Archive for the ‘Not South Carolina Specific’ Category

When should the family court award grandparent visitation?

There’s some dispute surrounding last week’s blog regarding the wholesale revision of South Carolina’s grandparent visitation statute. Some commenters contend that grandparents should never be awarded autonomous visitation over a parent’s objection. Others believe that court-ordered visitation should be available to grandparents even when the parents are part of an intact household. As I indicated in that […]

Should one explain one’s request to admit responses?

I had a lively debate a few weeks ago with colleagues I respect over whether one should explain request to admit responses that look bad on the surface but have reasonable explanations [this is a good time to acknowledge I have a very unusual conception of what constitutes a “good time”].  All of us frequently […]

This is why we do what we do

I received an email from a recent client this weekend which concluded: On a better note I just took [my son] to disney world and the florida keys. ten days camping out of a pickup with a cap living the good life all for $1500 and half of that was gas. thank you so much […]

Should there be a uniform waiting period for a no-fault divorce?

I rarely blog on proposed family law legislation.  Often legislation fizzles to nothing: in my twenty years of practice bills to abolish common law marriage or reform alimony had gone nowhere.  Other times bills become radically altered during the legislative process.  Within the past few years a bill to make grandparent visitation more uniform ended […]

Better to be an adulterer than an adulterer and a liar

A mentee recently asked me if one should admit an allegation of adultery in a responsive pleading when the adultery is obvious.  While I think the question has a clear cut answer, my view isn’t shared by all of my colleagues.  I continue to see adultery denials in responsive pleadings even when the adultery is […]

The Burgess opinion and “The End of Men”

Every published opinion tells a story and the January 15, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Burgess v. Burgess, 753 S.E.2d 566 (S.C. App. 2014), tells a particularly interesting one.  Like Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men: And the Rise of Woman,” Burgess demonstrates a culture that defines men primarily as providers and shows little use […]

The potential domestic client who wants the attorney to work on promise of payment

The combination of the front loaded nature of contested family court cases (i.e., preparing for motions for temporary relief) and the general reluctance of attorneys to sue clients for fees means that experienced family law attorneys generally require significant up-front retainers before beginning representation.  However many (most?) folks who needs family court attorneys have limited […]

Reserving alimony when there’s military retirement

One of the quirks of family law is that a veteran’s military retirement is subject to equitable distribution but that veteran’s military disability is not.  South Carolina law treats military retirement as marital property. Tiffault v. Tiffault, 303 S.C. 391, 401 S.E.2d 157 (1991).  However a United States Supreme Court opinion forbids state courts from […]