When you are a father seeking custody of your children, you may be worried that the courts will see you as an unfit parent simply because you aren't the child's mother. Single fathers face the stereotype of being incompetent parents, unable to dress the kids properly and clueless when it comes to feeding their child healthy food.
Absolutely, and the court system believes so too. While in past years the "Tender Years Doctrine" existed in South Carolina, which made the bogus presumptions that children were better off with their mother in their younger years, this doctrine is now gone. Supported by recent case law in 2010, the "Tender Years Doctrine" is no longer considered when decisions regarding custody are discussed. Both parents in the State of South Carolina have the same rights, and are considered equally capable to parent the children at the start of a custody proceeding.
Fathers have rights to parent their young children, and only an unfit parent is going to have their rights taken away.
The husband is the legal father of all children born in a marriage. If you were not married, you can establish paternity either by both parents voluntarily agreeing that you are the father, or by having a DNA test done. If both parents agree on paternity, a Voluntary Paternity Agreement is signed by both parties in front of a notary. This allows the father's name to be on the birth certificate. If both parents can't agree on paternity, the father can request a DNA test either through child protective services or through the court system.
Once you establish that you are the biological father of a child, you will have both the rights and responsibilities that come along with being a legal parent.
The biggest aspect of all child custody agreements is what is in the best interests of the children. Fathers are wonderful parents, and at The LaMantia Law Firm, we understand. We are here to help you get the custody that you deserve. We are all parents, and we know that you want to be with your children as much as possible.
Every grandparent looks forward to spending precious time with their grandchildren – and most feel like they've earned that right. Sometimes, though, extenuating family circumstances create a situation in which grandparents like you are kept from seeing their grandchildren as often as they would like, if at all.
At The LaMantia Law Firm, we know how important grandparents are to kids, and how special time shared between grandparents and grandkids can be. We understand, and we are here to help.
In South Carolina, the Family Court may order visitation periods for grandparents of a minor child in cases in which either or both of that child's parents are deceased, or even if the parents are divorced or living apart.
Generally, in order for the Court to find in favor of grandparent visitation, there must be a written finding that such visitation would be in the best interests of the child, and would not interfere with the existing parent-child relationship. The Court will also consider the nature of the relationship between the child and the grandparents prior to the commencement of the legal proceedings, particularly whether the grandparents assumed the role of a parent for any reason or period of time.
The law on grandparent visitation is evolving rapidly in South Carolina, and in many ways the Palmetto State is more progressive than many of its counterparts. Call our office for a free initial consultation.