Archive for April, 2011

We appear to have an answer on what constitutes a narcotic

A few months ago I blogged about the common misconception that South Carolina has a ground for divorce for drug abuse when it really has a ground for divorce for habitual intoxication that can include narcotic intoxication.  That blog noted that the statutory definitions of narcotic differed from the medical definitions (with medicine increasing eschewing […]

Attorneys acting too clever in assisting clients to repudiate an agreement

Recently, and for only the second time in my career, an opposing party attempted to repudiate a family court agreement that he or she had properly executed.  In the first instance the opposing party claimed she was “coerced” into entering the agreement.  In this new instance the opposing party claimed she was unaware of how […]

Thomas McDow’s annotated attorney’s oath

From guest blogger, Thomas F. McDow of the Law Office of Thomas F. McDow in Rock Hill, South Carolina Attorney’s Oath, Mandated by Rule 402(k), SCACR I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that: I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the duties of the office to which I have been appointed, and […]

Court of Appeals decision provides rare guidance on standards for appeal of family court temporary orders

The April 27, 2011 Court of Appeals decision in Grumbos v. Grumbos, 393 S.C. 33, 710 S.E.2d 76 (Ct.App. 2011), treads much familiar ground.  To wit: A ten year marriage with no listed fault in the breakup results in a permanent periodic alimony award to a wife in her mid-40’s with a college degree from a […]

A suggestion on how to define a “major” decision involving the child for purpose of triggering a duty to consult

I was in a mediation earlier this week in which my client was seeking a requirement that his children’s mother consult with him before making “major” decisions regarding their children.   Many non-custodial parents want a similar duty to consult as part of any custody agreement.  Often the custodial parent resists such language because he […]

My first paid co-mediation

My wife, Karen Anne Klickstein-Forman, and I both became certified family court mediators in 2009.  Since that time both of us have handled paid mediations separately.  We have handed pro bono mediations in DSS abuse and neglect cases together.  Today, for the first time, we handled a paid mediation together. Karen is a Licenced Independent […]

Obligated to be civil to the uncivil

The April 25, 2011 Supreme Court opinion, In the Matter of Anonymous Member of the South Carolina Bar, 392 S.C. 328, 709 S.E.2d 633 (2011), is an indication of just how strongly the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) and the South Carolina Supreme Court are pushing civility concerns.  It is the second time in two months […]

My first common-law marriage

Yesterday, for the first time in my 17+ years of practicing family law, I  helped validate a common-law marriage.  Unlike the typical common-law marriage litigated in family court, in which one “spouse” claims marriage and the other “spouse” disclaims marriage, this was a common-law marriage by consent. This couple came to me with factual circumstances […]


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