Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

2014 again finds few published family law opinions

While gender roles and marital expectations have rapidly changed during the past 50 years, family law has lagged in its response. Custody, child support, alimony and, to some extent, property division all tend to reflect traditional gender roles and expectations, creating a widening gap between what the average citizen considers just and what a family […]

Court of Appeals continues recent trend of rejecting a family court’s credibility determinations

The December 23, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Srivastava v. Srivastava has an interesting analysis on the ability to pay as a factor in an award of attorney’s fees in family court actions and (at least to me) an indecipherable analysis on the doctrine of condonation. It continues a recent trend of the Court […]

Supreme Court sets procedures for family court attorney fee awards

The December 3, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in Buist v. Buist sets forth procedures to be used in setting attorney fee awards in family court cases. This opinion recognizes the difficulties of preserving fee award issues when the litigants don’t know the court’s decision on attorney’s fees until the court renders its decision. […]

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

Yesterday, October 9, 2014, in an order from State ex rel. Wilson v. Condon, 410 S.C. 331, 764 S.E.2d 247 (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, […]

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 […]

Supreme Court affirms finding that non technical defects with adoption consent renders consent invalid

Eight weeks after the Court of Appeals affirmed a family court finding that South Carolina’s adoption statute required strict compliance with statutory consent requirements in order for the consent to be valid, the Supreme Court affirmed that ruling in the September 29, 2014 opinion of Brown v. Baby Girl Harper, 410 S.C. 446 (S.C. 2014). This […]

Court of Appeals highly critical of Charleston County’s Abuse and Neglect proceedings’ procedures

The September 3, 2014 Court of Appeals decision in SCDSS v.  Hogan, 410 S.C. 120, 763 S.E.2d 219 (Ct. App. 2014), is highly critical of the method our county uses to handle abuse and neglect proceedings. It reversed the family court’s determinations that it no longer had jurisdiction to order return of the parents’ children or over […]

Court of Appeals affirms strict compliance with adoption consent requirements

The August 4, 2014 Court of Appeal opinion in Brown v. Baby Girl Harper, 409 S.C. 470, 761 S.E.2d 779 (Ct. App. 2014), affirmed a family court’s decision not to terminate a birth mother’s parental rights because the executed consents to the adoption were not properly witnessed. The attorney-witness was not in the room when […]