Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

South Carolina Supreme Court distinguishes personal goodwill from enterprise goodwill for equitable distribution purposes

The October 7, 2015 Supreme Court opinion in Moore v. Moore is the first published South Carolina appellate opinion to distinguish personal goodwill from enterprise goodwill for equitable distribution purposes. As this is a frequently recurring issue, the Moore opinion is necessary reading for any family court attorney who handles equitable distributions cases involving business […]

Court of Appeals says email notice is notice

In an order designed to terrify civil, domestic and appellate lawyers, the South Carolina Court of Appeals, in an August 26, 2015 order in the case of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Fallon Properties, SC, LLC, 413 S.C. 642, 776 S.E.2d 575 (Ct. App. 2015), dismissed an appeal as untimely because it determined that the […]

It is likely practicably impossible to terminate alimony due to “continued cohabitation” in South Carolina

In January 2013, noting that none of the seven published South Carolina appellate opinions dealing with the issue of “continued cohabitation” had found it existed and therefore terminated alimony, I blogged, “Is there ever sufficient evidence of “continued cohabitation” to terminate alimony?” Seven months later the Court of Appeals finally affirmed a “continued cohabitation” alimony […]

South Carolina Supreme Court holds child abuse examiners are not to be used as expert witnesses

In a criminal appeal that has implications for family law attorneys who defend abuse and neglect proceedings, on August 5, 2015, in the case of State v. Anderson, 413 S.C. 212, 776 S.E.2d 76 (2015), the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed a criminal sexual conduct with a minor conviction because the trial court allowed the forensic […]

Court of Appeals requires DSS to offer mother more treatment

The August 3, 2015 Court of Appeals opinion in SCDSS v. Briggs 413 S.C. 377, 776 S.E.2d 115 (Ct. App. 2015), reverses a family court determination that the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) did not have to offer Mother further services and creating a permanency plan of termination of parental rights (TPR) or relative […]

A lot of work for $2.35 a month

On July 22, 2015, three and a half years after the Court of Appeals remanded the family court’s increase in an Ex-Wife’s alimony to $1,547.65 per month in the case of Roof v. Steele, 396 S.C. 373, 720 S.E.2d 910 (Ct. App. 2011), the Court of Appeals, in the case of Roof v. Steele, 413 […]

A child custody reversal that should have been published (and remanded rather than reversed)

Child custody determinations are among the hardest family court matters to get reversed on appeal. Because custody decisions are based upon the weight the trial judge places on sixteen listed factors and a seventeenth catch-all factor, and because so much of the weighing of these factors can be based on the judge’s credibility determinations, appellate […]

Misvaluing small personal services businesses

A recent unpublished opinion Court of Appeals opinion, Herring-Wilson v. Wilson, highlights a common fallacy in valuing small personal services businesses for purposes of equitable distribution: treating personal goodwill as marital property. The Court of Appeals reversed a finding that Wife’s business had a value of $603,000 and requiring her to pay Husband half that […]