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

Hightailing it with the kid(s)

When I first began practicing family law in the early 1990’s it was a lot easier for mothers (it was typically mothers) to get away with leaving their boyfriends/husbands and removing the children from South Carolina. Rarely would the family courts require the mother to return the children to South Carolina–especially if the mother wasn’t […]

Stopping case dismissal under the 365 day rule when the other party won’t mediate

Within the past few years the South Carolina Supreme Court has promulgated one rule in which family court cases are dismissed if no final hearing is requested within 365 days of the date the action is filed and another rule in which cases need to be mediated in most counties (including all three local countries: […]

Class sensitivity and toilet training

Before I started practicing family law I never really understood why some folks pushed toilet training on their toddlers. While no one enjoys changing diapers, it’s really not that horrible. Further, most children will eventually toilet train themselves–especially if they attend a preschool where other kids are already trained. If the unpleasantness of a loaded […]

Getting the family law client to behave

A large but unsung part of a good family law attorney’s role is to get clients to behave well towards the opposing party. Not only is this role unsung, it often makes the attorney extremely unpopular with the client–especially in the early part of the representation. However being cognizant of this role is often vital […]

Court of Appeals reverses termination of parental rights because child not eligible for adoption

The May 12, 2015 Court of Appeals opinion in SCDSS v. Williams reverses the family court’s decision to terminate Mother’s parental rights to her daughter because Child was not eligible for adoption and therefore the termination was not in Child’s best interests. In Williams, Child came into emergency protective custody in September 2010 after she […]

South Carolina Supreme Court promulgates new rule for appointing mediators in family court

An August 27, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court order requires dismissal of family court actions if they are not resolved or set for trial within 365 days of filing. A March 14, 2013 Supreme Court order made most local counties subject to mandatory mediation before family court cases will be set for a contested trial. Together, […]

Updated checklist of questions whose answers can derail a custody or visitation case

Last August I posted a word document containing a checklist of questions that can derail a custody or visitation case.  Being informed recently by a colleague of a case in which a client’s interest in incest porn derailed that client’s visitation case, I have added another question (#24) to the list.  Who knew?

Every Social Security Statement tells a story

The Social Security Statement, mailed annually or available for order online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ssa-7050.pdf, is often the most valuable piece of financial information for alimony and child support cases. Don’t go to trial without the client’s and opposing party’s statements.  A sample statement follows: For any American citizen or legal resident whose primary source of income […]