Archive for March, 2014

The two types of motions to compel discovery

Although the rules of civil procedure don’t differentiate them, there are really two distinct types of motions to compel discovery: one addressing the untimeliness of the response and one addressing the inadequacy of the response.  Each type requires a very different strategy to prosecute. The easier type is when the other party has simply failed […]

I think they call this chutzpah

The March 27, 2014 Supreme Court opinion SCDSS v. Michelle G., 407 S.C. 499, 757 S.E.2d 388 (2014), addresses a 14th Amendment challenge to South Carolina’s termination of parental rights (TPR) statute, S.C. Code § 63-7-2570(1).  Specifically Mother argued that the term “severity” was unconstitutionally vague in the subsection authorizing TPR when: The child or another child while […]

Court of Appeals finds prenuptial agreement only partially limited family court’s jurisdiction

The March 26, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Meehan v. Meehan, 407 S.C. 471, 756 S.E.2d 398 (Ct. App. 2014) determined that the Meehans’ prenuptial divested the family court of jurisdiction for some issues but not the issue of attorney’s fees as it related to child custody and support. Prior to their marriage, the Meehans entered […]

Marijuana use and child custody in South Carolina

One of my oldest and dearest friends was awarded custody of his two children and kept custody until they emancipated.  Not only was he openly using marijuana during that time, he was also openly growing it and selling it. He did not live in South Carolina. Along with exposing children to non-marital sexual relationships, nowhere […]

Should one verify what doesn’t have to be verified?

An old mentee of mine asked me if he should verify pleadings given that Rule 11(a) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure no longer require verifications.  That rule reads, “Except when otherwise specifically provided by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit.”  A larger question is whether one […]

Establishing paternity when the husband ain’t the daddy

A few times a year I am contacted by a mother who wants to put her child’s biological father on the child’s birth certificate but she was married to someone else at the time of the child’s birth.  What she expects to be an easy procedure isn’t.  Family court clerks will tell her she needs […]

This is why we do what we do

I received an email from a recent client this weekend which concluded: On a better note I just took [my son] to disney world and the florida keys. ten days camping out of a pickup with a cap living the good life all for $1500 and half of that was gas. thank you so much […]

The logical but wrong way to divide transmuted property

How to “equitably” divide transmuted property–property that started out as non-marital but through commingling or use become property of the marriage and hence subject to equitable distribution by the court–is one of the most contentious issue in divorce cases.  Often spouses did not even consider their pre-marital or inherited property to be marital but failed […]