When a family is going through a custody dispute, it is possible that mistakes or poor parenting decisions that put their ability to raise a child into question, which causes changes in custody. In severe situations that involve criminal charges or abuse, another family member or the state can take full custody of the children. 

A woman in South Carolina lost custody of her children after she left them in a hot car and police responded to the scene. 

Mother is arrested after leaving her children inside of a hot car

The incident happened in Walterboro, just outside of Charleston at about 1 pm on an August afternoon. The temperature outside at this time was about ninety degrees according to weather records. About a half hour after the seven year old and six month old were left inside of the vehicle, police responded to the area and found that the air conditioner in the car was not working properly. When the suspect returned to her car after shopping at the Walmart near the parking lot, she was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for putting the children in the dangerous situation. The suspect was then transported to the Colleton County Detention Center. 

The children did not require emergency treatment at the scene, but they were checked by a doctor as a precaution. Afterward, they were put into emergency protective custody and given to the Department of Social Services.  

Factors that determine child custody

While not all custody issues involve parents with criminal charges, any mistakes, oversights, or prior problems that may cause the court to look at a parent unfavorably is fair game for consideration. This may cause both sides to bring up past financial problems, substance abuse, or mental health issues during a custody hearing. When these allegations are supported by credible evidence, it may persuade the judge to limit or terminate a parent’s custody rights. 

Because losing the ability to see their children is a disastrous outcome for any parent, it is important to adequately prepare for a custody hearing with the help of a family law attorney. Their job is to advocate on the parent’s behalf and present them to the judge in a favorable manner. This process is crucial because family court judges have more discretion than judges in many other areas of the law. Your lawyer should be familiar with the local family courts and know how to negotiate effectively.    

Legal professionals in South Carolina can speak to you about family law

There are lawyers in the Greenville area who assist clients with divorces, child custody disputes, and related problems. To get help from a licensed attorney, contact: 

The Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys LLC

870 Cleveland St., Suite 2D-A, Greenville, SC 29601


[email protected]


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