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Every Social Security Statement tells a story

The Social Security Statement, mailed annually or available for order online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ssa-7050.pdf, is often the most valuable piece of financial information for alimony and child support cases. Don’t go to trial without the client’s and opposing party’s statements.  A sample statement follows: For any American citizen or legal resident whose primary source of income […]

Dividing visitation transportation responsibility

One phone call family law attorneys dread (at least those attorneys who provide clients their cell phone number) is the Friday or Sunday evening call when the other parent has failed to get the child to the visitation exchange at the required time and is now not answering his or her phone or responding to […]

What aspects of family law require personal jurisdiction over the Defendant?

Two areas of family law do not require personal jurisdiction over the Defendant but only require in rem jurisdiction. Those areas are divorce [S.C. Code Ann. § 20-3-30] and child custody [S.C. Code Ann. § 63-15-330]. For these matters, a Plaintiff can file the action in South Carolina even if there is no personal jurisdiction […]

Using the court’s contempt powers to stop visitation interference

There are some custodial parents who are unreasonably resistant to the other parent’s relationship with their child(ren). Often such parents will manipulate and maneuver to prevent the other parent from exercising his or her (because custody typically goes to mothers, primary his) visitation. However, proper application of the family court’s contempt powers can stop such […]

Why it’s a bad idea to leave both spouses on a mortgage after the divorce

Until about a decade ago almost everyone had equity in their home. When home-owning spouses wanted to end their marriage they would either sell their house and divide the equity or one spouse would refinance the home to get the mortgage out of the other spouse’s name and provide that other spouse some of the […]

Charleston’s daily paper wins Pulitzer Prize for series on domestic violence

  On April 20, 2015, the Charleston Post and Courier won the 2015 gold medal for public service, the most prestigious of the Pulitzer Prize awards for journalism, for the paper’s series on domestic violence, “Till Death Do Us Part.” Among the P&C journalists sharing this award is a friend, Glenn Smith, whose reporting on […]

How does retirement affect alimony?

In 2012 South Carolina amended the alimony modification statute, S.C. Code § 20-3-170(B), to include specific factors for the family court to consider on whether to modify or terminate alimony when a supporting spouse retires. Those factors are: (1) whether retirement was contemplated when alimony was awarded; (2) the age of the supporting spouse; (3) […]

What ever happened to comity?

I am beginning to pity the South Carolina Court of Appeals. For the third time in less than two months the South Carolina Supreme Court has directed the Court of Appeals to depublish one of its opinions–this time on April 9, 2015 in the case of State v. Starks, 410 S.C. 580, 765 S.E.2d 148 (Ct. […]

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