The South Carolina Family Court holds the authority to make decisions regarding child custody and visitation when the child's parents cannot come to an agreement. While child visitation arrangements can vary, local courts may follow a standard schedule when issuing court orders.
The South Carolina family courts consider a variety of factors when determining a child custody and visitation arrangement. The parent without custody of the child generally receives visitation rights.
A standard visitation schedule generally outlines regular weekly visits as well as holidays and vacations. For weekly visits, the parent usually receives alternating weekends spanning Friday evening to Sunday evening, with a Thursday evening visit during weeks without a weekend visit. The schedule generally assigns major holidays to each parent during alternating years, but Mother's Day and Father's Day always go to the respective parent. Both parents receive some time on the child's birthday. For summer vacation, the standard schedule allows the visiting parent to select one two-week period and two one-week periods. Many South Carolina counties follow a similar standard visitation schedule.
Regardless of the standard visitation schedule, the South Carolina family courts have the discretion to limit a parent's visitation for the child's protection. For example, the court can require a parent to participate in supervised visits or limit the number of regularly scheduled visits. Domestic violence or child abuse and neglect may result in limited or supervised visitation for the offending parent.