Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What does Joint Custody mean?

Joint custody can be defined in many ways and should be detailed in a Custody Order. In many cases, parents share joint custody with one of the parents as the primary custodian. In this case, the child lives primarily with the primary custodial parent and that parent makes the primary decision regarding the child's care and well being. The secondary custodian can usually make decisions when the primary custodial parent is unavailable, such as a needed medical treatment consent or decision needed by the child when the primary custodial parent can't be located. The important thing to remember is that there is no one answer. The Custody Order dictates each situation and the terms of custody can be modified as the parents see fit or as needed.

Call an attorney today to discuss your custody options.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Facebook - Friend or Foe?

As a Divorce lawyer, I have had many clients bring me evidence of a spouse's or opposing party's bad or contradictory behavior obtained from a posting on Facebook. Over the past several months I have come across many cases where a party will post things on Facebook that contradicts their statement, complaints or other documents filed in a Divorce or Custody case. This recent article highlights potential pitfalls of posting Facebook when going through a legal matter in Family Court? I would love to get your input as to any similar experience you may have had or whether you think this type of information should be allowed? Your comments are welcome.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When is Custody Established? Rights and Duties of Parents

A lot of people wonder who has custody when a child is born and what are the rights of the mother and father, particularly if they are not married or living together. Many times Fathers want to know their rights and wonder if they have any rights. Unless otherwise determined by Court, South Carolina (§ 63-5-30) spells out the rights of the biological parents of a child.

According to the statute,

"[t]The mother and father are the joint natural guardians of their minor children and are equally charged with the welfare and education of their minor children and the care and management of the estates of their minor children; and the mother and father have equal power, rights, and duties, and neither parent has any right paramount to the right of the other concerning the custody of the minor or the control of the services or the earnings of the minor or any other matter affecting the minor. Each parent, whether the custodial or noncustodial parent of the child, has equal access and the same right to obtain all educational records and medical records of their minor children and the right to participate in their childrens' school activities unless prohibited by order of the court. Neither parent shall forcibly take a child from the guardianship of the parent legally entitled to custody of the child."

For more information on your rights, consult an attorney regarding your specific situation.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When Should you get your Legal Fees paid during Divorce?

When is it appropriate to be awarded your legal fees and costs from the opposing party in your Divorce case? Judges have the discretion, subject to certain factors and considerations. Get a professional opinion regarding your case.

What constitutes Equitable Division?

South Carolina courts have determined that equitable division of the marital estate needs to be "appropriate." But what is appropriate in the eyes of the law? There is a trend in courts for an equal apportionment of marital property. While it is in the discretion of the Judge, there are several factors that should be considered including the length of the marriage, fault of parties, assets and debts, etc. Take a look at this case for more information.

Appointed Counsel in Child Support Cases?

While Courts appoints counsel in abuse and neglect cases involving the Department of Social Services, should they do the same for Child Support Contempt cases?