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Checklist of questions whose answers can derail a custody or visitation case

I tried a custody case last month in which I learned a few weeks prior to trial that my client was using marijuana approximately once a month. What had previously seemed a strong case for custody no longer was. While many of the issues that can derail a South Carolina custody case seem pretty obvious, there are a few things that can derail these cases that aren’t so obvious to folks–especially younger folks–who don’t work within the court system: marijuana use and live-in boyfriends/girlfriends being excellent examples.

Thus, I decided it would be useful to develop a “checklist” of questions to provide custody and visitation clients at the beginning of their case to determine whether there are potentially fatal issues before one commences litigation. This checklist is a work in progress and I expect to update it periodically. I am grateful to anyone who offers suggestions.

Download (PDF, 41KB)

The checklist can be downloaded as a Microsoft Word document here.

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  • I would add: Is there anyone in your life that other people would reasonably believe is a boyfriend/girlfriend or that other people may say is a boyfriend/girlfriend, but whom you refer to as merely a friend?

  • I would also add: Of the person listed above, the “friend”, how many times in the last 30 days has that person spent the night at your home or have you spent the night at that person’s home? People split hairs around here on the live-in thing.

  • Thanks for these Greg! Useful both as an attorney for parents and as a GAL.

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