Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

How does retirement affect alimony?

In 2012 South Carolina amended the alimony modification statute, S.C. Code § 20-3-170(B), to include specific factors for the family court to consider on whether to modify or terminate alimony when a supporting spouse retires. Those factors are: (1) whether retirement was contemplated when alimony was awarded; (2) the age of the supporting spouse; (3) […]

After eight years South Carolina finally updates its child support guidelines

On July 1, 2014 South Carolina’s new child support guidelines went into effect. The updated guidelines can be downloaded here. It is the first revision to these guidelines since 2006. There are four primary changes from the previous guidelines. The first change is to the child support tables. These tables now go up to incomes […]

South Carolina finally does grandparent visitation rights right

On June 9, 2014 Governor Nikki Haley signed into law House bill 4348 amending S.C. Code § 63-3-530 (A)(33), commonly known as the grandparent visitation statute. The new law is effective immediately. This law makes it much easier for grandparents to obtain court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren. As modified, subsection 33 now authorizes the family […]

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 […]

Can a deserting (without good cause) spouse get alimony?

How many family law attorneys are aware of S.C. Code § 63-5-20?  In my experience not many. With the proper fact pattern that statute might be revived to remarkable effect. Back in the good ole days (ironic affect intended) only wives could get alimony, divorce could only be granted for fault (until the late 1940’s […]

Is there a conflict in the equitable distribution statutes on whether property acquired post-filing but before the entry of a temporary order is marital property?

South Carolina Code § 20-3-610 indicates that the marital estate is created “at the time marital litigation is filed or commenced…”  Yet S.C. Code § 20-3-630(A)(2)(a) lists as part of the exclusions from the marital estate, “property acquired by either party before the marriage and property acquired after the happening of the earliest of: (a) […]

What does it all mean?

Recent Charleston School of Law graduate Asher Watson has asked me questions about recently enacted (effective June 26, 2012) South Carolina House Bill 3400, which modifies S.C. Code § 63-3-530(A)(17), a subsection of the family court code that explains when child support terminates.  That code section previously read that “The family court has exclusive jurisdiction:” […]

New statute codifies law on alimony modification upon retirement

One of my blog’s readers posted a comment linking a new statute that codifies the law on modifying alimony upon the supporting spouse’s retirement.  South Carolina House bill 4738, which went into effect June 18, 2012, adds subsection B to S.C. Code § 20-3-170.  This new subsection reads: Retirement by the supporting spouse is sufficient […]