Marcello v. Marcello is an unpublished August 2020 opinion from the Court of Appeals.  In Marcello, co-counsel, William Hammett, and I prosecuted a rule to show cause.  We were mostly successful in establishing contempt.  However, the trial court did not find mother in contempt for being repeatedly late to visitation exchanges.  The trial court further amended the final order to give the parties a thirty-minute grace period for exchanges.  The trial court only granted our client approximately 40% of his fees and costs.

We appealed those three issues and, disappointly, lost.  The Court of Appeals found mother made a good faith effort to be on time and appeared to give deference to the trial court’s credibility determination.  What the opinion fails to note is mother repeated lied about her arrival time at the visitation exchanges and was repeatedly late.  The family court simply created its own “grace period.”

The Court of Appeals found we failed to preserve the grace period and attorney fee issue.  We didn’t file a motion to reconsider the grace period issue (the case was from Spartanburg County and a motion to reconsider would have been costly in travel related fees).  I thought that a finding that “Only $4,500 of this fee claim is reasonable” was sufficient to be “raised and ruled upon.”  However, by the time this opinion came out, my client had obtained custody in a subsequent proceeding and decided not to seek certiorari.

Put Mr. Forman’s experience, knowledge, and dedication to your service for any of your South Carolina family law needs.

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