Archive for May, 2012

Pay your support early

Typical language in South Carolina support orders is: The obligor shall pay support directly to the obligee.  If the obligor is ever more than five days late making a payment, the obligee may file an ex-parte affidavit and order with the Family Court to have the obligor pay this support through the court with costs […]

Court of Appeals reverses custody modification based on family court’s inadequate factual findings

In the May 30, 2012 opinion in Tillman v. Oakes, 398 S.C. 245, 728 S.E.2d 45 (Ct. App. 2012), the South Carolina Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the family court’s custody modification because the family court made inadequate factual findings to justify a substantial change of circumstances. Father filed this custody modification case involving the […]

Reviewing family court temporary hearing affidavits before beginning argument

Under South Carolina Rule of Family Court 21(c), “affidavits filed at a temporary hearing need not be served on the opposing party prior to the temporary hearing.”  However, I generally prefer to review these affidavits and other submissions before either side begins arguing the temporary  motion.  One reason for this preference is that I may […]

The current legal status of homosexual relationships

In preparation for last Friday’s interview on WCBD I created an extensive outline of topics that might come up for discussion.  In that five minute interview few of the items from my outline made it to television.  However I hope someone finds this research interesting or useful. Currently the legal status of same sex relationships […]

Interview on legal recognition of same sex relationships in South Carolina

On May 18, 2012 I was interviewed by Carolyn Murray of WCBD regarding the recognition of same sex relationships in South Carolina. Part one is here: WCDB interview part one Part two is here: WCDB interview part two

Should child custody be revisited every few years?

There was a thoughtful Op-Ed piece in the May 20, 2012 New York Times titled “In Whose Best Interests?” by Ruth Bettelheim, a marriage and family therapist.  Ms. Bettelheim argues that child custody should be revisited every two years and that children’s voices should be given much greater weight in deciding their custody. The example she […]

The uses and misuses of ambiguity in family court agreements

Some of the most contentious family court litigation I have handled involved modification of prior family court agreements in which the agreements were ambiguous to my clients’ detriment.  Few things are more frustrating to a client than having his or her expectations thwarted because the agreement’s language does not comport with the client’s expectations. There […]

What are the justifications for long-term supervised visitation?

Almost two decades of family law practice has made me cautious regarding supervised visitation.  The number of parents who believe their co-parents’ visitation needs to be supervised is substantially greater than the percentage of parents whose visitation actually needs to be supervised.  Supervised visitation adds elements of tension and drama to what should be a […]


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