Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

Court of Appeals reverses family court determination that prenuptial agreement was unconscionable on equitable distribution

The April 16, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Hudson v. Hudson reversed the family court’s determination that the parties’ prenuptial agreement was unconscionable on the issue of the equitable distribution of Husband’s pre-marital businesses. The prenuptial agreement included a mutual waiver of alimony, as well as a waiver of any interest in the other’s […]

Court of Appeals affirms custody determination despite claim of improper guardian investigation

The April 2, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Simcox-Adams v. Adams affirmed the family court’s award of custody to Husband despite Wife’s challenge to the guardian ad litem’s investigation and report.  It also affirmed the family court’s finding that Wife’s inheritance was transmuted into marital property. Wife raised a number of issues regarding the […]

I think they call this chutzpah

The March 27, 2014 Supreme Court opinion SCDSS v. Michelle G. addresses a 14th Amendment challenge to South Carolina’s termination of parental rights (TPR) statute, S.C. Code § 63-7-2570(1).  Specifically Mother argued that the term “severity” was unconstitutionally vague in the subsection authorizing TPR when: The child or another child while residing in the parent’s domicile […]

Court of Appeals finds prenuptial agreement only partially limited family court’s jurisdiction

The March 26, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Meehan v. Meehan determined that the Meehans’ prenuptial divested the family court of jurisdiction for some issues but not the issue of attorney’s fees as it related to child custody and support. Prior to their marriage, the Meehans entered into an agreement which provided in part […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion reflects South Carolina’s continuing antiquated view of gender and alimony

South Carolina family law’s approach to alimony continues to reflect an antiquated view of gender roles.  South Carolina is the only state in which a spouse’s adultery will bar alimony–a punishment for “bad” spouses, typically “bad” wives.  Yet, although the alimony statute is gender neutral, I rarely see the family courts awarding husbands alimony–even when […]

Court of Appeals mostly affirms family court’s equitable distribution award

The March 5, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Teeter v. Teeter largely affirms the family court’s equitable distribution award (child custody and alimony were resolved before trial by agreement).  The family court determined that properties Husband purchased during the marriage with a down payment from non marital funds were marital property, divided the marital […]

Court of Appeals finds family court improperly determined downsized husband’s earning capacity

In the January 15, 2014 opinion of Burgess v. Burgess, 407 S.C. 98, 753 S.E.2d 566 (Ct. App. 2014), the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the family court’s alimony and attorney’s fees award, finding that the family court had improperly imputed too high an earning capacity to husband. Husband worked in commercial real estate. […]

Supreme Court affirms lower courts’ ruling on transmutation of husband’s business

The January 15, 2014 Supreme Court opinion in Pittman v. Pittman, 407 S.C. 141, 754 S.E.2d 501 (2014), affirmed the Court of Appeals and family court’s determination that husband’s premarital surveying business had been transmuted into marital property while modifying the reasoning justifying the decision.  At trial the family court found this business to be transmuted and awarded […]