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South Carolina Child Custody – Laws Concerning Parenting Plans and Custody Agreements

Title 20 in the South Carolina Code of Laws contains the rules that guide domestic relations. Under this section, the state has child custody laws that govern the custodial proceedings. Parents in South Carolina must become familiar with these laws as they create a custody agreement. The custodial agreement must be accepted by the court, and in order for that to happen, the agreement must follow the law. Here are some of the laws that parents need to know for their parenting plans.

Section 20-7 in the code used to contain what was called The Children's Code. This code contained the law that the reasonable preference of the child should be taken into consideration when making the customs agreement. This means that what the child wants is important to the court. Weight was given to the preference of the child according to the child's age and maturity. This law has recently been repealed, however, parents should still consider aspects of it. If the child is old enough and mature enough to have a reasonable opinion about custody and visitation, that should be reflected in the parenting plan.

Section 20-3-160 of the law concerns the care and maintenance of the child. This is essential to the parenting plan, because the plan is how the parents plan to continue to care and provide for the child. This section of the code gives authority to the court to make decisions about the care, custody, and maintenance of the children after the parents separate. The court can make these decisions at any time after the separation, and they can also revise a previous order. The law states that the court must make these decisions in the best spiritual and other interests of the child.

Because the court must make every decision based on what is best for the children, parents need to make this the focus of the customs agreement. The parents need to create a custody and visit schedule that allows the child to have significant time with the mother and father. The schedule should also allow the child to participate in the community and other social events as the child wishes. If a mother and father make an agreement that suits the child, the court will accept it. Once the court has accepted the custody agreement, it becomes the custodial order and it is a legally binding document. The parents must abide by the order or they can be held in contempt of court.

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