Archive for the ‘Of Interest to Family Court Litigants’ 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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

The unfairness of the family court asking litigants if they think their agreement is “fair”

In the South Carolina family court, a standard part of the practice of questioning parties about their agreements before approving said agreements is whether the party believes that agreement is “fair.” If minor children are involved, that process will also include a question about whether the agreement is additionally fair to the parties’ children. Those […]

Hard to win the appeal when you don’t show up for trial

The September 19, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in Brown v. Odom supports the general proposition that it’s hard to win an appeal when you don’t show up for trial. Brown primarily addresses issues of transmutation and the inclusion in the marital estate of an asset Husband re-deeded to his uncle shortly before Wife filed her […]

Smith case addresses alimony and transmutation issues

While there is nothing surprising in the September 19, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in Smith v. Smith, the decision addresses some novel issues of alimony and equitable distribution. Smith stems from a divorce action filed by Wife on December 27, 2013. For the previous five years Husband had (admittedly) engaged in a pattern of […]

Does South Carolina divorce law distinguish marijuana use from abuse?

One of South Carolina’s four fault grounds for divorce under S.C. Code §20-3-10 is “Habitual drunkenness; provided, that this ground shall be construed to include habitual drunkenness caused by the use of any narcotic drug.” Hutchinson v. Liberty Life Insurance Co., 393 S.C. 19, 709 S.E.2d 130 (Ct.App. 2011) indicates that marijuana qualifies as a […]

 

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