Posts Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys

Court of Appeals affirms custody determination despite claim of improper guardian investigation

The April 2, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Simcox-Adams v. Adams affirmed the family court’s award of custody to Husband despite Wife’s challenge to the guardian ad litem’s investigation and report.  It also affirmed the family court’s finding that Wife’s inheritance was transmuted into marital property. Wife raised a number of issues regarding the […]

Should one explain one’s request to admit responses?

I had a lively debate a few weeks ago with colleagues I respect over whether one should explain request to admit responses that look bad on the surface but have reasonable explanations [this is a good time to acknowledge I have a very unusual conception of what constitutes a “good time”].  All of us frequently […]

Common Rule 11 violations in discovery requests and objections

I’m not sure my fellow members of the bar are aware they are doing it, but I see a whole lot of Rule 11 violations in discovery requests and objections. Rule 11 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure reads in part: The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certificate by him […]

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. 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 residing in the parent’s domicile […]

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 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 into an agreement which provided in part […]

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 […]