Rights of Custody, Visitation and Child Support for "Unmarried Parents"
In South Carolina, if you have a child while you are not married, there are several matters, such as custody disputes, visitation and child support, which should be resolved in the Family Court.
One of the major issues with unmarried parents is until there is a court order, the father does not have any rights, nor does he have any obligation. During this period is when much strife develops between parties that are no longer together. It is important that the father bring a court action to assert his rights, or a mother bring a court action to establish all terms of custody, visitation and child support.
For the father to assert any rights he must first be determined to be the biological father. This can be done through a DNA test or by consent of the parties. Once that is done, then he may assert his rights as a father, including his right to custody or visitation.
The parent that receives physical custody, called the custodial parent, is then entitled to receive child support from the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is then able to assert his right to visitation with the minor child.
Once an Order is given by the Court, it is important to remember that if the non-custodial parent doesn't pay the child support, you cannot withhold the child from visitation. Likewise, if the custodial parent withholds visitation, the non-custodial parent cannot stop paying child support. There are other means to resolve these issues, such as a Rule to Show Cause / Contempt.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding The Parental Rights of Unmarried Individuals
Some of the other questions you may have for a family law attorney are:
- Who is required to provide health insurance?
- Who gets to claim the child on their taxes?
- Which parents are entitled to school/medical records?
- What happens if there is not a court order and one parent keeps the child from the other?
- Whose name is allowed to be placed on the child's birth certificate?
- How do the children become entitled to military dependent benefits?
The Law Office of Jim O'Connor can help you through all of these situations and can try to answer any additional questions you have during a free consultation.
Columbia Unmarried Parents Rights Lawyer
Located in Lexington, South Carolina, the Law Office of Jim O'Connor represents family law clients throughout the greater Columbia area. Contact my firm to schedule a free initial consultation with a Lexington County parental rights Lawyer.
Free initial consultation • Credit cards accepted • Available 24/7