16 Aug Relocation and South Carolina Child Custody
One of the most unfortunate aspects of a divorce is that inevitably one or both spouses will have to relocate from the family home. When the divorce involves a child, the issue of relocation can be a thorny subject. Since the parents are no longer together, the question of child custody is often center at the divorce proceedings. Where the parents live after the divorce is often a major consideration that can have severe impacts on who obtains custody of the child once the divorce is finalized.
The Best Interests of the Child Come First
As we have discussed before on this blog, when determining child custody in South Carolina, family courts will look to what is in the best interests of the child to determine what type of custody is awarded, and to whom. While it is essentially a totality of the circumstances test, considering all relevant factors, some factors may be more important than others. One of the most important factors that a family court judge will consider is the location of the parents after the divorce.
This may not be an issue in your divorce if both parents plan to stay in essentially the same location—i.e., the same town, region or school system. However, after a divorce, many divorcees may be looking for a change of scenery to get a fresh start on life. If you have kids and are seeking custody of your children, this can be a major issue.
When awarding child custody in South Carolina, the courts will consider whether or not you will be uprooting your child from his or her current life. Generally, the courts believe that it is in the best interest of the child to have a stable lifestyle in the same community that they are familiar with. This means that in the eyes of the court, it is typically considered preferable for the child to continue going to the same school, the same religious institution, see the same people and keep the same friends over having to move to somewhere new and restart their life.
A parent who is unable to keep the child in the same geographical location that they have grown accustomed to may have a harder chance of getting a favorable child custody agreement than a parent who can. This is not limited to newly divorced couples either. It can be difficult for a parent with an established child custody agreement to maintain custody of their child if they seek to relocate the child away from their familiar home, especially if the other parent does not wish for the child to relocate.
Get Help from a South Carolina Child Custody Attorney
Child custody agreements are complicated even without throwing in the uncertainty of moving away from your child in the future. If you are seeking to relocate in the future, it is imperative to understand how it may affect your child custody agreement and what steps you can take to help ensure that the impact it has is minimal. The experienced South Carolina child custody attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC in Mt. Pleasant can help you.
Contact us today for assistance with your case.