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Okay a couple is married, and there is no custody granted to either( in other words they haven't gone to a lawyer)

The child lives with the mother and grandmother. They are refusing to let the father really see the child. This weekend the father is allowed to get her for a few hours, (1st time since Feb) can he legally tell the mother that he has the right just as she to have her stay with him. The father lives on private property can he take the child there and tell the mother she cannot come on his property. Oh and there is a lot of evidence the mother is unfit, the father is just saving up money till he can pay the lawyer. What can he do in the mean time to be able to see his daughter? Since he's on marked private property can he keep the child there and tell the mother she can't come on private property. All the father wants is time with his daughter. Oh and this is the state of SOUTH CAROLINA AND THEY ARE STILL MARRIED. Please tell what the father can do untill he has the money to pay the lawyer. (He already has the lawyer and has given some evidence that she is unfit, but they can't go to court untill the full amount is paid. The lawyer said he puts his degree on the line.

Expert Answers

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If one parent thinks the other is truly "unfit" then the Dep. of Fam. and Child Services should be contacted. This issue at this particular stage is not a legal problem, it is a family matter. You mentioned that the couple is still married but living apart, so at this juncture there is not a custody issue because custody of children is ruled upon by the court after a divorce proceeding. I would not recommend either parent taking the child hostage and further, the situation of "private property" really has no significance here. Bottom line, try to persuade DFCS to intervene on your behalf.

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Well, to begin with, two wrongs do not make a right. I do not think it would look very good in court if the mother said the father refused to hand the child over, whether it is on private property or not. 

Every father has the right to see his children. If I were the father I would talk to the attorney to see if there is anything that can be done in the meantime, or even see another attorney. It is not legal for a woman to withhold a child from the father, just as it is not legal for the father to do the same.

When two people fight over custody the only individual who really ends up getting hurt is the child. Many times parents will fight over the children just to get back at one another and that is a shame.

I posted a website below that discusses South Carolina law regarding children, fathers rights, and divorce.

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