Can a Judge Order Joint Custody if the Parties Do Not Agree?

There has been a long misunderstanding that a family court judge cans only order joint custody if the parties agree to it. However, a family court judge in South Carolina can order joint custody whether or not the parties agree for there to be joint custody, provided the judge finds that the joint custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child(ren). If a court orders joint custody the order must include how consultations and communications between the parents will take place, generally and specifically, with regard to major decisions concerning the child’s health, medical and dental care, education, extracurricular activities, and religious training. S.C. Code of Laws, Sec. 63-15-240.

Of course, every case has different facts which will affect how a judge will decide a case. The best course to take is to schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss all of your facts, so you will have a better understanding of what to expect in court.

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