Archive for September, 2011

The “best” age(s) for South Carolina husbands to commit adultery

One of the many oddities of South Carolina family law is that a husband is typically best off committing adultery when he and his wife are either very young or very old.  It’s the middle-aged dudes who suffer the most financially from their philandering. When a couple is young, especially if there are no children, […]

Who buggered my dog?

In the September 21, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion of South Carolina Department of Social Services v. Mary C., 396 S.C. 15, 720 S.E.2d 503 (Ct. App. 2011), a child’s therapist opined that a three-year old’s masturbating and defying her potty training by urinating on the floor were signs of “sexualized behaviors” indicative of sexual abuse. This […]

In 3-2 decision South Carolina Supreme Court determines separation is requirement of separate maintenance action

In what is, for me, one of the most highly anticipated decisions on this year’s docket, the South Carolina Supreme Court decided on September 19, 2011 in the case of Theisen v. Theisen, 394 S.C. 434, 716 S.E.2d 271 (2011) that physical separation is a required component for bringing a separate maintenance action.  For almost a decade, […]

More mixed signals from South Carolina Supreme Court on handling flat fees

The September 12, 2011 public reprimand issued by the South Carolina Supreme Court in In the Matter of Michael James Sarratt, 394 S.C. 209, 715 S.E.2d 337 (2011), perpetuates its opaque guidance on the proper handling of flat fees. Sarratt handled some of his work on a flat fee basis.  Because he treated these fees as […]

Selling property at below market value when encountering cash flow problems not “marital economic misconduct”

The August 31, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion in Nestberg v. Nestberg, 394 S.C. 618, 716 S.E.2d 310 (Ct. App. 2011) is the second of two Court of Appeals opinions from that date in which that court analyzed the issue of marital economic misconduct as applied to equitable distribution of marital assets. In Nestberg, shortly prior […]

This is what happens when no one’s a math major

The August 31, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion in Barrow v. Barrow, 394 S.C. 603, 716 S.E.2d 302 (Ct. App. 2011) analyzes the issue of “misconduct” in the context of equitable distribution awards.  It represents a substantial victory for local family court attorney, colleague, and friend, Anne Frances Bleecker. The opinion is hard to follow because most attorneys […]


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