Archive for the ‘Audience:’ Category

Better behaving clients

Earlier this week I received what may be one of the bigger complements of my career. A fellow member of the local family court bar was discussing two recent cases we’d had against each other. In both of these cases my clients had been represented by other attorneys prior to retaining me and in one […]

Even in South Carolina, corporal punishment is becoming highly problematic

When I first started practicing family law in South Carolina a quarter century ago, “Spare the Rod; Spoil the Child” was a biblically sanctioned cultural meme. Not only would family court judges approve of corporal punishment as a method of disciplining children, many believed that failing to use corporal punishment for a thoroughly misbehaving child […]

The pessimistic defendant’s attorney

I suspect I lose a lot of business by projecting a pessimistic outlook when first meeting with Defendants in family law cases. While many litigants prefer the primacy of being the Plaintiff, and thereby going first, I’ve never seen a clear advantage in trial to representing the Plaintiff or the Defendant. However experience teaches that […]

Shouldn’t a party’s assets be a factor in “ability to pay” family court attorney’s fees?

E.D.M. v. T.A.M., 307 S.C. 471, 476-77, 415 S.E.2d 812, 816 (1992) is the seminal South Carolina case in deciding whether to award a prevailing party attorney’s fees in family court. It lists four factors the family court should use to determine an award of fees. Excepting the “beneficial results” factor, the other three factors […]

Mere exposure to domestic violence can be a basis to change custody or limit visitation

Some of the most tragic consults I have are with folks who’ve been bullied and abused by spouses or domestic partners and have simply accepted the abuse as though they deserved it. The dynamic of such abuse, and why the abused often stay with their abusers, is better understood than it was when I started […]

Bojilov highlights importance of a good record and accurate financial declarations

The September 19, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in Bojilov v. Bojilov doesn’t establish any novel legal issues but does highlight important recurring issues in South Carolina Family Law. Bojilov stems from a divorce, with the primary issues on appeal being child custody, Husband’s right to travel with the child to Bulgaria, alimony, equitable distribution, […]

You ain’t my only (or even final) audience: the unacknowledged revolution that Lewis and Stoney have wrought

By the start of this millennium I believe I had developed a reputation for overtrying my domestic cases: that is, I was considered an attorney who wasn’t satisfied with proving a contested fact though one source but would attempt to prove contested facts through as many sources as possible. The common byproduct of this approach […]

For South Carolina spouses seeking alimony, adultery is fatal, attempted murder is not

While driving back from court yesterday I received a telephone call from Buzzfeed asking me about the impact of domestic violence on alimony. The reporter wanted to know whether domestic abusers were more likely to pay alimony. What I informed her about South Carolina alimony had to seem bizarre. The answer to her question about […]

 

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