If you’re scheduled to meet with a child custody attorney in Greenville, you want to make sure that you go in with some questions in mind. We always suggest that our clients write down some notes and questions before they come in to see us. This way, you make the most of your time with us and walk away feeling much more reassured about your case. Here, we’ll discuss some of the questions that you’ll want to ask your attorney when you first meet.
Whether you’re looking to establish your first child custody arrangement or want to modify an existing order, we have the best Greenville family lawyers working at our firm. They can explain how the process works and answer any questions you may have. They will also let you know about some of the challenges you may encounter along the way. If you have any questions about your own child custody case, feel free to contact our office and speak with one of our child custody attorneys in Greenville.
What is the Difference Between Physical and Legal Custody in South Carolina?
One of the things a lot of our clients ask us is what the differences is between physical and legal custody. Sometimes, when a parent hears a judge say that the other parent is being granted primary custody, they get scared. They assume that this means they won’t be able to see their children or have any say in the major decisions affecting their lives.
The truth is that primary custody simply refers to the parent who will have the children most of the time. In most of the custody arrangements we design, one parent typically has the children during the week and the other parent gets to see them on the weekends. While every case is different, this is the most common arrangement.
When you hear the judge refer to physical custody, they’re referring to the number of days and nights the children will spend with each parent. They’re also referring to which parents address the children will use for official purposes. When they speak of legal custody, they’re referring to the power each parent will have to make decisions on their child’s behalf. It is very unusual for a judge to grant one parent total legal custody. Even in cases where one parent is in jail, the judges are usually reluctant to strip them of their legal rights.
What Factors Help the Judge Determine Who Should Get Primary Custody?
When you first hire your child custody attorney in Greenville, they will explain to you what factors can impact your child custody rights. If there’s already a custody order in place, it will be very difficult to get that order changed. If, however, you’re still waiting to finalize your initial custody agreement, then you want to be mindful of the factors the judge will take into account. Some of these factors include:
- the parents’ work schedules
- the location of the children to school
- which parent takes care of their children’s primary needs
- where do the children’s friends and family live
- which home have the children lived in most of their lives
- which parent will have the available time to take care of the children
- each of the parent’s living situations
If you have a feeling that the judge may come down on you for any of these things, make sure you tell your child custody attorney Greenville. One of the reasons you hire the best Greenville family lawyer is to achieve the best outcome when it comes to custody.
Can My Child Custody Attorney in Greenville Get My Current Custody Arrangement Modified?
A lot of clients come to us because they want to change their existing custody arrangement. Usually, our clients are looking to have more time with their children. For example, if you currently only get to see your kids every other weekend, you may want to petition the court to get additional nights with your kids. Perhaps you want to have them every weekend. You may even want to petition the court to have them half the time. While these arrangements are not common, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
In order to convince the court that the current custody agreement should be changed, your child custody attorney in Greenville will have to show a substantial change in circumstances. Some of the following will be justifiable reasons to modify a custody arrangement:
- you used to work nights but have now gotten a full-time job during the day
- you lived in a one-bedroom apartment but now you have a single-family home
- you lived more than 30 miles away from the children’s school but have moved to be closer to their friends and family
- you had a substance abuse issue but have proved that you are now clean for over a year
When you first meet with your child custody attorney in Greenville, let them know what you want and how things have changed for you. They will need to put all this information into the certification they will attach to your motion.
How Does Child Custody Affect My Child Support Payments?
It is important to keep in mind that your child custody arrangement will impact the amount of child support you pay. Or, if you’re currently receiving child support from your ex, that amount could be increased or decreased based on the new custody arrangement.
In South Carolina, as in most states, child support is determined using the state’s child support guidelines. These guidelines consider several factors when determining how much child support will be owed. One of the important factors they consider is the number of nights the children will spend with each parent. If one parent has the children 2/3 of the time, they will be entitled to more child support than someone who only has their kids half the time.
One of the things the best Greenville family lawyers can share you is how your child support will be affected by any change in custody.
Contact One of the Best Greenville Family Lawyers Today
If you’re looking to establish a change in your child custody order, you should contact one of the best Greenville family lawyers you can find. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience handling child custody motions in South Carolina. We suggest you contact our office as soon as possible and scheduled time to come in and meet with one of our child custody attorneys in Greenville.