Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

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 set the obligation at $1,550 per month. That’s […]

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A recent unpublished opinion Court of Appeals opinion, Herring-Wilson v. Wilson, highlights a common fallacy in valuing small personal services businesses for purposes of equitable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 […]

Now there’s a third way to become married in South Carolina

I would like to thank Professor Roy T. Stuckey for making me aware of the February 18, 2015 Court of Appeals opinion in Thomas v. 5 Star Transportation, 412 S.C. 1, 770 S.E.2d 183 (Ct. App. 2015). Evidently there is now a third way for folks to become married in South Carolina. Thomas was a […]

This is what it takes for a man to get permanent alimony in South Carolina

The South Carolina Courts website lists the roster of cases set for oral argument along with a brief description of the issues on appeal. Maybe I’m cynical, but when the December 2014 roster listed Ricigliano v. Ricigliano as a case in which the issue was whether the family court erred in failing to award a […]

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, 411 S.C. […]

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 […]