Grandparent WINS Visitation Case – March 25,2013. In June of 2010, Governor Sanford signed a Grandparent visitation law into effect. It allows Grandparents to sue a parent for visitation privileges, but only under certain conditions. On Monday, March 25th, 2013, in Horry County Family Court, Conway, South Carolina, a Grandmother did just that. She not only sued, she won in a big way. She had been denied contact with her granddaughter for almost a year. When the case went to family court, the judge heard the presentation of both sides, and ruled in the Grandmothers favor. She was awarded visitation for 3 hours that same day, and then every other weekend from Friday evening till Sunday evening. Although this is a temporary order, to my knowledge, this is the first time this much visitation has been ordered for a Grandparent. The ruling shows South Carolina to be a leader in the area of Grandparents Rights, and we are getting better! We are talking about Section 63‑3‑530(A)(33) of the 1976 Code. (Grandparent Visitation). Probably the most impressive part is the fact that this Grandmother completely smashed the myth that Family Court requires a lawyer! She did this completely on her own. She was what is called “Pro Se,” meaning she did NOT have an attorney! Several lawyers told her “it can’t be done,” “that law is worthless,” “you don’t stand a chance.” Others said it would cost upwards of $30,000 and there would still be only a very slim chance. Even after the ruling in her favor, one attorney maintains this same stance. This determined Grandmother, who is a Born Again Christian, wants everyone to know, “You CAN do it, it’s not easy, but with God’s guidance, you CAN do it!” After all, the Bible says; “You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you.” She gives God all the glory. The day of this hearing, the Grandparents’ Rights Association of South Carolina held a rally in support of the Grandmother, and House Bill H-3464 and Senate Bill S-371. About a dozen people braved the near record low temperature, and high winds at the courthouse in Conway, SC. Participants included Grandparent’s, one of which was SC Representative Alan Clemmons, (Cosponsor of H-3464) and also several GRANDCHILDREN. Everyone who passed by, indicated a “thumbs up” or other positive responses. House Bill-3464 and Senate bill S-371 passed and was signed into law in 2013. You can view this law under “Laws and Resources” (Giving Grandparent’s Standing in Family Court with DSS Cases).
The Final Order for the above case was signed by the Judge on August 12, 2014. Although this Grandmother received every other weekend visits, it was a temporary order until all of the issues got sorted out. The case was settled and the Grandmother received the following visitation and contact with her Grandchild.
Here is the above Grandmother’s story, Kathleen Walden, SC State Rep for the Grandparents’ Rights Association, in her own words. A much needed Success Story for Grandparents!! In April of 2013 I filed for Grandparent visitation, it has been a rocky road, first I received every other weekend, then in Dec. of 2013 it got reduced to 1 visit per month for only 8 hours. SC Law requires you go to mediation, we came to an agreement in our mediation (after 6 hours) and it was signed by the Judge yesterday. So I now have a monthly visit from Sat. at 8am to Sunday at 3pm. I get a weekly phone call or Skype, we get to call each other on our birthdays and If she has an extra-curricular activities on my visitation days I get to take her. Our Christmas visit will be the 2nd weekend in December. I also get her from 8am to 3pm on Grandparents Day. Is what I originally had? No! Could it have been worse? Oh yes!! So I am very thankful for what I received. It was a long and painful battle. My beautiful Granddaughter is extremely happy and I am still hoping someday her Mom will come around. My message is…Don’t give up!! I was tempted to do that many times. But again…Don’t ever give up!! Oh, and one more thing, in April of 2013 when I saw her for the first time after1 year, my friend took pictures of her response to seeing me. Well, yesterday after the hearing was over, the Guardian handed me back my file and while I was waiting for the FINAL court order to be clocked in, I looked down and sticking up out of my file were those pictures. It spoke to my heart, it was as if the Lord was reminding me of the beginning and how it was a good thing that I never gave up. Below, is one the first pictures. I also want to thank John Schafer Tpe for holding a Grandparent’s Rally outside the courthouse in April of 2013 during my first hearing!! And thank you to everyone who has prayed for us
March 25, 2013 Grandma and Granddaughter Reunion