Beaufort Visitation Lawyer
The law continuously affirms the involvement of both parents in their children’s lives. As such, even if a judge grants one parent primary custody, the other parent typically receives court-ordered contact referred to as visitation.
If you need to ensure that you maintain contact with your child after a divorce or separation, a skilled Beaufort visitation lawyer stands ready to assist you. Because our dedicated child custody attorneys are familiar with these cases, they could help you secure and enforce your right to visit your child.
Child Access for Beaufort Parents
Every parent is entitled to visits regardless of which parent has legal or physical custody of their shared child. State law provides that a noncustodial parent have a minimum amount of parenting time, also known as standard visitation. Some of the common terms in a standard visitation order include:
- Alternating weekends and one evening per week
- Time on or around major holidays, including Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day
- Shared time with the child on religious holidays
- A minimum of four weeks during the summer
- Shared time on the child’s birthday
- Reasonable telephone and email contact between the child and the noncustodial parent
- Access for both parents to special events in the child’s life, such as bar mitzvahs, sports activities, and dance recitals
- Provisions for pick up and drop off of the child for visitation
Depending on the case’s circumstances, a judge could order more than the mandated minimum visitation, but not less. To deviate from the standard schedule, a parent must demonstrate why additional visitation would be in their child’s best interests. A noncustodial parent seeking to maximize their legal time with their child should discuss their situation with a knowledgeable attorney in Beaufort.
Enforcing Visitation Orders in Family Court
Because of the strong emphasis on a child having an ongoing relationship with both parents, judges take violations of these orders very seriously. A parent who disregards a court order for parenting time faces contempt of court charges. A parent who cannot secure the other’s compliance with the court-ordered visitation schedule can file a petition for contempt in family court.
If found in contempt, the offending parent could spend up to one year in jail and face fines and community service. Additionally, a judge may order them to pay the other party’s legal fees for filing and pursuing the contempt action. A parent needing to petition for contempt or defending against a contempt action is well-advised to seek guidance from a Beaufort visitation attorney.
Visitation Rights for Grandparents
Similar to noncustodial parents, grandparents also have a statutory right to contact their grandchildren. However, unlike parents, grandparent visitation is highly restricted if the child’s parents object to it.
South Carolina Code of Laws § 63-3-530 (A) (33) states a judge can grant a grandparent the right to see their grandchild if the child’s parents are deceased, divorced, or living separately. A court must also find that the child’s parents have unreasonably deprived the grandparents of visitation for at least 90 days. Visitation can be awarded if it does not interfere with the parent-child relationship.
If requesting to visit a child, a grandparent must overcome the legal presumption that the parents make decisions in their children’s best interests. This is a challenging standard, and a grandparent seeking court-ordered time with their grandchild could benefit by consulting an experienced Beaufort attorney.
Call a Beaufort Visitation Attorney Today to Learn More
Spending quality time with your children or grandchildren forms the basis of your future relationship with them. If that time is restricted or prevented entirely, you and your child may suffer.
A Beaufort visitation lawyer could help you develop a parenting plan that works for you and your family. The caring legal team at Schiller & Hamilton has years of experience in presenting visitation issues in family court. They could help you present your request for substantial and ongoing contact with your child effectively. Call our office today to learn more.