Archive for November, 2009

What’s a father?

A lecture/article topic idea I have often considered but never been able to completely get a fixed idea on is the notion of “What’s a father?” The lead article in last Sunday’s New York Times magazine section, Who Knew I Was Not the Father?, highlights the confusion and resulting injustices.  When women falsely lead men to believe they […]

Financial Decisions to Make as You Divorce

Article in yesterday’s New York Times.   Should be required reading/checklist for divorce clients:  Financial Decisions to Make as You Divorce

Should a guardian ad litem have to “bless” every child custody agreement?

When parents seek approval of any agreement that resolves a dispute over a child’s custody, the family court judge looks to the guardian ad litem and asks the guardian whether the agreement is “in the best interests of the child?”  Even if the guardian is not seeking to prevent approval of the agreement, I do not […]

In a DSS abuse and neglect case, when the treatment plan is resolved, should the guardian ad litem have an opinion on the merits?

I have mediated a couple of DSS child abuse and neglect cases recently in which the treatment plan was resolved (that is, everyone agreed what the defendant(s) needed to do to resume contact or custody of the children at issue) but in which the merits (that is, whether or not the defendant(s) had abused or neglected […]

Procedural differences between temporary motions and other motions in South Carolina Family Court

Another post for my mentees.  And I defy anyone to show me a motion for temporary relief filed in the South Carolina Family Court that “[s]tate[s] with particularity the grounds therefor.” Issue Non Temporary Relief Motion Temporary Relief Motion Notice (Include language “Notice of Motion” in caption if motion hearing is scheduled within the motion).  Include […]

How does one draft an affidavit?

For my mentees–and everyone else I have ever completely frustrated while trying to edit their affidavit: Almost any court hearing that does not allow testimony is going to require affidavits [a written statement signed by the witness and attesting to its accuracy before a notary public] so that the court can reach a decision on the […]

Overusing appraisers in valuing marital property

In equitably dividing marital property the South Carolina family court judge has three tasks: 1) identifying which property of the parties is “marital” and which is “non marital”; 2) valuing each item of marital and non marital property and; 3) deciding how to equitably divide the marital property. I am amazed at the reflex response […]


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