Does the Court favor the mother over the father in child custody cases?

Does the Court favor the mother over the father in child custody cases?

No. In the past, the Courts employed a legal presumption referred to as the “Tender Year’s Doctrine.”  This Doctrine essentially states that it’s best to leave a child in his mother’s care during the early years of life.  However, this was repealed, and the law now equally favors mothers and fathers in terms of custody.

The current law is primarily contained in SC Code Section 63-5-30. Rights and duties of parents regarding minor children.  As pertinent, it states:

“The mother and father are the joint natural guardians of their minor children and are equally charged with the welfare and education of their minor children and the care and management of the estates of their minor children; and the mother and father have equal power, rights, and duties, and neither parent has any right paramount to the right of the other concerning the custody of the minor or the control of the services or the earnings of the minor or any other matter affecting the minor.”

Therefore, a parent should not assume that he or she is at a disadvantage simply due to gender.  Please refer to my “Child Custody” webpage, or to my blog, “Breaking Down the Factors,” for an in depth discussion of the factors the Court considers when making custody determinations.

Please remember that each case is unique and that many factors influence the ultimate custody judgment. Therefore, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney to discuss your unique set of circumstances. If you have any questions about your rights as a parent, child custody, or family law in general, we urge you to contact us. We have open office hours for client appointments. Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation.

Our law office serves people across the Upstate, South Carolina, including: Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens, and Oconee counties.