What happens when a parent cannot care for his or her child and the other parent is not available to help by taking primary custody of the child? Maybe the grandparents or another relative is able to help out and is willing to take custody. Certainly an order where the parent(s) consent to a change in custody would be appropriate under the circumstances. This types of arrangement is called in loco parentis, which is latin for “in the place of a parent”. S.C. Code Ann. § 63-3-530(A)(20) enables a court to enter a custody order to any parent or any third party. To be sure, the parent does not give up his parental rights, however, any custodial rights will be controlled by the custody order. But what of the parents’ legal custody of the child? What about physical custody of the child?
Terms Of Custodial Arrangement
Legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions on behalf of the minor child. This includes things such as religious training, elective surgery, extracurricular activities, and other educational issues. Legal custody does not require the parent to care for the child day-to-day. With modern technology, the parent can attend to these issues from anywhere on the planet.
Physical custody, as its name implies, refers to the individual who is responsible for the child’s well-being on a day-to-day basis. Of course, the individual with physical custody will be the parent or other relative with whom the child will live.
In some cases, custody may be revoked from a parent for a period of time, and awarded to a third party. When a parent is once again able to care for his or her children, the parties can agree to modify the terms and diminish the rights of the third party or even vacate the previous custody order in its entirety. What if the third party decides not to cooperate? What if the third party believes that the child’s best interest is to remain with him or her? To modify any custodial order, other than by consent, the party seeking the modification must prove that there is a substantial change in circumstances. The change must be sufficient to show that the child’s best interest will be served by the change. It must be change that affects the welfare and interests of the child, not the custodial parties. The change must occur after the date of the most recent child custody order.
If you are looking to create a custody order granting custody to a third party or perhaps reunite with your child who is in the custody of a third party, you need a lawyer who has both your child’s and your best interest at heart. Attorney William Mayer, located in Laurens, South Carolina is experienced in these matters. If you or a loved one needs the guidance and skill in any family law matter and would like to speak with an attorney, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. To setup an appointment, William Mayer can be reached at (864) 984-9202.