Current Status Introducing Body:
HouseBill Number: 4348Primary Sponsor: NeilsonCommittee Number: 25Type of Legislation: GBSubject: Child custody, visitationResiding Body: HouseCurrent Committee: JudiciaryComputer Document Number: JIC/5232AC.94Introduced Date: 19940111Last History Body: HouseLast History Date: 19940111Last History Type: Introduced, read first time, referred to CommitteeScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: Neilson InabinettType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ____ ______ ____________ ______________________________ ___ ____________ 4348 House 19940111 Introduced, read first time, 25 referred to Committee 4348 House 19931201 Prefiled, referred to 25 CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 20-7-1550 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD AS THE GUIDING PRINCIPLE IN RESOLVING CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION DISPUTES, TO PROVIDE THAT THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD ARE SERVED WHEN THE CHILD'S RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH PARENT IS EQUALLY PROMOTED AND ENCOURAGED, TO PROVIDE THAT THE COURT MUST STRIVE TO EQUALIZE EACH PARENT'S TIME WITH AND OPPORTUNITIES TO BE INVOLVED IN THE CHILD'S LIFE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT JOINT CUSTODY IS NOT REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION NOR MAY VISITATION AWARDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION BE CONSTRUED AS JOINT CUSTODY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 20-7-1550. (A) In an action in which child custody or visitation is in dispute the best interests of the child is the overriding principle the court must be guided by in resolving these disputes. Unless a parent is found to be unfit or is geographically removed from the child, the best interests of the child are considered to be served when the order of the court equally promotes and encourages the ongoing development and enhancement of the child's relationship with each parent.
(B) In awarding custody and granting visitation the court must strive to equalize the time the child spends with each parent and to equalize and promote opportunities for each parent to be informed of and involved in activities in the child's life both in and out of school.
(C) Nothing in this section requires an award of joint or divided custody and visitation awarded in accordance with this section may not be construed as joint or divided custody."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.