Archive for the ‘Child Custody’ Category

Court of Appeals affirms custody determination despite claim of improper guardian investigation

The April 2, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Simcox-Adams v. Adams affirmed the family court’s award of custody to Husband despite Wife’s challenge to the guardian ad litem’s investigation and report.  It also affirmed the family court’s finding that Wife’s inheritance was transmuted into marital property. Wife raised a number of issues regarding the […]

Marijuana use and child custody in South Carolina

One of my oldest and dearest friends was awarded custody of his two children and kept custody until they emancipated.  Not only was he openly using marijuana during that time, he was also openly growing it and selling it. He did not live in South Carolina. Along with exposing children to non-marital sexual relationships, nowhere […]

Should there be automatic de novo review of temporary custody and support orders?

I’ve previously complained that South Carolina’s handling of family court temporary hearings violate due process.  This is because allowing such hearings to proceed on affidavits alone–and affidavits that do not have to be exchanged until the temporary hearing–do not allow parties to prepare to defend the allegations or confront the witnesses against them. The November […]

Demanding UCCJEA submissions before filing motions to dismiss child custody cases

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. […]

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 […]

Give ‘em enough rope

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 […]

Will your adult children dread visiting you?

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. […]

When abuse and neglect and private custody cases overlap

Not infrequently a claim of abuse or neglect against one parent will lead another parent to seek custody.  Other times a private custody case will lead to a referral to the Department of Social Services (DSS), which leads that agency to bring an abuse and neglect proceeding.  Either way, the result is concurrent DSS abuse […]