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

Visitation schedules for firefighters (or anyone who works 24-hours on/48-hours off)

One can always tell when an attorney has failed to really focus on his or her client when a parent who works a 24-hours on/48-hours off work schedule ends up with an every-other-weekend visitation schedule. Such visitation schedules doom such workers to parenting failure. The every-other-weekend visitation schedule is predicated on the idea that both […]

The drawback of preventing non-parties from attending mediations

ADR Rule 5(d) states that “ADR [Alternative Dispute Resolution] conferences are private. Other persons may attend only with the permission of the parties, their attorneys and the mediator.” In family court mediations, parties will often want their non-party family members to attend the mediation. Typically, this will be step-parents [for custody mediations] or parents [for […]

Discovery for defending domestic violence allegations in family court cases

Allegations of domestic violence in family court cases are often akin to shock grenades: intend to knock the other party back and on the defensive. When these allegations are accompanied by substantial corroborating evidence, they can have significant impacts on custody and alimony rulings.  Because most domestic violence occurs in private, the court’s determination of […]

Orders of paternity

One area where law and culture are not congruent is the issue of paternity for children born out of wedlock. In many cases the parents of such children “know” who the father is and act accordingly (know is in quotes because sometimes the putative father’s understanding of his paternity is not accurate). For children born […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]