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

Should student loan payments be a factor in setting child support?

It has always struck me as fundamentally unfair that student loan payments–especially interest on those payments–are not deductible from income for income tax purposes. Borrow $200,000 for business equipment and there’s no argument that the principal and interest on that loan is deductible from income. Borrow $200,000 to obtain a law degree (as many of […]

Changes in the non-custodial parent’s income have a much bigger impact on child support than changes in the custodial parent’s income

Child support can be modified based upon a substantial change of circumstances. Common circumstances that justify a child support modification are when work-related child care expenses drop (typically when the child starts kindergarten or is old enough to no longer need after school care) or when one, but not all, of the children supported by […]

If you want peace, prepare for war

Clients often ask me, if the goal is to settle the case, why I ask them to gather substantial information or why I issue discovery from the very beginning. The Romans would have understood. They had an adage, “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” Translated: “If you want peace, prepare for war.” In family law one […]

The unknown unknowns

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know. Although not a fan of Donald Rumsfeld, I think he gets […]

Substituted, published Court of Appeals opinion clarifies terminating parental rights of incarcerated parents

On March 3, 2017, with no announcement I can locate, the South Carolina Court of Appeals substituted and published its March 1, 2017 opinion in SCDSS v. Myers. This opinion reverses a termination of an incarcerated Father’s parental rights and the granting of an adoption to the child’s Foster Parents. It remands the matter back […]

Representing witnesses of current family court clients

A few times every year a witness in a current family court case will ask me to represent him or her in a family court matter. Rule 1.7 of the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct limits that ability: RULE 1.7: CONFLICT OF INTEREST: CURRENT CLIENTS (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer […]

Best practices in responding to requests for production

I spend a lot of time struggling to get opposing attorneys to fully respond to requests for production. Often it’s hard to tell if the response is adequate because often the response is not clear. Vague request for production responses can be treated as a failure to respond. See Rule 37(a)(3), SCRCP (“an evasive or […]

Does the De Facto Custodian statue limit or implicitly overrule Moore v. Moore?

Comments from attorneys and litigants who’ve made this argument are most welcome Moore v. Moore, 300 S.C. 75, 386 S.E.2d 456, 458 (1989) is the seminal South Carolina case on the factors the court should consider in determining whether to return a child to a parent after that child has lived with a non parent […]