As many parents in South Carolina face a day to day struggle of not being allowed to see their child, you have to wonder why? South Carolina is one of only a few states that has not adopted what is called Shared or Equal Parenting. Currently over 20 States have adopted this Family Court practice of giving a child their rights to both parents unless credible evidence is shown as to why a child should not see one parent equally.
South Carolina Family Courts are said to be one of the most plagued court systems with thousands of allegations of biases, corruption, and fraud. These Courts are said to be a he said she said system of law. But in truth when one looks closer one can see the many allegations and one-sidedness of this Court system. Family Courts use a long outdated “Preponderance of Evidence” rule. What is this preponderance of evidence? The Legal Dictionary has stated: n. the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. Thus, one clearly knowledgeable witness may provide a preponderance of evidence over a dozen witnesses with hazy testimony, or a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended. The preponderance of the evidence is required in a civil case and is contrasted with “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is the more severe test of evidence required to convict in a criminal trial. No matter what the definition stated in various legal opinions, the meaning is somewhat subjective.
Basically this means that the Courts can use half-truths or lies that appear to be true without any factual evidence in support. This rule is also the lowest in any Judiciary practice. Family Courts are the only Courts in America that use this practice of law.
The practice of removing a loving parent from a child’s life has long been documented in writing, television, and movies. One of the first films to depict a parent’s fight for their children was in 2002 staring Pierce Brosnan called “Evelyn“. The more recent documentary films such as “The Red Pill” and “Erasing Families” show the more modern issues in these Courts. It is important to know that both the Red Pill and Erasing Families were made by women.
South Carolina up until 2014 was governed by what was called the “Tender Years Doctrine“, this legal principle gave automatic custody to women based on gender. Thou many States have abolished this practice, as well as South Carolina, but have left the mentality of its practice in the Courts.
The recent statistic that Pew Research released, showed a report in June 2014 that found 2 million men to be stay-at-home dads in the US. However, in 2010, the number of stay-at-home dads had reached its highest point of 2.2 million.
This number has since increased with the number of stay-at-home dads in the US and is expected to continue to increase as societal roles continue to change.
But do the current laws reflect this change in society?
In South Carolina the Tender Year Doctrine was abolished in 2014, but the laws that were adjusted by this doctrine remained the same. Leaving Fathers still without any legal rights for custody in the court system unless they wanted to fight a lengthy and expensive court battle.
In most cases today the father is still left with visitation statues and must ask the Court’s permission to remain the child/children’s parent. By this we mean they lose all decision-making ability to their child’s upbringing. So without any decision-making ability they are forced to continue to pay for their Childs upbringing by paying child support.
Child support is considered a financial obligation ordered by the courts on a parent, usually in amounts un-realistic to their statues. The Court does not consider such things as playing ball or teaching them to swim support of the child. The Courts only consider the financial aspects of a child custody case.
It is commonly known that children require more than simply financial support from both parents. Children learn and mature with influences from both a father and mother, not from a dollar sign. In most cases parents do not have an issue with paying for the aid of raising their child, but have issues with the amounts ordered which are often beyond reason.
How much authority do judges truly have when it comes to denying a parent their God-given right from being a parent to their child? Family Courts are courts of equity, which means they are courts of property. Sadly most states list children under the age of 18 as the property of the parents, which gives them the authority to adjudicate custody. Most parents would agree that children are not property and have rights and voices that should be heard in courts.
These children are usually given a voice by having an advocate appointed for them by the courts who are supposed to speak for the children. But sadly as most parents and children who have dealt with this have found out that these advocates hardly ever truly speak for the children.
In recent years several questions have come to surface as to why a parent needs to ask permission from a Judge to be a child’s parent. Especially when most states list in a statue that parents are the natural guardians of a child, such as South Carolina. Parents do not petition the courts for permission to become parents, they do not undergo any sort of examination to become parents ordered by the courts. So, why is it that a parent must fight and ask permission from a Judge to remain a parent to a child who loves them?
Family Court Reform has become a topic no longer discussed in the dark as more and more Family Court Reform groups take to social media and mainstream media. As the veil of secrecy is pulled away from the workings of Family Courts and more and more illusions are stripped from away, the people are beginning to see that the time reform has come.
A person can look up the statics on the risks that children face who have only one parent in their lives. These risks run from suicide to drug usage, to imprisonment. As listed above several States have already taken note of the need for a child to have both parents equally in their life.
For those who wish to begin ensuring that Children’s Rights are heard and protected one simply has to look up one of many local Shared/Equal Parenting groups on Social Media and join. Or one can call their State Representatives and insist they support Shared/Equal Parenting Reform Bills.
South Carolina currently has a Shared/Equal Parenting Bill in the House of Representative, H3295, which is championed by House Representative Jason Elliott and is co-sponsored by several other Representatives. This Bill is openly being blocked by the other Representatives such as Rep. Beth Berstein, who profits current Family Law standards.