Posts Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys

Refiled opinion in Srivastava makes revisions to equitable distribution ruling

On February 25, 2015 the South Carolina Court of Appeals refiled its opinion in Srivastava v. Srivastava. While the refiled opinion makes minor languages changes to the rationales on issues of child support, attorney’s fees, and condonation/adultery, the major revision was made to its equitable distribution award. In the original December 23, 2014 opinion the […]

The dangers of dating before divorce (or before a final order of separate maintenance)

People coming out of an unhappy marriage are often eager to begin dating. Yet there are risks in dating before one is divorced.  My preference as the attorney is that my clients don’t date until they are divorced (or at least until they have a final order of separate maintenance): a client who doesn’t date […]

How solo attorneys can work fewer hours, make more money, and have greater job satisfaction

When I talk to law students or young attorneys about law office management, I often show them the following formula as a method of getting them to think about structuring their practice: Income = hourly rate x hours billed per week x weeks worked per year x percentage of billing collected x (1-percentage of overhead) […]

Odd skirmishes in the battle over credibility

I recently completed a lengthy custody and divorce trial in which the judge asked both attorneys to draft proposed orders. This required us to consider the factual findings we wanted this judge to make. Given that issues of the parties’ credibility would impact all the contested issues, it required a consideration what is meant by […]

In praise of modest decision making in family court

With a new family court judge for Charleston County due to be elected this week, the issue of the candidates’ attributes, and the bigger question of what makes a good family court judge, has been a frequent topic of conversation. A common complaint about some family court judges are that they are “indecisive.” I believe […]

Do you want your attorney to be honest or to tell you want you want to hear?

For the past few years I’ve been seeing an individual counselor who, despite being twenty years my junior, is much wiser than I. Recently we were discussing our roles as counselors–an attorney is not just a legal advocate but also a counselor-at-law. She mentioned learning from her mentor that, although one cannot be rude, one […]

It can be counterproductive to fight grounds in termination of parental rights cases

A party bringing a termination of parental rights (TPR) case must prove, by clear and convincing evidence, both a statutory ground under S.C. Code § 63-7-2570 to terminate parental rights and that such termination is in the best interests of the child. One can defend TPR cases by defending the ground(s), the best interests element, […]

Should one execute a formal agreement at the conclusion of mediation?

A frequent debate among my family law colleagues is whether one should have one’s client execute a formal agreement before concluding mediation if one has reached an agreement-in-principal during mediation. There’s no right answer to this issue–just pros and cons with each position. The benefit of having a formal executed agreement is that it mitigates […]