Archive for the ‘Of Interest to General Public’ Category

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 […]

How to avoid becoming (unwittingly) common-law married

I get frequent calls or emails inquiring how long one can live with a romantic companion before one is common-law married. Often these folks believe there is a set time period (typically seven or ten years) after which cohabitation is presumed to become a common-law marriage. These folks are mistaken. While cohabitation (living together) is […]

A little more perfect union

It seems fitting that I was at the TD Arena with my family awaiting President Obama’s eulogy for Clementa Pinckney when the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which established a right to gay marriage throughout the country.  Both events seem part of America’s grand struggle to live up to […]

Common law marriage is still marriage

I am amazed at the number of folks contacting my office who have inadvertently gotten themselves married via common law marriage. I am also amazed at the folks who ask how they can get common law married because they don’t want to go through the trouble or expense of a ceremonial marriage. Such questions or […]

Charleston’s daily paper wins Pulitzer Prize for series on domestic violence

On April 20, 2015, the Charleston Post and Courier won the 2015 gold medal for public service, the most prestigious of the Pulitzer Prize awards for journalism, for the paper’s series on domestic violence, “Till Death Do Us Part.” Among the P&C journalists sharing this award is a friend, Glenn Smith, whose reporting on the […]

Can someone be too demented to consent to sex with a spouse?

There’s an interesting, and quite disturbing, article in the April 14, 2015 New York Times regarding the upcoming trial of Henry Rayhons, a now-former Iowa State Representative who is “charged with third-degree felony sexual abuse, accused of having sex with his wife in a nursing home on May 23, 2014, eight days after staff members […]

Why do mothers (more typically) get custody?

A college student, interested in a career in family law, interviewed me earlier this week for a school project. Mostly he asked questions related to family law and one of his questions expressed a common assumption: Why do mothers get custody? This isn’t an inaccurate assumption. Mothers get custody more often than fathers–although not nearly […]

Eating our seed corn

Two recent news stories, one local and one national, highlight just how badly our society is doing caring for the majority of our children, especially our neediest children. Locally, on January 12, 2015, national advocacy organization Children’s Rights, the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center and Matthew T. Richardson, partner at the South Carolina law […]