Previously unpublished opinion answers question of where to enforce foreign equitable distribution orders

Posted Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Contempt/Enforcement of Orders, Equitable Distribution/Property Division, Of Interest to Family Court Litigants, Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys, South Carolina Appellate Decisions, South Carolina Specific

On July 30, 2014 the South Carolina Court of Appeals published the previously unpublished opinion in the case of Katzburg v. Katzburg, 410 S.C. 184, 764 S.E.2d 3 (Ct. App. 2014). This opinion answers the frequently recurring question of where to enforce foreign state’s equitable distribution orders. The answer: circuit court. A more detailed analysis of the opinion can be found in the blog I did when Katzburg was initially released as an unpublished opinion.

The issue of where one enforces foreign equitable distribution orders has long vexed me. It has been my opinion that circuit court was the correct answer, but often family court judges did not agree with me. The judge in Katzburg didn’t, resulting in my client spending almost six months in jail. Folks occasionally call to retain me to enforce these orders and I could not give them a definitive answer on which court could enforce them. After Katzburg was issued as an unpublished opinion I actually petitioned the Court of Appeals to consider publishing solely so this issue could be resolved, and I appreciate the assistance of Thomas F. McDow, James Fletcher Thompson and T. Ryan Phillips in supporting this request. We now have a definitive answer on where to enforce these foreign equitable distribution orders.

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