I sometimes get “heart wrenching” calls asking me about Grandparents Custody Rights in South Carolina. I say they are “heart wrenching” because the caller is desperate to see or protect their grandchild. Many times they are crying on the telephone because they don’t know what to do. I have a son, age 9, and I am looking forward to grandchildren. I want to “spoil them and send them home” and so I am sympathetic. In South Carolina Grandparents custody rights cases are winnable cases. They are not easy cases because you have to show the parents are “unfit” but they are winnable. South Carolina defines “unfitness” as conduct which effects the welfare of a child.
Grandparent Visitation Rights
Grandparents visitation rights are based on the best interests of the child. If you have cared for the child for a substantial period you can be declared the “defacto Parent” (link) which would entitle you to visitation. My experience has been that South Carolina family court judges (who are often grandparents themselves) will recognize and support a Grandparent’s visitation if you can show that the child would benefit from the visitation and you can give them a legal basis for the visitation.
South Carolina law is complicated and is constantly evolving. Call us for a consultation and I will discuss your situation and what I can do to help you. I have been helping South Carolina grandparents for three decades and I can help you.
Grandparent Visitation can be awarded even over the parent’s objection
If the child is less than three years old and has resided with the Grandparent for more than 6 months the Grandparent can be awarded custody even over the objections of the parent. If the child is more than three years old and has resided with the Grandparent for one year or more then the Grandparent can be awarded custody even over the objections of the parent.