Archive for the ‘Divorce and Marriage’ Category

On the wrong side of history again

Bowing to the inevitable, North Carolina has authorized same sex marriage, leaving South Carolina the last remaining state of the Fourth Circuit to bar such marriages. Today U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn of Asheville struck down the state’s laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said the state […]

We could have been more progressive than West Virginia…but no!

Yesterday, October 9, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a stay preventing county probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples pending a decision by United States District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs in Bradacs v. Haley, 3:13-CV-02351-JMC. That lawsuit challenges the provision of the South Carolina constitution, S.C. Const. art. XVII, […]

South Carolina likely to be compelled to allow same sex marriage

Today the United States Supreme Court decided to let stand a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision finding Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals put its decision into effect immediately and same sex marriages are already taking place in Virginia. This means it is likely inevitable that all […]

Third time’s a charm?

On October 1, 2014, and for a second time, the South Carolina Court of Appeals has issued a revised published opinion in the case of Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs, 409 S.C. 347, 762 S.E.2d 30 (Ct. App. 2014). Previous blogs on this case can be found here and here. The only change from the previous opinion is the removal […]

Court of Appeals reconsiders its decision and reinstates no fault divorce

When I blogged on the May 14, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in the case of Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs, I noted the curious decision to change the ground for divorce from no-fault to mutual fault. First, neither party contested the fact of one year’s continuous separation and typically the appellate courts will not change the […]

Court of Appeals finds adultery by both spouses and changes ground for divorce

N.B., on August 1, 2014 the Court of Appeals refiled its opinion and simply affirmed the family court’s no-fault ground for divorce: Court of Appeals reconsiders its decision and reinstates no fault divorce In the extremely odd May 14, 2014 opinion of Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs, the South Carolina Court of Appeals modified the grounds for divorce from […]

Why file for separate maintenance when one doesn’t have grounds for divorce?

Separate maintenance is the action one files with the family court when one is no longer living with one’s spouse but one doesn’t yet have grounds for divorce. This occurs when one doesn’t have fault grounds for divorce (physical cruelty; habitual intoxication; adultery) but hasn’t been separated for the one-year period that allows for a […]

Should there be a uniform waiting period for a no-fault divorce?

I rarely blog on proposed family law legislation.  Often legislation fizzles to nothing: in my twenty years of practice bills to abolish common law marriage or reform alimony had gone nowhere.  Other times bills become radically altered during the legislative process.  Within the past few years a bill to make grandparent visitation more uniform ended […]