Posts Tagged ‘Jurisprudence’

When should the family court award grandparent visitation?

There’s some dispute surrounding last week’s blog regarding the wholesale revision of South Carolina’s grandparent visitation statute. Some commenters contend that grandparents should never be awarded autonomous visitation over a parent’s objection. Others believe that court-ordered visitation should be available to grandparents even when the parents are part of an intact household. As I indicated in that […]

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 […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion reflects South Carolina’s continuing antiquated view of gender and alimony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

Should there be automatic de novo review of temporary custody and support orders?

I’ve previously complained that South Carolina’s handling of family court temporary hearings violate due process.  This is because allowing such hearings to proceed on affidavits alone–and affidavits that do not have to be exchanged until the temporary hearing–do not allow parties to prepare to defend the allegations or confront the witnesses against them. The November […]

The Burgess opinion and “The End of Men”

Every published opinion tells a story and the January 15, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Burgess v. Burgess, 753 S.E.2d 566 (S.C. App. 2014), tells a particularly interesting one.  Like Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men: And the Rise of Woman,” Burgess demonstrates a culture that defines men primarily as providers and shows little use […]

2013 again provides a dearth of published family law opinions

There are literally hundreds of commonplace but unresolved family law issues in South Carolina.  Yet, at the rate our appellate courts issue published family law opinions, these unresolved issues pile-up faster than our appellate courts resolve them. In 2013, our appellate courts issued fourteen published family law opinions: six from the Supreme Court and eight […]

When does a judge’s ruling become a valid order?

Early in my family court career I used to debate with my colleagues as to when a family judge’s ruling became valid. The (super-)majority view was that these rulings became valid when the judge issued his or her ruling (whether orally or in a memo form). Some felt the “order” became valid when the judge […]

Why does South Carolina require court proceedings and a guardian ad litem for parents to change a child’s name by agreement?

I occasionally get calls from folks wanting to change their child’s name.  Often both parents agree on the name change.  Yet South Carolina not only requires parents to obtain an order from the family court to change their child’s name, it also requires that a guardian ad litem be appointed for the child as part […]