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Factors that need consideration when establishing child custody

When parents decide that a divorce is the best option, there are many issues that need to be resolved. The most important one is settling on the best plan for child custody. In most cases, South Carolina families are encouraged to work out a suitable parenting plan on their own if possible.

When it comes to custody, parents are usually in the best position to decide what arrangements will work for their family. Parents can decide details as to where a child lives and how expenses will be met. Unfortunately, parents are not always capable of arriving at a plan on their own and may need the matter settled by a family court.  

When it is up to the courts to determine custody, there are many factors that will be taken into consideration. The first of which include the fitness and ability of either parent to provide for the child's ongoing needs and the strength and depth of the parental-child bond. In addition, the ability and willingness of each parent to encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent will be examined. Other relationships that are important to the child and the attachment and ties that a child has to a certain location may be taken into consideration. 

While the preferences of a child can and will be heard by the court, a child under the age of 12 may have little say as to which parent will be the primary guardian. Even when a child is age 12 or older, the court is not bound to the wishes of said child if it is determined that a different arrangement provides a more stable environment. The matter of child custody is one of the most important decisions that parents will face. South Carolina residents are encouraged to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to find the best solutions for their family.

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