Archive for September, 2012

Deposing alleged paramours before filing to terminate alimony

In South Carolina even adultery that occurs during the marital dissolution litigation period is sufficient to terminate alimony.  Further adultery can be “proven” through circumstantial evidence by showing both inclination and opportunity to commit adultery.  These two facts contribute to the high utilization of private detectives in South Carolina divorce cases. Yet even the most […]

Substance abuse testing before temporary hearings

In the South Carolina family courts it is almost a reflexive practice for attorneys to file a motion for temporary relief, seeking all the relief the client will seek at the final hearing, at the same time they file the initial complaint.  Typically this strategy is a good one.  However parties are frequently living under […]

Alimony for alcoholics

In South Carolina only adultery acts as an absolute bar to alimony. S.C. Code § 20-3-130(A). Yet, since the implementation of South Carolina’s alimony statute in 1990, there have been no reported decisions on awarding alimony to an alcoholic spouse. Prior to 1990 the trend was clear: an alcoholic wife was going to get minimal, […]

Court of Appeals makes minor changes to year-old opinion

Today’s [September 12, 2012] advance sheet notes a refiled opinion in the case of South Carolina Department of Social Services v. Mary C.  Oddly enough this opinion has already been published in South Carolina Reports (396 S.C. 15) and Southeastern Reporter (720 S.E.2d 503).  The published opinion notes that a rehearing was denied on December […]

Shared custody parents should date locally

One of the more heart wrenching consults I commonly encounter is when a primary caretaker mother who agreed to shared physical custody has fallen in love and married, or plans to marry, a man who is required to live elsewhere. [1]  These mothers assume they will be allowed to alter the shared custody arrangement and […]

Can a deserting (without good cause) spouse get alimony?

How many family law attorneys are aware of S.C. Code § 63-5-20?  In my experience not many. With the proper fact pattern that statute might be revived to remarkable effect. Back in the good ole days (ironic affect intended) only wives could get alimony, divorce could only be granted for fault (until the late 1940’s […]