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Court of Appeals reconsiders its decision and reinstates no fault divorce

N.B., on October 1, 2014, the Court of Appeals modified this modified opinion: Third time’s a charm?

When I blogged on the May 14, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in the case of Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs, I noted the curious decision to change the ground for divorce from no-fault to mutual fault. First, neither party contested the fact of one year’s continuous separation and typically the appellate courts will not change the ground for divorce if the ground the trial court granted is not contested on appeal. Second, I am unaware of any reported cases in which the family court granted or the appellate court approved a divorce on mutual fault grounds.

Evidently someone else found this ruling curious because on August 1, 2014 the Court of Appeals modified its ruling, and simply affirmed the family court’s order. Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs, 409 S.C. 347, 762 S.E.2d 30 (Ct. App. 2014), returning the ground for divorce to one year’s continuous separation. The remainder of the Court of Appeals decision remains intact.

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