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Relocation and Child Custody in South Carolina

As South Carolina’s courts have stated, cases involving the relocation of a custodial parent present some of “the knottiest and most disturbing problems that our courts are called upon to resolve." Years ago, our family courts were guided by the presumption against relocation. These days, the courts struggle to determine what is in the child’s best interest by focusing on various factors including the following: (1) each parent’s reason for seeking or opposing the relocation; (2) the relationship between the children and each parent; (3) the impact of the relocation on the quality of the children’s future contact with the non-custodial parent; (4) the economic, emotional, and educational enhancements of the move; (5) the feasibility of preserving the children’s relationship with the non-custodial parent through visitation arrangements; and (6) the likelihood the move would substantially improve the quality of life for the custodial parent and the children and is not the result of a whim of the custodial parent.

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