Archive for January, 2011

Thomas F. McDow IV’s “Standard” Visitation Schedule

If you attended yesterday’s guardian ad litem training you were privileged to see Thomas F. McDow, IV, present on visitation scheduled.  The first part of his presentation critiqued the typical “standard” visitation schedule.  The second part presented his version of an ideal “standard” visitation schedule that corrected, in his view, the numerous flaws in the […]

The folly of a court-ordered “right of first refusal”

The “right of first refusal”–the right to watch one’s children when the other parent would otherwise hire a sitter–is one of those concepts that sounds wonderful in theory but is a disaster in practice.  My clients sometime inquire about it; after seventeen years of family law practice, and my experience as to how these court […]

Playing the jerk to encourage dispute resolution

Sometimes a guardian ad litem can assist resolution of a custody dispute by doing things that initially make the parents unhappy.  This won’t render the guardian popular but it will render the guardian effective. This approach helped me resolve a 2 ½ year custody dispute earlier this week.  Immediately upon my appointment I did a […]

Andrew Michael Myers is one husband who definitely needed a prenup

In the history of South Carolina husbands who wish they had a prenup, I bet there are few with more justification for this feeling than Andrew Michael Myers.  The January 19, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion Myers v. Myers, 391 S.C. 308, 705 S.E.2d 86 (Ct. App. 2011), provides some fascinating views of South Carolina’s contemporary divorce jurisprudence. […]

SCDSS v. Polite pits pro se against the bureaucracy in a philosophical argument about the nature of justice

An aphorism first year law students are told is “bad facts make bad law.”  The January 19, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion in SCDSS v. Polite, 391 S.C. 275, 705 S.E.2d 78 (Ct. App. 2011), has particularly compelling “bad facts.”  A pro se father’s failure to comply with strict pleading requirements resulted in a seventeen month delay in […]

Very happy wife; Very unhappy girlfriend

I wonder how Pamela Buck feels about her boyfriend now that they jointly owe his ex-wife $262,000.  That was the holding in the January 19, 2011 Court of Appeals decision in Reiss v. Reiss, 391 S.C. 286, 705 S.E.2d 84 (Ct. App. 2011). The story of this $262,000 combines elements of shrewd investing and Three-card Monte. Evidently […]

Provision for adjustment of child support using a “Shared Parenting Formula” [Schedule C]

From Guest Blogger, the Honorable Barry W. Knobel I’ve been involved in a number of mediations in which we were working to settle a child support issue for the parties who had agreed upon a “shared parenting” arrangement, using, essentially, a Paparella-styled formula. In trying to establish a “range of acceptability” within which to work, the parties agreed, […]

One of these women can’t be right

Let’s all give it up for an Ivy League law professor intent on ruining any fun that parenting might entail In 1998 a then-relatively unknown developmental psychologist, Judith Rich Harris, published “The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do.”  Her thesis was that much of the child-rearing outcomes that our culture attributes […]


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