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Legal Information: South Carolina


December 8, 2020

How will a judge make a decision about custody?

The judge will make a custody decision based upon the best interests of the child, considering several factors:

  • circumstances of the parents;
  • nature of the case;
  • best spiritual and other interests of the child;1
  • religious faith of parents and child;2
  • child’s preference for custody based upon child’s age, experience, maturity, judgment and ability to express preference;3
  • any evidence of domestic violence as defined in section 16-25-20 of the law or in section 16-25-65 of the law, including physical or sexual abuse and which parent was the “primary aggressor.”4

The judge may not deny custody to a victim of domestic violence based only on the fact that the victim left the home or relocated.5

1 S.C. Code § 20-3-160
2 S.C. Code § 63-15-20
3 S.C. Code § 63-15-30
4 S.C. Code § 63-15-40(A)
5 S.C. Code § 63-15-40(B)