Archive for the ‘Litigation Strategy’ Category

Remedying the visitation of an emotionally abusive parent

A reader left a comment today on my blog, Calling bullsh*t on custodial parents who let the children decide their visitation that I found deeply upsetting. He begins: I honestly hope you’re still reading these comments, since your original post is a few years old. I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on you […]

Waiving alimony by committing adultery affects more than just alimony

South Carolina’s alimony bar to spouses who have committed uncondoned adultery (S.C. Code Ann. § 20-3-130(A)) is unique in United States alimony law. It reflects an archaic and patriarchal view of marriage and should be abolished. Of course South Carolina’s overwhelming preference for permanent periodic alimony is similarly archaic and patriarchal. However so long as […]

(Don’t) Meet me halfway

There’s a hilarious scene in the movie Bad Santa in which the head of mall security, Gin (played by Bernie Mac) has discovered that the dipsomaniac Department Store Santa, Willie (played by Billy Bob Thornton), and his foul-mouthed Elf assistant, Marcus (played by Tony Cox), are actually con men who rob a different mall each year […]

Strategically permitting objectionable leading questions

Leading questions are questions that suggest their own answer. Typically they are statements masquerading as questions, such as: “You and your spouse separated on March 14, 2013?” The ability to ask leading questions is governed by Rule 611(c) of the South Carolina Rules of Evidence, which reads: Leading questions should not be used on the […]

Mutually assured dysfunction

Sadly, there are way too many custody in which both parents have “issues” that would lead their fitness to be questioned if the other parent raised them. Much like the United States and USSR, which stockpiled nuclear weapons they hoped never to use as a “mutually assured destruction” deterrent, these parents stockpile–but typically do not […]

There is no relief from judgment for intrinsic fraud (or do your due diligence)

South Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) list five different ways one can use a streamlined procedure to obtain relief from a judgment within one year of the order or judgment. Item three includes, “fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party.” While the parallel rule of Federal Procedure, upon which the South Carolina […]

Negotiating alimony or equitable distribution without financial declarations

How many times have I been seduced by an opposing attorney’s siren call to negotiate alimony or property division issues before that attorney’s client will provide me an executed financial declaration? Like some drunken floozy, I promise myself never to let it happen again, only to trip up on occasion and only to wake up […]

Doubling down on stupid

Sometimes the greatest service an attorney can offer a client is to walk the client back from looming disaster. However it requires skill and experience to recognize that disaster awaits, and a different skill set to successfully convince the client that a conciliatory approach is necessary. A decent sized subset of domestic cases involve situations […]