Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

Court of Appeals reverses termination of parental rights because child not eligible for adoption

The May 12, 2015 Court of Appeals opinion in SCDSS v. Williams reverses the family court’s decision to terminate Mother’s parental rights to her daughter because Child was not eligible for adoption and therefore the termination was not in Child’s best interests. In Williams, Child came into emergency protective custody in September 2010 after she […]

Court of Appeals affirms custody, property division and fees

Can anyone explain the Court of Appeals’ thought process in what family law decisions it will publish? On April 8, 2015, mere weeks after deigning to publish two TPR reversals that both involved novel legal issues, it published its first family court opinion of 2015 (not counting a revised opinion in Srivastava v. Srivastava) in […]

Two recent unpublished termination of parental rights opinions that should have been published

Within the past week the South Carolina Court of Appeals has issued two unpublished opinions reversing two family court decisions to terminate a parent’s parental rights on the basis that the Department of Social Services (DSS) failed to meet its burden of proof. Both cases successfully challenged the statutory ground for termination.  In one of […]

Refiled opinion in Srivastava makes revisions to equitable distribution ruling

On February 25, 2015 the South Carolina Court of Appeals refiled its opinion in Srivastava v. Srivastava. While the refiled opinion makes minor languages changes to the rationales on issues of child support, attorney’s fees, and condonation/adultery, the major revision was made to its equitable distribution award. In the original December 23, 2014 opinion the […]

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

One portion of this opinion was substantially modified on February 25, 2015: Refiled opinion in Srivastava makes revisions to equitable distribution ruling. 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 […]

Supreme Court sets procedures for family court attorney fee awards

The December 3, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in Buist v. Buist, 410 S.C. 569, 766 S.E.2d 381 (2014), 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 […]

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, […]