Refiled Hayduk opinion makes small addition on attorney fee issue

Posted Wednesday, May 4th, 2022 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Attorney's Fees, Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys, South Carolina Appellate Decisions, South Carolina Specific

On May 4, 2022, the Court of Appeals issued a refiled opinion in the case of Hayduk v. Hayduk, 436 S.C. 411, 872 S.E.2d 847 (Ct.App. 2022). I blogged about that case when the opinion initially issued on January 12, 2022.

As near as I can tell, the only substantial change offers additional support for the attorney fee award by noting two separate provisions of the South Carolina code authorizing attorney’s fees in family court litigation, one specific to marital dissolution litigation:

In awarding attorney’s fees to Wife, the family court noted each party requested attorney’s fees pursuant to section 63-3-530(A)(38) of the South Carolina Code (2010) (providing the family court has exclusive jurisdiction “to hear and determine an action whe[n] either party in his or her complaint, answer, counterclaim, or motion for pendente lite relief prays for the allowance of suit money pendente lite and permanently. In this action the court shall allow a reasonable sum for the claim if it appears well-founded. Suit money, including attorney’s fees, may be assessed for or against a party to an action brought in or subject to the jurisdiction of the family court.”).

Although we note section 63-3-530(A)(38) provides another vehicle for the family court to award attorney’s fees, Husband raised no challenge to the family court’s application of this statute on appeal. Rather, both parties referenced only section 20-3-130(H) in their appellate briefs.

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