Greenville Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody is usually one of the most contentious matters following a divorce in Greenville. This could be partly because of all the factors considered by the courts when deciding this issue. Overall, courts favor joint custody since it’s in the best interest of the child, which is their guiding principle.

Courts are in favor of children continuing to have meaningful and ongoing relationships with both parents even after divorce unless a specific reason would advise against it, such as an issue of domestic violence or abuse.

The Greenville child custody lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra understand the uncertainty and emotional turmoil that may surround a child custody matter. Such cases are often highly charged emotional battles.

Our approach is aimed at helping you understand how the process works and advising you each step of the way so that you can make informed decisions that are in the best interests of all concerned parties. Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney.

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Are There Different Types of Child Custody Agreements in Greenville, South Carolina?

Yes, there are two types of child custody agreements in Greenville, South Carolina. There’s legal custody and physical custody. They are further divided into joint legal custody, sole legal custody, joint physical custody, and sole physical custody. Let’s look at the different types of custody in greater detail below:

Legal Custody

Legal custody refers to a situation where a parent is given the right and responsibility to make major decisions in the child’s life, which includes decisions about the child’s education, decisions about medical treatment, decisions about religious instruction, decisions about extracurricular activities, and so on.

Legal custody can be given to either just one parent (sole custody) or it can be shared by both parents (joint custody). However, even in a just custody situation, the court might not always allow both parents to share all rights and responsibilities. One parent may be given the sole authority to make certain decisions, while the other is only allowed to make some decisions jointly.

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to the amount of time spent by the child with each parent, living in one home or the other. It is generally assumed that the mother is automatically given physical custody of young children, but this isn’t always the case. Custody is given to the parent found most suitable by the court.

Sole physical custody may not always be in the best interests of the child. It is usually only applied in situations whereby the other parent is proved to be harmful or dangerous for the child. It is more common for one parent to be given sole custody of the child with the other parent is given visitation rights.

If joint physical custody is awarded to both of the parents, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the child will be spending equal amounts of time with each parent. Rather, it means that the parenting time will be divided between both parents in a way that favors the best interests of the child.

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How is Child Custody Determined by South Carolina Family Courts?

The child custody laws across the country are aimed at upholding the child’s best interests and the laws in South Carolina are not an exception. In determining child custody, visitation, and support, family courts look at both parents’ willingness to create and continue a meaningful relationship with their children following a divorce.

By determining whether both parents will work together, the court decides whether sole physical custody or joint physical custody works best for the child. In most instances, family courts deem that joint physical custody is in the child’s best interests.

South Carolina family courts do everything possible to reduce the emotional impact of the child or children involved in custody battles. When determining the best interests of the child, the family court will consider the following:

Age and Desires of the Child

South Carolina judges will often consider the child’s preferences as a major factor as long as they display a distinguished level of maturity. However, parental stability and overall capacity to care for their children are still the most important factors.

Parental Stability

Parents with travel-heavy job obligations usually have a tough time securing sole physical custody when compared to parents with more regular 9-to-5 job obligations. Households with more ordinary and routine schedules are regarded as more stable and accommodating for children.

Capacity to Care for the Child

The mental and physical health of each parent. Parents that have serious mental health issues may be considered unfit to have sole physical custody of their children. Furthermore, a parent who cooperates with a fellow parent and the fellow parent’s family members is usually granted decision making over a parent that is confrontational and difficult to reason with.

Parental Criminal History

Family courts usually consider offenses related to drug use and violent behavior unfavorable for children. Such types of charges usually interfere with the ability of the parent to hold down a stable job, which is one of the key considerations when determining the capacity to take care of the child.

Positive Environment

The safety of each parent’s neighborhoods, proximity to good school districts, and proximity to other extracurricular activities are all factors that South Carolina family courts take into heavy consideration when determining custody.

The family courts in South Carolina will incorporate all the factors above into their decision on which parent is given which type of custody.

Can You Create a Child Custody Plan without Involving the Court in Greenville, South Carolina?


Yes. While the South Carolina family courts can and will rule on child custody arrangements, they usually prefer that parents work together to create a parenting plan on their own without actually involving the courts.

You can make a custody arrangement/parenting plan that shows how you would like to divide and share the custody, care, and maintenance of your child and the court has the authority to make that agreement a legally valid and enforceable custody order.

This can be accomplished either through alternative dispute resolution (ADR), mediation, or conventional court proceedings. During ADR or mediation, child custody details such as where the children will go to school, live, as well as the time shared between the two households are established by both parents.

Once your agreement is complete, you will have to submit it to the court for approval. If you want to ensure that the court adopts the custody arrangement, you must ensure that it is in the best interests of the child as explained above.

It is generally advisable to make every effort to work with the other plan to negotiate a child custody plan. Otherwise, it will be up to the courts to do it for you and you will most likely end up with the same generic agreement given to other families facing similar circumstances.

To create a child custody plan without involving the family court in Greenville County, you can always count on our experienced lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra. We will work with you to help reduce the stress that divorce and child custody proceedings have on your family to ensure a transition that’s as smooth as possible.

What if the Parents Cannot Agree on Any Aspect of Child Custody?

Child custody cases usually present special challenges that are almost always resolved through mediation and/or settlement conferences. If an agreement cannot be reached between parents, however, the issues of disagreement are presented to the court for it to decide.

Parents usually have widely different views on how to raise children. Who will be their doctors? Which schools will they attend? Which extracurricular activities will they take up? What religious faith will they follow? etc.

Often, when parents are busy arguing about whose parenting style is best, the best interests of the child are often ignored. However, it is always important for parents to always work in the best interests of the child and to protect them.

If parents cannot agree on any aspect of child custody, they can always come to experienced child custody lawyers such as those at Hernandez & Cabra who can provide legal solutions that guide them to an agreement.

The process might take time, but the focus should at least shift back to the children and what’s in their best interests, which ultimately, means having both parents in their lives when they can provide healthy support for the growth of their children.

Whether you and your fellow parent agree on child custody matters or have many areas of contention that prevent you from reaching an agreement, our Greenville child custody lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra will work hard to reach an agreement that works for you and your family.

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Let Our Greenville Child Custody Lawyers Work for You!

Child custody matters can be both emotional and logistically complicated, so having a lawyer on your side with a good understanding of the law can make a huge difference in the outcome of your child custody case outcome.

To learn more, please get in touch with our Greenville child custody lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra today for a confidential consultation.

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