Archive for the ‘Of Interest to Family Court Litigants’ Category

Mutually assured dysfunction

Sadly, there are way too many custody in which both parents have “issues” that would lead their fitness to be questioned if the other parent raised them. Much like the United States and USSR, which stockpiled nuclear weapons they hoped never to use as a “mutually assured destruction” deterrent, these parents stockpile–but typically do not […]

South Carolina Supreme Court distinguishes personal goodwill from enterprise goodwill for equitable distribution purposes

The October 7, 2015 Supreme Court opinion in Moore v. Moore is the first published South Carolina appellate opinion to distinguish personal goodwill from enterprise goodwill for equitable distribution purposes. As this is a frequently recurring issue, the Moore opinion is necessary reading for any family court attorney who handles equitable distributions cases involving business […]

How soon can one get a divorce after filing?

Folks who have filed for divorce often wonder why it takes so long for them to get divorced. S.C. Code § 20-3-80 sets “Required delays before reference and final decree.” It requires that hearings on a divorce based on physical cruelty, adultery or habitual intoxication not take place until two months after the date the […]

There is no relief from judgment for intrinsic fraud (or do your due diligence)

South Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) list five different ways one can use a streamlined procedure to obtain relief from a judgment within one year of the order or judgment. Item three includes, “fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party.” While the parallel rule of Federal Procedure, upon which the South Carolina […]

The risk of sending South Carolina family law clients to counseling

Many family law clients in the initial stage of custody or divorce litigation could benefit from counseling. Whether it is developing better coping methods for handling the stress of separation and litigation, learning how to better communicate with a co-parent, or learning how to better handle conflict with an estranged spouse or co-parent, the skills […]

Trial: Fun for me (for you maybe not so much)

When I counsel clients that they should take a settlement offer I am often met with the response, “I want to go to trial.” Many other attorneys relate similar tales of clients rejecting suggestions of settlement and pushing for their “day in court.” If one’s attorney has little, or mostly negative, trial experience perhaps a […]

Negotiating alimony or equitable distribution without financial declarations

How many times have I been seduced by an opposing attorney’s siren call to negotiate alimony or property division issues before that attorney’s client will provide me an executed financial declaration? Like some drunken floozy, I promise myself never to let it happen again, only to trip up on occasion and only to wake up […]

It is likely practicably impossible to terminate alimony due to “continued cohabitation” in South Carolina

In January 2013, noting that none of the seven published South Carolina appellate opinions dealing with the issue of “continued cohabitation” had found it existed and therefore terminated alimony, I blogged, “Is there ever sufficient evidence of “continued cohabitation” to terminate alimony?” Seven months later the Court of Appeals finally affirmed a “continued cohabitation” alimony […]