Holmes and Cruise reached a settlement very quickly, likely due to reports that Cruise had Holmes sign an iron clad prenuptial agreement before they were married. Prenuptial agreements address property distribution, distribution of other assets as well as alimony. It appears that Holmes did not try to have the prenuptial agreement set aside, but in fact decided to file for sole custody of their daughter. Prenuptial agreements do not address child custody or child support.
When examining South Carolina’s child custody laws, certain factors are considered by a Family Court Judge at a custody hearing. Child custody cases in South Carolina usually begin with a Temporary hearing, during which South Carolina family lawyers, in Myrtle Beach or Horry County, present affidavits to a Family Court Judge, who then makes a decision on a temporary basis. A Guardian ad Litem is appointed to the case to represent the child. The court considers several factors when examining a custody case, including but not limited to: the age and fitness of the parents, who has been the primary caretaker of the child, a parent’s morality, education and parenting skills as all as any evidence of abuse.
In South Carolina, the primary custodial parents receives child support from the secondary custodial parent in a joint custody arrangement. In a sole custody arrangement, the parent with visitation rights pays child support to the custodial parent. Reports have suggested Cruise could have to pay more than $10 Million dollars by the time Suri, their six year old daughter, reaches the age of 18. Therefore, Holmes is the primary custodial parent, and Cruise likely has liberal visitation rights.
Standard visitation is usually every other weekend beginning Fridays at 6 p.m. and ending Sundays at 6 p.m. Major holidays, including Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter are rotated. For example, the Christmas Holiday usually last for roughly two weeks, so if one party has the first week in the even numbered years, the other parent will have the first week in the odd numbered years, rotating weeks every year. The party with visitation also usually receives anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks of summer visitation. Cruise likely has more than standard visitation. In a joint custody arrangement in which one party is the primary custodial parent and the other parent is the secondary custodial parent, the secondary parent may have extended alternating weekends, from Thursday to Sunday or Monday, or may have an overnight during the week if the parties live in the same area. The secondary parent likely will receive more time in the Summer as well.
Experienced Family Court attorneys in Myrtle Beach understand that a a child custody case are extremely difficult and emotional. Parents in a custody case often attempt to resolve the case via a settlement agreement, just as Holmes and Cruise have done with their divorce in order to avoid a lengthily court battle. If you have questions regarding child custody, child support or a divorce in South Carolina, contact our Myrtle Beach family lawyer. Our Myrtle Beach family lawyer will answer your questions about family law in South Carolina.