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Red lines and teenagers

Non-custodial parents of teenagers often complain when the custodial parent doesn’t stop their child from engaging in typical risky teen behavior. One hears stories of parents losing custody merely because their teen engages in alcohol use, mild drug use, or has sex while under their care. Not having seen this actually happen myself, I am […]

Should guardians give opinions?

A former mentee of mine, who is developing a thriving practice as a guardian ad litem in private custody cases, recently asked for my opinion on whether guardians should give opinions. S.C. Code § 63-3-830(A)(6) prohibits guardians from making recommendations on custody in their final written report and places limits on making custody recommendations at […]

“I don’t know/recall” may be the best interrogatory or deposition answer you can get

I lectured last week to recent law school graduates about family law discovery. Part of this lecture discussed Rule 37(a)(3), SCRCP which reads: “Evasive or Incomplete Answer. For purposes of this subdivision an evasive or incomplete answer is to be treated as a failure to answer.” I remarked this rule meant that they should not […]

“Hammered” by the family court, Court of Appeals hammers Husband again

There are some family court smack-downs that beg for an appeal. And there are some Court of Appeals decisions that beg for a petition for certiorari. The April 13, 2016 opinion in Fredrickson v. Schulze is one such case. Husband, Schulze, appealed many aspects of the family court’s equitable distribution decision along with its denial […]

Why join stepparents as opposing parties to family court proceedings?

The short answer is discovery. While I understand the logic of joining stepparents as parties to custody or visitation proceedings when that stepparent will not behave around the child(ren), I remain convinced it is bad strategy. Not only does it double the number of adversarial parties, it allows the stepparent to participate in all the […]

Husband’s lack of credibility on financial disclosure has multiple adverse consequences

The March 16, 2016 Court of Appeals opinion in Conits v. Conits rejects many of Husband’s allegations of error in the family court’s equitable distribution award because he lacked credibility in his financial disclosure. This opinion is a warning to those who would provide false financial disclosure that this lack of credibility can be fatal […]

Where’s my time machine?

Where’s the time machine that a sizable portion of family law clients, and potential clients, think I have? My colleagues inform me that their clients also believe they have a time machine. If I own a time machine I’d really love to find it. I’m sure my family law colleagues feel likewise. How else to […]

United States Supreme Court finds order granting adopting lesbian mother visitation is entitled to full faith and credit

On March 7, 2016, in the case of V. L. v. E. L., ET AL., the United States Supreme Court, in an unsigned Per Curiam opinion, ordered the Alabama Supreme Court to give full faith and credit to a Georgia adoption decree that allowed a lesbian mother to adopt her then-partner’s three biological children. The […]

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