Archive for the ‘Alimony/Spousal Support’ Category

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) […]

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 […]

Court of Appeals continues recent trend of rejecting a family court’s credibility determinations

One portion of this opinion was substantially modified on February 25, 2015: Refiled opinion in Srivastava makes revisions to equitable distribution ruling. The December 23, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Srivastava v. Srivastava has an interesting analysis on the ability to pay as a factor in an award of attorney’s fees in family court actions […]

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Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion reflects South Carolina’s continuing antiquated view of gender and alimony

South Carolina family law’s approach to alimony continues to reflect an antiquated view of gender roles.  South Carolina is the only state in which a spouse’s adultery will bar alimony–a punishment for “bad” spouses, typically “bad” wives.  Yet, although the alimony statute is gender neutral, I rarely see the family courts awarding husbands alimony–even when […]

Court of Appeals finds family court improperly determined downsized husband’s earning capacity

In the January 15, 2014 opinion of Burgess v. Burgess, 407 S.C. 98, 753 S.E.2d 566 (Ct. App. 2014), the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the family court’s alimony and attorney’s fees award, finding that the family court had improperly imputed too high an earning capacity to husband. Husband worked in commercial real estate. […]

South Carolina appellate courts finally approve an alimony termination based on continued cohabitation

As noted in a blog earlier this year, I have despaired that our South Carolina appellate courts would ever find the requisite “ninety or more consecutive days” of  “continued cohabitation” to terminate alimony pursuant to S.C. Code § 20-3-130(B) and § 20-3-150.  In seven previous reported decisions alimony obligors had always failed in their attempts […]

Supreme Court alters equitable distribution award and reverses reservation of alimony

N.B., on May 8, 2013, the South Carolina Supreme Court slightly modified its original opinion.  For more information read Supreme Court reconsiders equitable distribution of marital home. The February 20, 2013 Supreme Court opinion in Wilburn v. Wilburn deals with numerous interesting, sometimes novel, equitable distribution issues.  The appeal stemmed from a divorce action in a […]