3 Details You Want in a Custody Agreement in South Carolina
Written by: Megan Dell
No two family situations are exactly alike, but there are certain details that should be included in every custody agreement in South Carolina or any state.
1. Which parent can make decisions about the child?
In South Carolina Family Court, there are generally four categories of major decisions that have to be made for each child: educational decisions, medical decisions, religious decisions, and extracurricular/social decisions.
A custody agreement should make clear which parent has the authority to make these decisions, including whether one parent has to consult with the other prior to making a decision.
Typically, parents with sole custody are permitted to make all major decisions for the child without being required to consult the other parent, but parents with joint custody must communicate about what they believe is best for the child before any decision can be made. The more specific a custody agreement can be about this process, the less confusion there is likely to be between the parents.
2. What is the schedule for dividing parenting time?
One of the biggest disagreements between people is when each parent will get to spend time with their children. Good parenting schedules take into account the work schedules of each parent, the age and needs of the child, and any anticipated changes that are likely to occur for the family.
There are as many different schedules as there are families, but each custody agreement should include the details of the schedule in language that cannot be misunderstood.
3. How will everyone communicate?
Each parent likes to have regular communication with his or her child so when a child has to change houses regularly, it is important to spell out how and when the child will communicate with the other parent. Things that must be considered are the age and schedule of the child, and whether using programs like Skype would provide for more meaningful communication.
It is also necessary that each parent knows how to communicate with the other and what information is required to be communicated.
A custody agreement does not necessarily follow a set mold, but these are details that should always be included to avoid future problems. A Family Court lawyer can help ensure that your custody agreement is crafted to meet the needs of your family.