Archive for the ‘South Carolina Specific’ Category

Court of Appeals reverses termination of parental rights because child not eligible for adoption

The May 12, 2015 Court of Appeals opinion in SCDSS v. Williams reverses the family court’s decision to terminate Mother’s parental rights to her daughter because Child was not eligible for adoption and therefore the termination was not in Child’s best interests. In Williams, Child came into emergency protective custody in September 2010 after she […]

South Carolina Supreme Court promulgates new rule for appointing mediators in family court

An August 27, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court order requires dismissal of family court actions if they are not resolved or set for trial within 365 days of filing. A March 14, 2013 Supreme Court order made most local counties subject to mandatory mediation before family court cases will be set for a contested trial. Together, […]

What aspects of family law require personal jurisdiction over the Defendant?

Two areas of family law do not require personal jurisdiction over the Defendant but only require in rem jurisdiction. Those areas are divorce [S.C. Code Ann. § 20-3-30] and child custody [S.C. Code Ann. § 63-15-330]. For these matters, a Plaintiff can file the action in South Carolina even if there is no personal jurisdiction […]

How does retirement affect alimony?

In 2012 South Carolina amended the alimony modification statute, S.C. Code § 20-3-170(B), to include specific factors for the family court to consider on whether to modify or terminate alimony when a supporting spouse retires. Those factors are: (1) whether retirement was contemplated when alimony was awarded; (2) the age of the supporting spouse; (3) […]

What ever happened to comity?

I am beginning to pity the South Carolina Court of Appeals. For the third time in less than two months the South Carolina Supreme Court has directed the Court of Appeals to depublish one of its opinions–this time on April 9, 2015 in the case of State v. Starks, 410 S.C. 580, 765 S.E.2d 148 (Ct. […]

Court of Appeals affirms custody, property division and fees

Can anyone explain the Court of Appeals’ thought process in what family law decisions it will publish? On April 8, 2015, mere weeks after deigning to publish two TPR reversals that both involved novel legal issues, it published its first family court opinion of 2015 (not counting a revised opinion in Srivastava v. Srivastava) in […]

How do you depublish an opinion?

Twice in the past 1 ½ months the South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered that a published South Carolina Court of Appeals opinion be depublished. First, on February 20, 2015, it denied certiorari in State v. Mimms, 410 S.C. 32, 763 S.E.2d 46 (Ct. App. 2014) but ordered that the opinion be depublished. Then, on […]

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 […]