Separation can be painful for all involved, but as a parent, you’ll naturally want to put the interests of your children above anything else. The process of deciding the custody arrangements between two parents can be long, complicated and dependant on a huge variety of factors.
These arrangements are often decided by a custody court order. In these, a judge will prescribe child visitation agreements in a legal arrangement. These arrangements will be shaped by local custody laws and will determine how much time each parent spends with their child.
Courts tend to use a standard visitation schedule for most cases. Here’s what yours will most likely look like.
Why a Custody Court Order?
A custody court order comes from a judge. While these are common for separated parents, they will only occur in certain circumstances. Typically, a custody court order is used when parents cannot agree on a custody or visitation arrangement among themselves.
If this is the case, the court will tend to use a standard schedule for each family, which details the visitation orders each parent will have to comply with. This depends largely on custody laws in your state, but it can be tweaked to accommodate different cases.
Who Receives Custody?
In any child custodial arrangement, there will almost always be one parent who enjoys primary custody of the child, at least in practice. Joint custody may, in theory, allow for each parent to be with their child 50% of the time, but for practical reasons, this is rarely the case.
In South Carolina, the law used to automatically award sole custody to the mother of the child. However, this has since been repealed, meaning that fathers are as equally entitled to custody as the mother is.
The state of South Carolina actively encourages joint custody and child visitation arrangements in most cases.
What Does a Standard Visitation Schedule Look Like?
Visitation orders do vary from state to state but are mostly similar across the board.
In South Carolina, the standard schedule will dictate that the non-custodial parents will receive the child every other weekend, from Friday to Sunday evening.
They may also be entitled to have the child during the week for one evening, usually a Wednesday, until 8 pm. This, again, is every other week. The non-custodial parent will also usually be entitled to have the child during the summer vacation period, for about 4 to 6 weeks at a time.
Holiday arrangements will alternate. Usually, each parent will take turns with the child on major holidays, changing after one year. Your custody orders will have arrangements in place for where the child is to be picked up, and which times are acceptable for both the parents and the children.
Please make sure to consult the laws in your local area regarding this.
If you’d like to learn more about how a custody court order will affect you or any other legal matters regarding your rights and obligations as a parent, then don’t hesitate to get in touch today.