Archive for the ‘Jurisprudence’ Category

The risk of sending South Carolina family law clients to counseling

Many family law clients in the initial stage of custody or divorce litigation could benefit from counseling. Whether it is developing better coping methods for handling the stress of separation and litigation, learning how to better communicate with a co-parent, or learning how to better handle conflict with an estranged spouse or co-parent, the skills […]

Why family law in South Carolina is so underdeveloped

South Carolina family law attorneys frequently complain about the random nature of family court. A large part of the reason for this “randomness” is that South Carolina family law invests so much discretion in family court judges. The one area of family law in which judges have little discretion–setting child support–is the most predicable aspect […]

What ever happened to comity?

I am beginning to pity the South Carolina Court of Appeals. For the third time in less than two months the South Carolina Supreme Court has directed the Court of Appeals to depublish one of its opinions–this time on April 9, 2015 in the case of State v. Starks, 410 S.C. 580, 765 S.E.2d 148 (Ct. […]

How do you depublish an opinion?

Twice in the past 1 ½ months the South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered that a published South Carolina Court of Appeals opinion be depublished. First, on February 20, 2015, it denied certiorari in State v. Mimms, 410 S.C. 32, 763 S.E.2d 46 (Ct. App. 2014) but ordered that the opinion be depublished. Then, on […]

In praise of modest decision making in family court

With a new family court judge for Charleston County due to be elected this week, the issue of the candidates’ attributes, and the bigger question of what makes a good family court judge, has been a frequent topic of conversation. A common complaint about some family court judges are that they are “indecisive.” I believe […]

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 […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion undefinitively answers one of my family court questions

The June 25, 2014 unpublished Court of Appeals opinion in Katzburg v. Katzburg undefinitively answers one of my long-standing family court questions. I was retained by Mr. Katzburg after he was incarcerated by the family court for failing to comply with a New Jersey divorce decree that had been turned into a money judgment and […]

When should the family court award grandparent visitation?

There’s some dispute surrounding last week’s blog regarding the wholesale revision of South Carolina’s grandparent visitation statute. Some commenters contend that grandparents should never be awarded autonomous visitation over a parent’s objection. Others believe that court-ordered visitation should be available to grandparents even when the parents are part of an intact household. As I indicated in that […]