Posts Tagged ‘Adultery’

Court of Appeals finds adultery by both spouses and changes ground for divorce

In the extremely odd May 14, 2014 opinion of Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs, the South Carolina Court of Appeals modified the grounds for divorce from one year’s separation to mutual adultery but otherwise left the family court’s order intact. At trial both parties alleged adultery against the other and Wife sought alimony. The trial court denied both […]

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 […]

Sue the cuckolder elsewhere

Cheated-upon spouses occasionally inquire whether they can sue the other man (or woman) for breaking up their marriage.  In South Carolina the answer is no: in 1992 the South Carolina South Carolina eliminated causes of action for alienation of affections and criminal conversation. Russo v. Sutton, 310 S.C. 200, 422 S.E.2d 750 (1992). An August […]

Seeking protective orders for private investigator information

Since adultery is often a bar to alimony in South Carolina, family law attorneys here frequently employ private investigators (PIs).  However, even when such PIs develop solid evidence of adultery, they rarely develop ironclad evidence.  If the opposing party knows what evidence the PI has developed, s/he can concoct an evasive story that denies the […]

Perhaps he has a 2,000 mile long penis?[1]

A question I am frequently and increasingly being asked by my colleagues is whether modern uses of technology to engage in sexual banter can constitute adultery as a ground for divorce in South Carolina.  Sexting, instant messaging, emailing, online role playing games and constant or lengthy phone calls (often assumed to be “phone sex”) have […]

Deposing alleged paramours before filing to terminate alimony

In South Carolina even adultery that occurs during the marital dissolution litigation period is sufficient to terminate alimony.  Further adultery can be “proven” through circumstantial evidence by showing both inclination and opportunity to commit adultery.  These two facts contribute to the high utilization of private detectives in South Carolina divorce cases. Yet even the most […]

Should a parent’s adultery be per se relevant to child custody?

I’m no social conservative but, contrary to many South Carolina family law attorneys and judges, I believe that a parent’s adultery is almost automatically relevant on the issue of child custody when such adultery demonstrates a spouse’s failure to honor his or her commitment of sexual fidelity to a spouse. South Carolina case law generally […]

Overnight non-marital romantic companion restraints after Lawrence v. Texas

South Carolina family court judges routinely issue restraints against exposing children to a parent’s non-marital romantic companions overnight. When concerned about appearing to be moral scolds, they justify these restraints as prohibiting the children’s exposure to “illegal behavior.” The specific criminal statutes implicated by such behavior are the prohibitions against adultery (S.C. Code § 16-15-60), […]