Archive for the ‘Of Interest to General Public’ Category

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 […]

Where are the Departments of Love?

Universities have Departments of Economics to study the allocation of scarce resources. They have Departments of Political Science to study power. Where are the Departments of Love? Last night I took my teenage daughter to a preview screening of Long Shot. Checking in on Facebook prior to the show, I noted, “I’m a very open […]

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 […]

Whose “morality” dictates what is in the best interests of the child?

South Carolina case law from as recently as May 2018 holds that the morality of a parent is a proper factor for consideration in custody determinations, limited in its force to what relevancy it has, either directly or indirectly, to the welfare of the child. The problem with this case law is that it leaves […]

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 […]

 

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