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Should one verify what doesn’t have to be verified?

An old mentee of mine asked me if he should verify pleadings given that Rule 11(a) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure no longer require verifications.  That rule reads, “Except when otherwise specifically provided by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit.”  A larger question is whether one […]

Establishing paternity when the husband ain’t the daddy

A few times a year I am contacted by a mother who wants to put her child’s biological father on the child’s birth certificate but she was married to someone else at the time of the child’s birth.  What she expects to be an easy procedure isn’t.  Family court clerks will tell her she needs […]

This is why we do what we do

I received an email from a recent client this weekend which concluded: On a better note I just took [my son] to disney world and the florida keys. ten days camping out of a pickup with a cap living the good life all for $1500 and half of that was gas. thank you so much […]

The logical but wrong way to divide transmuted property

How to “equitably” divide transmuted property–property that started out as non-marital but through commingling or use become property of the marriage and hence subject to equitable distribution by the court–is one of the most contentious issue in divorce cases.  Often spouses did not even consider their pre-marital or inherited property to be marital but failed […]

Should there be a uniform waiting period for a no-fault divorce?

I rarely blog on proposed family law legislation.  Often legislation fizzles to nothing: in my twenty years of practice bills to abolish common law marriage or reform alimony had gone nowhere.  Other times bills become radically altered during the legislative process.  Within the past few years a bill to make grandparent visitation more uniform ended […]

Better to be an adulterer than an adulterer and a liar

A mentee recently asked me if one should admit an allegation of adultery in a responsive pleading when the adultery is obvious.  While I think the question has a clear cut answer, my view isn’t shared by all of my colleagues.  I continue to see adultery denials in responsive pleadings even when the adultery is […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion reflects South Carolina’s continuing antiquated view of gender and alimony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

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