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Questions about Sole Legal Custody Rights

In many cases of divorce, parents can feel unsure of their rights or the best legal recourse available to to provide for the best interest for their child. There can be arguments while deciding who the child to live with and who should have custody of the child. In situations where there is a fear of abuse or threat to the safety of the child, sole legal custody may be the best option. However, lack of awareness of the provisions of the law could lead to questions about child custody, like the ones answered below.

What is sole legal custody?

Sole legal custody is where one parent is granted guardian rights for the child. In sole custody cases one parent makes the decisions about the child, and his/her upbringing. The child also resides with that parent for majority of the time. In cases of sole legal custody, the non-guardian parent is usually allowed visitation and parenting time.

If a parent that has sole legal custody passes away, does the other parent automatically receive custody of the child?

In the event of the parent with custody passing away, the other parent usually does not automatically receive sole legal custody of the child. Custody passes to the other parent automatically only if a custody order stating is already in place that grants other parent custody in the event of the custodial parent’s death. In the absence of such an order, the non-guardian parent should file for custody of the child with the court so that an official order can be passed. The living parent may not be granted guardianship if the court deems that the parent is unfit, and not capable of caring for the child.

What are the rights of the parent having sole legal custody of a child, when the other parent does not meet the requirements of the court order?

If the other parent does not follow court orders, the custodial parent could file for contempt of court. This could result in a reduction or stopping of visitation rights. If there are grounds for seeking child support, you may also file for support along with contempt.

If the parents are not married, how can the mother petition for sole legal custody in South Carolina?

If the parents were never married, usually sole custody is awarded to the mother of the child, unless the father goes to court. For either parent to petition for sole legal custody, they may include the following in the petition:
• The child’s name, parents’ name and child’s date of birth
• Whether the father did or did not sign the birth certificate
• That the mother has physical custody of the child since birth, if that is the case
• Whether the father has had any contact or visitation with the child; indicate how much visitation there has been, when and whether it has been consistent

When dealing with child custody issues, the legal differences between sole legal custody and physical custody is not clear to some parents. Others may not even be aware that there is a difference. In the event of a separation or divorce, courts try to ensure the best interest of a child while granting custody. If a compelling case can be made about one parent not being fit for child custody, the other parent is often granted sole legal custody. When you are not sure of your rights, it is always best to get Experts to evaluate the particulars of your case and provide you with legal insights.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9139
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
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5 Family Lawyers are Online Now

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Recent Sole Legal Custody Questions

  • My wife and I have been married for 30 years and now live in

    My wife and I have been married for 30 years and now live in Vermont. We are both 57.
    We are divorcing and she stated she wants 1/2 of my salary.
    She has a business degree and has worked full time up until we had childtren and then part time for most of her life, She was mainly an at home mom that raised our childtren who are now 27 and 24 as we felt it was best for the children. She does not want to go back to work full time and has take a very low paying part time job as it is fun. $12 per hour verusus her recent accounting job at $20 per hour.
    How is alimony calculated in Vermont and is she entitled to 1/2 of the salary. It represents about $6,600 after taxes etc. but is $10,000 per month base salary before taxes, insurance, etc..
    I do not mind providing for her, but is she entitled to half of my salary or half of my take home pay or enough to keep her in her present lifestyle? in Vermont this would be less than the $3,300 per month as 1/2 of the take home pay?
    There is no infedelity, abuse, or other factors as the reason for the divorce.
  • I got a divorce in 2013, she was in mexico at the time so

    I got a divorce in 2013, she was in mexico at the time so she defaulted but in the best interest of my son I chose him to stay with her ( she lives in Tempe az I live in Illinois) we signed a joint parenting agreement that states the other parent can contact the child by phone but she is not answering my calls so I cant talk to him, I kept the call logs when I called her, and I call in reasonable times when she is home.
    I took my son back after visiting in the summer he was back for school it was on August 4 it is now October 20th and I have only talked to my son twice so far, at the time I made that decision that he be with her i thought maybe he needs his mother for a year or two more but she has no time for him, he is basically being raised by after school care and baby sitter, he is 5, can I change that (since it was my decision regarding this issue and she defaulted) to were I get custody of my son and she gets visitation?
  • My boyfriend is divorce and live in MA had 2 children in

    My boyfriend is divorce and live in MA had 2 children in joint custody. I live 25 miles away in CT we are in relationship for more then 2.5 years. My boyfriend X wife told him he cant take the children across state line and stay over night in my home, he can lose the children custody over doing so. we are talking about Friday night dinner and staying over night when it is his parenting time and bring the children back to her in time. is this a problem ?

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