How soon can one get a divorce after filing?

Folks who have filed for divorce often wonder why it takes so long for them to get divorced. S.C. Code § 20-3-80 sets “Required delays before reference and final decree.” It requires that hearings on a divorce based on physical cruelty, adultery or habitual intoxication not take place until two months after the date the […]

There is no relief from judgment for intrinsic fraud (or do your due diligence)

South Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) list five different ways one can use a streamlined procedure to obtain relief from a judgment within one year of the order or judgment. Item three includes, “fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party.” While the parallel rule of Federal Procedure, upon which the South Carolina […]

The risk of sending South Carolina family law clients to counseling

Many family law clients in the initial stage of custody or divorce litigation could benefit from counseling. Whether it is developing better coping methods for handling the stress of separation and litigation, learning how to better communicate with a co-parent, or learning how to better handle conflict with an estranged spouse or co-parent, the skills […]

Trial: Fun for me (for you maybe not so much)

When I counsel clients that they should take a settlement offer I am often met with the response, “I want to go to trial.” Many other attorneys relate similar tales of clients rejecting suggestions of settlement and pushing for their “day in court.” If one’s attorney has little, or mostly negative, trial experience perhaps a […]

Negotiating alimony or equitable distribution without financial declarations

How many times have I been seduced by an opposing attorney’s siren call to negotiate alimony or property division issues before that attorney’s client will provide me an executed financial declaration? Like some drunken floozy, I promise myself never to let it happen again, only to trip up on occasion and only to wake up […]

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 […]

Hobbling your own attorney

Folks hire attorneys to accomplish their legal goals. Too often those same folks hobble their attorneys by failing to remedy counterproductive behavior. It may be human nature to blame one’s problems on outside factors but it is astounding how often family court litigants refuse to correct the behaviors that undermine their legal goals. More than […]

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