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The joy of supersedeas

A much younger family law colleague of mine texted me earlier this week, informing me that she was successful in her first attempt at supersedeas. After a testimonial hearing on a placement plan for a child in DSS custody, the family court judge ordered that the child her foster-parent clients had been raising almost since […]

Supreme Court sets procedures for family court attorney fee awards

The December 3, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in Buist v. Buist sets forth procedures to be used in setting attorney fee awards in family court cases. This opinion recognizes the difficulties of preserving fee award issues when the litigants don’t know the court’s decision on attorney’s fees until the court renders its decision. […]

It only took forty-five days

When, on October 6, 2014, in Rainey v. Bostic, 135 S.Ct. 286 (2014), the United States Supreme Court denied Virginia’s petition for certiorari in Bostic v. Schaefer, 760 F. 3d 352 (4th Cir. 2014), I predicted “it is only a matter of time–possibly even days–before South Carolina’s ban [on same sex marriages] is found unconstitutional.” Within […]

Litigating child custody does not, by itself, create personal jurisdiction for child support

Due to an increasingly mobile society, child custody litigation often moves to different states over a child’s minority. When both parents and the child no longer live in the state that issued the most recent child support order, or when the issuing state declines modification jurisdiction because the child has been absent from the state […]

On the wrong side of history again

Bowing to the inevitable, North Carolina has authorized same sex marriage, leaving South Carolina the last remaining state of the Fourth Circuit to bar such marriages. Today U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn of Asheville struck down the state’s laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said the state […]

We could have been more progressive than West Virginia…but no!

Yesterday, October 9, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a stay preventing county probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples pending a decision by United States District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs in Bradacs v. Haley, 3:13-CV-02351-JMC. That lawsuit challenges the provision of the South Carolina constitution, S.C. Const. art. XVII, […]

South Carolina likely to be compelled to allow same sex marriage

Today the United States Supreme Court decided to let stand a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision finding Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals put its decision into effect immediately and same sex marriages are already taking place in Virginia. This means it is likely inevitable that all […]

The Benefits of Co-Mediation in Family Court

Karen Klickstein-Forman and I spoke today for the Mediation and Meeting Center of Charleston on The Benefits of Co-Mediation in Family Court. Karen drafted the materials below.  A word file of these materials can be downloaded here. Co-Mediation is a style of mediation that involves multiple mediators, usually two, which in some way may compliment […]

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