. Both Stephanie and Barbara have enhanced our firm in countless ways and we are happy to welcome them both on board. One of the cornerstones of our business is our personal approach to each and every client and Barbara and Stephanie are always available to answer client questions.

Additionally, we welcomed our paralegal intern, Katie Tucker, to our firm this year. Katie is currently enrolled in the paralegal program at Greenville Technical College. Katie has been such an asset to our firm and we are thrilled she chose Christophillis & Gallivan for her internship.

We are proud that our firm was able to participate in several community charities and events this year. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of giving back to our Greenville community. Greenville has done so much for our firm, as well as so many other small businesses, and we hope to continue to give back to our amazing community each year.

Looking forward to 2015, our goal is to continue to focus on our core areas of practice: family law, will preparation, criminal law, and personal injury. Our attorneys are committed to providing quality service and attention to each of our clients. Stay tuned.....we are just getting started!