Archive for February, 2010

What do Women Want?

Sigmund Freud spent much of his career seeking an answer to the question “Was will das Weib?”  (translation “What does a woman want?”).  As a husband of twenty years, with two daughters, and as an attorney watching my clients struggle with this same question, I tend to enjoy contemplating and reading on the topic.  Often […]

Why the delay between the Sanfords’ divorce hearing and the divorce?

Under S.C. Code Ann. § 20-3-80, titled Required delays before reference and final decree;  exceptions, South Carolina law sets specific waiting periods before the court can grant a divorce.  That section reads: No reference shall be had before two months after the filing of the complaint in the office of the Clerk of Court, nor […]

In South Carolina, juveniles can legally consume alcohol in their parents’ home

Few of the family law attorneys I know are aware of S.C. Code Ann. § 63-19-2460, which states: No provision of law prohibiting the use or possession of beer, wine, or alcoholic beverages by minors shall apply to any minor in the home of his parents or guardian or to any such beverage used for […]

The perils of inaccurate (or no) financial declarations in family court

For any family court trial involving alimony or attorney’s fees, and for most trials involving child support or support enforcement, an accurate financial declaration is the most vital document in the family court practitioner’s arsenal.  A financial declaration requires a party to list current income, expenses, assets and debts under oath.  An inaccurate financial declaration […]

South Carolina’s alimony lottery

I had a recent phone conference with a New Jersey attorney as we discussed the advantages of disadvantages of fighting an alimony case in South Carolina versus fighting it in New Jersey.  As I discussed the factors that the South Carolina courts might examine in deciding alimony, New Jersey counsel kept stating incredulously: “they’d really […]

No Fault of Their Own

Interesting op-ed piece by Ruth Bettelheim, a marriage and family therapist, in today’s New York Times criticizing the way child custody cases are handled forty years after the institution of no-fault divorce:  No Fault of Their Own. She’s correct that turning children into child support generators fuels much of the fire of custody litigation though it is […]

Grandparent child support responsibility when their minor children have children

A legal argument I have often made (never successfully) and would love to eventually appeal is whether a parent’s legal obligation to support his or her minor child should terminate as a matter of law when that child has legal and physical custody of his or her own child.  Typically, this situation arises when a […]

South Carolina Appellate Courts continue to reward indefinite pleading

I applauded when the South Carolina Court of Appeals issued its 2008 opinion in Camp v. Camp, 378 S.C. 237, 662 S.E.2d 458 (Ct. App. 2008) dismissing an appeal because it found that the appellant’s motion to reconsider wasn’t a proper motion, and therefore it did not toll the time to file an appeal–thus making the appeal […]