Fatherhood Issues

South Carolina Visitation & Custody Rights

An important part of being a responsible father is spending regular quality time with your child.


While the Department of Social Services (DSS) and Child Support Enforcement (CSE) can establish legal paternity and child support orders, there are no S.C. state agencies that assist fathers with establishing legal visitation rights. Legal aid is not usually available to fathers working full-time jobs for minimum wage, because their income exceeds guidelines.

Since hiring a lawyer is often too expensive, many fathers have to rely on the goodwill of the custodial parent to maintain visitation. When mothers revoke visitation, some fathers withhold child support in retaliation, which only makes the situation more difficult. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when seeking visitation rights.

Create a visitation schedule

Visitation schedules presented in family court must be practical, age-appropriate for the child, and made with the child’s needs taking priority over the father’s convenience. They must also be specific. Without a defined schedule, the court will have trouble enforcing the order.

Improve & increase visitation

These practical, legal steps help fathers obtain, improve and increase visitation.

Know your rights

If a father has been denied visitation after the court has granted it, he can file a Pro Se Affidavit stating that his visitation rights are being denied.

  • The court will schedule a Rule to Show Cause hearing asking the mother to show cause as to why the father is being denied visitation.
  • If the mother is found in contempt, penalties can be up to one year in jail and/or a $1,500 fine.

While affidavits vary from state to state, most states have a similar process. Fathers can contact the family court where the original visitation order was issued to find out about the process.

Learn how to request visitation without hiring an attorney at SC Visitation.