Multi-state child custody actions often get filed where it is unclear if, and how, the state where the action is filed has subject matter jurisdiction to determine child custody. In defending such actions the reflexive response is to file a motion to dismiss due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), SCRCP. […]
Archive for the ‘Child Custody’ Category
Why does South Carolina require court proceedings and a guardian ad litem for parents to change a child’s name by agreement?
I occasionally get calls from folks wanting to change their child’s name. Often both parents agree on the name change. Yet South Carolina not only requires parents to obtain an order from the family court to change their child’s name, it also requires that a guardian ad litem be appointed for the child as part […]
Sometimes, in contested custody cases, parents seek more time with the children than they actually want or can realistically handle. The motivation can be malevolent: a desire to “punish” the other parent or pay less child support by arguing for application of Schedule C Child Support Guidelines. The motivation can also be merely misguided: many […]
I attended a hearing yesterday in which two seemingly caring parents of teenagers were, perhaps unwittingly, doing their best to destroy the other’s relationship with these children. At the conclusion of the hearing the judge addressed the parties with advice that I had never heard before. I paraphrase: I am the father of adult children. […]
Unbeknownst to me until last week, on December 2, 2012 the South Carolina Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case of Moeller v. Moeller, 394 S.C. 365, 714 S.E.2d 898 (Ct. App. 2011), thus enshrining into South Carolina appellate case law one of the stupidest bases to award (heck, reverse) custody that our appellate courts […]
While our family court jurisdictional statute, S.C. Code § 63-3-530(42), allows judges “to order joint or divided custody where the court finds it is in the best interests of the child,” South Carolina case law looks unfavorable on splitting custody of children. See e.g., Patel v. Patel, 359 S.C. 515, 599 S.E.2d 114, 121 (2004) […]