Archive for the ‘Of Interest to Family Court Litigants’ Category

Hagood opinion establishes important points on transmutation and alimony

The July 17, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in Hagood v. Hagood establishes important points on transmutation and alimony. It is one of the rare published opinions to reject a transmutation claim while finding a special equity interest. It is the first published opinion in twenty years to address nonmarital assets as a basis to […]

The interaction of the De Facto Custodian statute and the Moore factors

There are numerous recurring issues in South Carolina family law that ultimately will need to be resolved by our appellate courts. One of the more interesting ones–because it is both relatively common and extremely consequential–is the interaction of the De Facto Custodian statute and the Moore factors. The Moore factors were created by the 1989 […]

Alimony for the less ambitious spouse

On June 6, 2019, I argued an appeal in the Court of Appeals that involved a novel issue that I expect to become increasingly common. The family court ordered my client, the Appellant/Wife (I was not the trial attorney), to pay significant permanent periodic alimony to her now Ex-Husband. Unhappy with the both amount and […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion does the unprecedented

For the 25 years I have been practicing family law no published South Carolina appellate opinion has approved an award of rehabilitative alimony. While I only began reading unpublished opinions in 2004, I cannot recall any such unpublished opinions. I certainly cannot recall any opinion in which an appellate court reversed an award of permanent […]

Court of Appeals affirms an unusual and detailed custody arrangement

The May 8, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in Klein v. Barrett finds the Court of Appeals affirming a very detailed and highly unusual custody arrangement. Kline involved a custody modification brought by (Ex-)Wife. At the time of the parties’ 2010 divorce, (Ex-)Husband had primary custody of the children with Wife having liberal visitation and […]

How pro se litigants can best prepare for family law mediations

Most pro se family court litigants are pro se either because they cannot afford attorneys or do not want the contentious litigation that they assume is the natural result of retaining separate attorneys. Often these litigants will use a mediator to help them resolve their disputes. The following suggestions can help such litigants make the […]

Is South Carolina heading the wrong path potentially expanding fault divorce?

In 1969 California became the first state to allow no-fault divorce. In 2010 New York became the last state to allow it. In the interim, the other 48 states began authorizing no-fault divorce, with some abolishing fault grounds for divorce altogether and others, like South Carolina, retaining fault grounds while adding a no-fault ground. When […]

A published appellate opinion that might finally terminate alimony based upon continued cohabitation–finally

When, in 1990, South Carolina enacted its current alimony statute, S.C. Code § 20-3-130, it provided three grounds to automatically terminate permanent periodic alimony: 1) either party’s death; 2) the supported spouse’s remarriage; and 3) the “continued cohabitation” of the supported spouse. The statute further defined continued cohabitation as: the supported spouse resides with another […]

 

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