In South Carolina, although an unmarried mother is the common law custodial parent of the child born out of wedlock, both parents have equal rights to their children born during the marriage until a court order grants one of them custody. When making a determination as to which parent will get custody, a family court judge will consider many factors. The overriding standard is that the best interests of the child be protected. A Guardian ad Litem will usually be appointed by the Family Court judge to represent the best interests of the child or children if the parents disagree regarding custody. A state statute sets out parameters regarding custody determinations.