If you read every 2012 published appeal of a South Carolina family court case you would be reading 18 opinions: five from the Supreme Court and the remainder from the Court of Appeals. Eighteen opinions is barely half of the 35 such published opinions of 2011.
This dearth of published opinions insures that unanswered questions on important family law issues develop even faster than they get answered. This makes family law ununiform throughout the state, as the law tends to mean what an individual family court judge believes it to be rather than what an appellate court says it should mean statewide.
Folks who want to understand why even experienced family court attorneys cannot provide clarity on the law should consider this paucity of published appeals as a large part of the answer.
And for any South Carolina family law litigant whose attorney is too “busy” to have read these 18 opinions–and personal experience shows there are some such attorneys–I suggest he or she seek other counsel.