Archive for the ‘Alimony/Spousal Support’ Category

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Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion reflects South Carolina’s continuing antiquated view of gender and alimony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

Is there ever sufficient evidence of “continued cohabitation” to terminate alimony?

I occasionally get telephone calls from men whose ex-wife’s are receiving alimony but also appear to be living with a boyfriend.  They want to know if they can terminate alimony on that basis.  I am never optimistic. In 2002, the South Carolina legislature amended S.C. Code § 20-3-150 to define the “continued cohabitation” necessary to terminate […]

All that hard work….

Some of the more cryptic opinions to come out of the South Carolina Supreme Court simply state “We granted a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals’ decision in [case name]. We now dismiss the writ as improvidently granted.” Between the request for certiorari and such brief dismissals, the petitioner and his or […]

Court of Appeals holds alimony agreement not ambiguous

In the December 28, 2012 opinion in Gaffney v. Gaffney, 401 S.C. 216, 736 S.E.2d 683 (Ct. App. 2012), the South Carolina Court of Appeals reversed the family court’s determination that the parties’ Marital Separation Agreement (MSA)was ambiguous and terminated husband’s alimony obligation completely. The parties were divorced in 2009.  Their divorce decree approved an MSA […]