Archive for July, 2012

New statute codifies law on alimony modification upon retirement

One of my blog’s readers posted a comment linking a new statute that codifies the law on modifying alimony upon the supporting spouse’s retirement.  South Carolina House bill 4738, which went into effect June 18, 2012, adds subsection B to S.C. Code § 20-3-170.  This new subsection reads: Retirement by the supporting spouse is sufficient […]

How many parents can (should) a child have?

My family spent last evening with South Carolina adoption guru James Fletcher Thompson.  James regaled us with stories of the latest trends in assisted reproduction technology.  Evidently even South Carolina is starting to allow not just gay parents to adopt but is even allowing same sex couple adoption (meaning some children have two legal mothers […]

Advanced Family Law Mediation Training

As one of my tasks for the board of the Mediation and Meeting Center of Charleston (MMCC), I have organized an advanced family law mediation training, which is set for August 24, 2012 at the Charleston School of Law. This class will be taught by James C. Sarratt of the Mediation Center, Inc., and The […]

Supreme Court approves parent’s taping of child’s telephone conversation

Though not a family court appeal, the July 11, 2012 Supreme Court opinion in State v. Whitner, 399 S.C. 547, 732 S.E.2d 861 (2012), has important application to family court proceedings.  Whitner sets the parameters under which a parent may tape a child’s telephone conversations without that child’s consent. In Whitner, Mother, based on concerns that their child […]

A new front in the battle of the sexes

A recent scientific breakthrough allows the paternity of an unborn child to be determined through a blood test of the mother as early as the eighth or ninth week of pregnancy.  This prompted Shari Motro, a law professor at the University of Richmond, to write an op-ed piece for the New York Times suggesting the […]

New Mediation and Meeting Center of Charleston website

The Mediation and Meeting Center of Charleston (MMCC), whose board I joined earlier this year, has a new and improved website.   The updated website contains biographies and pictures of members, useful forms for mediation, information about our upcoming trainings (including an August 24, 2012 Advanced Family Law Mediation training I am very excited about), […]

Pushing too hard

I conducted a mediation last week in which, with quite a bit of more arm twisting of both parties, I suspect I might have been able to achieve a settlement.  Days later I am still ruminating over whether I helped or hurt the parties by declaring an impasse rather than pushing harder. For most attorneys, […]


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