Archive for July, 2009

216 months

It is 216 months from the time a child is born until the time the child turns eighteen.  Under South Carolina law the family court loses the power to decide a child’s custody once that child turns age eighteen.  Thus, when fighting over custody, parties are, at most, fighting over 216 months of a child’s […]

Small small victory

An appeal I handled for a local colleague, Douglas Barker, resulted in a published opinion today (July 29, 2009) from the Court of Appeals in Spreeuw v. Barker, 385 S.C. 45, 682 S.E.2d 843 (Ct. App. 2009).  It represents a small, perhaps Pyrrhic, victory.  Ms. Spreeuw did not prevail in a single issue in her […]

Mediation training and certification

I just completed the five-day, 40-hour Family Court Mediation Training offered by the South Carolina bar and led by Mary Lowndes Bryan and C. Cotton Harness, III, both of whom were excellent instructors.  Not only did the class explain and demonstrate the basics of providing mediation services in family court, it also offered lessons in […]

The pitfalls of cursory standard interrogatory responses

The Court of Appeals’ decision to affirm the family court’s award of custody to the father in its July 28, 2009 opinion in Divine v.  Robbins, 385 S.C. 23, 683 S.E.2d 286 (Ct.App. 2009) isn’t terribly surprising.  Being an uncooperative parent who withholds visitation to get one’s way, putting one’s own desires ahead of the child’s best […]

Michael Jackson: His confusion was our culture’s confusion

I’m saddened by Michael Jackson’s untimely death.  I have enjoyed all his studio albums since Off the Wall was released in 1979, seen him live with his brothers on the Victory tour in 1985, and reviewed Bad and History for print publications.  Better than any other popular musician of the rock era his music and […]

Minimum contacts personal jurisdiction analysis not applicable to contested multi-state adoption action

The July 13, 2009 Court of Appeals decision in Brookshire v. Blackwell, 384 S.C. 333, 682 S.E.2d 295 (Ct.App. 2009) clarifies personal and subject matter jurisdiction analysis as it regards multi-state adoption action. In this case the Brookshires, South Carolina residents, were awarded custody of the Blackwells’ children by the Alabama Courts.  The Brookshires then filed an adoption […]

Misguided child support decision from South Carolina’s Supreme Court

N.B. The holding of Floyd v. Morgan that it took a higher burden of proof to modify support agreement was subsequently overruled in the case of  Lewis v. Lewis, 392 S.C. 381, 709 S.E.2d 650 (2011) In 2007, the South Carolina Court of Appeals issued a published decision in Floyd v. Morgan, 375 S.C. 246, 652 S.E.2d 83 (Ct. […]