Archive for the ‘Child Custody’ Category

Hightailing it with the kid(s)

When I first began practicing family law in the early 1990’s it was a lot easier for mothers (it was typically mothers) to get away with leaving their boyfriends/husbands and removing the children from South Carolina. Rarely would the family courts require the mother to return the children to South Carolina–especially if the mother wasn’t […]

Updated checklist of questions whose answers can derail a custody or visitation case

Last August I posted a word document containing a checklist of questions that can derail a custody or visitation case.  Being informed recently by a colleague of a case in which a client’s interest in incest porn derailed that client’s visitation case, I have added another question (#24) to the list.  Who knew?

Why do mothers (more typically) get custody?

A college student, interested in a career in family law, interviewed me earlier this week for a school project. Mostly he asked questions related to family law and one of his questions expressed a common assumption: Why do mothers get custody? This isn’t an inaccurate assumption. Mothers get custody more often than fathers–although not nearly […]

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 […]

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 […]

Litigating child custody does not, by itself, create personal jurisdiction for child support

Due to an increasingly mobile society, child custody litigation often moves to different states over a child’s minority. When both parents and the child no longer live in the state that issued the most recent child support order, or when the issuing state declines modification jurisdiction because the child has been absent from the state […]

Checklist of questions whose answers can derail a custody or visitation case

I tried a custody case last month in which I learned a few weeks prior to trial that my client was using marijuana approximately once a month. What had previously seemed a strong case for custody no longer was. While many of the issues that can derail a South Carolina custody case seem pretty obvious, […]

How should the family court handle misbehaving stepparents in custody litigation?

I have a fundamental jurisprudential difference with most of my family law colleagues and many of the state family court judges regarding how one should deal with misbehaving stepparents in custody litigation.[1] Their typical response is to join them as parties and subject them to restraining orders. My preferred response is to make parents strictly […]