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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 20-7-425, SO AS TO CREATE A PRESUMPTION THAT A PETITION FOR AN EMERGENCY HEARING IN FAMILY COURT SHOULD BE GRANTED UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 20-7-425. In determining whether to grant an emergency hearing for a stay or other relief, a family court judge must give great weight and consideration to the following factors in making the determination:
(1) a custody or visitation deadline pursuant to a custody order from another state is imminent and the child or children who are the subject of the order are in this State;
(2) the child or children residing in this State have been ordered to be transferred to another state by an order from the other state;
(3) the case involves child custody issues where cases involving the same child or children are pending in this State and in another state;
(4) the case involves child support payments under an order where there was no personal jurisdiction of a South Carolina resident in the original determination;
(5) the case involves an ongoing investigation of serious child abuse or neglect by the appropriate state agency in the state where the children reside or where the non-custodial parent has court-ordered visitation; or
(6) the petitioner is a South Carolina resident and has filed an affidavit stating that a foreign state has issued an adverse order without any service upon the petitioner and with no opportunity to be heard.
If at least one of these factors exists, there is a presumption that the petition for an emergency hearing should be granted."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to petitions for emergency relief filed on and after the effective date.
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