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

What’s the question(s) you fear the most?

A colleague, after watching a recent presentation I did on trial preparation, emailed me his appreciation. Part of his comment, “My favorite nugget: ask my client what question does he dread being asked on the stand.” That idea was indeed a “nugget” in my presentation–something I mentioned briefly without elaborating. In my own trial preparation […]

Should the law differentiate mutual combat from domestic abuse

I recently attended the South Carolina Bar’s annual guardian ad litem training. One of the presenters discussed “Domestic Violence and its Impact on Children.” Her oral presentation, but not her written materials, differentiated two types of domestic violence. The first–and this is not how she labeled it–is what one might think of a low-level mutual […]

The time to start thinking about trial is when you start the case

Prospective domestic relations clients often begin their search process by determining whether they want a “negotiator” or a “litigator.” If they hope to resolve the case amicably, they search for a negotiator; if they want “victory”–whatever they perceive as victory–they seek a litigator. Such potential clients frequently ask me a variation of the question: am […]

Passports and child custody

I know family court judges who don’t have passports and am frankly shocked–until you experience foreign cultures its hard to truly understand that radically different approaches to parenting other than the current American middle-class norm might be effective (and might not be potentially abusive). The world is diverse and increasingly interconnected. Children who don’t get […]

Possibly correct but poorly reasoned custody and relocation decision from the Court of Appeals

The January 24, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in Burgess v. Arnold is possibly correct but, in at least three important particulars, poorly reasoned. Burgess stems from Mother’s appeal of a family court order that gave the parties joint custody with her having primary custody over all issue except education. That order required that she […]

Court of Appeals refuses to apply lump sum social security disability auxiliary benefits to pre disability child support arrearage

In the January 17, 2018, opinion in Scott v. Scott, the Court of Appeals refused to apply lump sum social security disability auxiliary benefits to a pre-disability child support arrearage. In Scott, Father had a child support arrearage when he became disabled. He petitioned for, and obtained, a temporary reduction in his child support obligation. […]

2017 again features a dearth of published family court opinions

Since I started this blog in 2009, I have begun the following year with a table listing the prior year’s published opinions and briefly discussing the cases I believed most consequentiiial. Early on I commented on about a dearth of published opinions, such as in 2011 when I “complained” there were “only” thirty-five such opinions. […]

Supreme Court makes it easier for foster parents to adopt

The January 3, 2018 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in SCDSS v. Boulware makes it easier for foster parents to adopt their foster children. The case distinguishes adoption petitions that predate the Department of Social Services (DSS) placing the child for adoption with petitions that postdate such placements for adoption. In Boulware, the Child was […]

 

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