Archive for the ‘Of Interest to General Public’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Smith case reveals judges do more than simply call balls and strikes

  After I posted my blog on the May 9, 2018 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in SCDSS v. Smith to Facebook, a number of my attorney friends commented with dismay about the court’s consideration of the Grandmother’s limited income as a factor in allowing Foster Parents (and not Grandmother) to adopt the minor child […]

If you like it, put a ring on it

Within popular culture, the viewpoint on marriage is that it’s something women intensely desire and something men have to be dragged into reluctantly. In this mindset, marriage enables women to raise children with a stable helpmate and source of income while men give up their “freedom” and money while being forced into a life of […]

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 […]

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. […]

 

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