The opinion of the court was delivered by: Legge, Justice.
In November, 1950, respondent and appellant entered into a marriage that both believed valid. They have two children, one born before the marriage, the other in 1954. Appellant also has two children by her previous marriage with one Joseph Bianco, from whom she had obtained a divorce in Alabama prior to her marriage with respondent. In September, 1955, respondent brought this action for annulment of their marriage because of invalidity of the divorce, and for custody of their children. From a decree of the circuit court awarding custody of these children to their mother for the first six months, and to their father for the remainder, of each calendar year, subject to the right of each parent, during the periods in which custody is in the other, to have them on alternate week-ends and on Fridays of other weeks from 3:00 p.m. until sundown, the mother now appeals. By her exceptions she contends:
1. That the trial court erred in not adjudging her said children illegitimate;
2. That, because of their illegitimacy, respondent has no right to their custody; and
3. That since the court found that neither parent was unfit to have such custody, it was error not to hold that the best interest of the children required that she be awarded their complete and permanent custody, subject to reasonable visitation by their father.
The complaint was dated September 27, 1955. The substance of its twelve paragraphs may be briefly summarized as follows:
1. On November 18, 1950, at Chester, S.C. the parties entered into their marriage contract in good faith, both believing it to be valid; and they thereafter lived together as husband and wife.
2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Plaintiff has learned that their said marriage was bigamous and void for the reason that at the time of said marriage the defendant had a living husband, one Joseph Bianco, from whom she had attempted to obtain a divorce in Alabama, said divorce being void, however, because the necessary residence of the parties in Alabama was lacking and the Alabama court was therefore without jurisdiction.
7. There are two children of the marriage between the plaintiff and the defendant, one a son, aged six years, and the other a daughter, aged seventeen months, both of whom are legitimate by virtue of Section 20-6.1 of the 1952 Code as amended. The defendant has other children of her own, by the name of Bianco, whom she prefers and favors over her children by the plaintiff.
8, 9, 10 and 12. The defendant's conduct toward their children has been such that for their best interests the plaintiff should be given permanent custody of them; and, pending the outcome of the case, she should be restrained from molesting them.
(Paragraph 11 related to determination of the rights of the parties in certain property, not presently involved.)
The prayer was for annulment of the marriage, permanent custody of the children, and a temporary restraining order.
The defendant, answering:
(a) Admitted the allegations of ...