Archive for the ‘Attorney’s Fees’ Category

Court of Appeals finds prenuptial agreement only partially limited family court’s jurisdiction

The March 26, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Meehan v. Meehan determined that the Meehans’ prenuptial divested the family court of jurisdiction for some issues but not the issue of attorney’s fees as it related to child custody and support. Prior to their marriage, the Meehans entered into an agreement which provided in part […]

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 […]

Obtaining funding for an ongoing family court case

Unless one filed a specific request for advance suit costs, at most motions for temporary relief the family court will only award fees (if it awards fees) that cover work done through the motion for temporary relief.  However in contested family court cases (and if one needs a contested motion for temporary relief the case […]

When can a family law attorney be required to pay the other party’s fees?

A few weeks ago one of my mentees inquired whether there were circumstances in which an attorney could be required to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees.  There are two circumstances I am aware of and a wise attorney avoids those circumstances. An attorney can be required to pay the other side’s fees for having […]

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 […]

South Carolina Supreme Court September 2012 case of the month fizzles into unpublished dud

Ex parte: Belinda Davis-Branch. In re: Larry Solomon v. Betty Jean Solomon was the South Carolina Supreme Court’s September 2012 “Case of the Month.”  Had the Supreme Court affirmed the family court’s ruling–which I was almost certain it wouldn’t–it might have revolutionized family law attorney fee collection practice in South Carolina and made it much […]

Lewis affirms child custody but remands child support based on improper imputation of husbands’s income

The November 14, 2012 Court of Appeals opinion in Lewis v. Lewis, 400 S.C. 354, 734 S.E.2d 322 (Ct. App. 2012), provides some guidance on imputing income to unemployed spouses and parents and deciding whether to award joint custody. In Lewis, the family court denied Husband’s request for joint custody and imputed monthly income to him of […]

South Carolina Supreme Court amends Rules of Professional Conduct to address the charging of advance fees by lawyers

Today the South Carolina Supreme Court adopted amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct to address the charging of advance fees by lawyers.  Given recent confusing disciplinary opinions regarding the handling of minimum fees or non refundable retainers these new rules provide welcome clarity. The primary change is the addition of Rule1.5(f), which reads: (f) […]