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

Courtesy copying clients on emails

Fellow attorneys often ask me why I courtesy copy my clients on almost all emails. Evidently it is not a uniform practice. However there are three good reasons for doing so. First, it helps one comply with Rule 1.4(a), specifically Rule 1.4(a)(3), of the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, which requires a lawyer to […]

How should the family court handle misbehaving stepparents in custody litigation?

I have a fundamental jurisprudential difference with most of my family law colleagues and many of the state family court judges regarding how one should deal with misbehaving stepparents in custody litigation.[1] Their typical response is to join them as parties and subject them to restraining orders. My preferred response is to make parents strictly […]

Court of Appeals affirms strict compliance with adoption consent requirements

The August 4, 2014 Court of Appeal opinion in Brown v. Baby Girl Harper affirmed a family court’s decision not to terminate a birth mother’s parental rights because the executed consents to the adoption were not properly witnessed. The attorney-witness was not in the room when the birth mother signed the consent document, and neither […]

Court of Appeals reconsiders its decision and reinstates no fault divorce

When I blogged on the May 14, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in the case of Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs, I noted the curious decision to change the ground for divorce from no-fault to mutual fault. First, neither party contested the fact of one year’s continuous separation and typically the appellate courts will not change the […]

Previously unpublished opinion answers question of where to enforce foreign equitable distribution orders

On July 30, 2014 the South Carolina Court of Appeals published the previously unpublished opinion in the case of Katzburg v. Katzburg. This opinion answers the frequently recurring question of where to enforce foreign state’s equitable distribution orders. The answer: circuit court. A more detailed analysis of the opinion can be found in the blog […]

After eight years South Carolina finally updates its child support guidelines

On July 1, 2014 South Carolina’s new child support guidelines went into effect. The updated guidelines can be downloaded here. It is the first revision to these guidelines since 2006. There are four primary changes from the previous guidelines. The first change is to the child support tables. These tables now go up to incomes […]

Supreme Court completely reverses Court of Appeals and reinstates family court’s alimony, property division and attorney fee award

The July 2, 2014 Supreme Court opinion in Crossland v. Crossland, 408 S.C. 443, 759 S.E.2d 419 (2014), completely reverses the prior Court of Appeals opinion and reinstates family court’s alimony, property division and attorney fee award. The family court had awarded Wife permanent periodic alimony. The Court of Appeals remanded the alimony award back to the […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion undefinitively answers one of my family court questions

The June 25, 2014 unpublished Court of Appeals opinion in Katzburg v. Katzburg undefinitively answers one of my long-standing family court questions. I was retained by Mr. Katzburg after he was incarcerated by the family court for failing to comply with a New Jersey divorce decree that had been turned into a money judgment and […]