Archive for the ‘South Carolina Specific’ Category

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 […]

Is merely having a “crush” on another marital fault?

I recently handled oral argument on an appeal that resulted in the unpublished opinion. One unusual aspect of the case was Husband’s focus, and the opinion’s recognition, that, Wife had a “crush” on someone who worked with one of the parties’ children and that Husband learned of this crush when he caught Wife emailing a […]

Applying prior, more restrictive, version of grandparent visitation statute, Court of Appeals still affirms award of grandparent visitation

The September 5, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in Grantham v. Weatherford addresses the application of South Carolina’s Grandparent Visitation Statute, S.C. Code § 63-3-530(A)(33). However, while granting maternal grandparents (Grandparents) visitation with their grandchildren, it does so under the 2010 amendment to that subsection, which has since been superseded by the 2014 version. Grantham […]

Stoney 2 (or 4) largely follows the original Stoney opinion

The long strange journey of the Stoney appeal took another step on August 29, 2018 when the Court of Appeals issued its remanded opinion. Told by the Supreme Court to review the case on a de novo standard of review, and then told by the Supreme Court to review evidentiary and procedural issues on an […]

The unusual distribution of bi-weekly overnights in most custody trials (or why one’s unlikely to get 50/50 custody except by agreement)

When I first started trying custody cases a quarter century ago, the family court was pretty uniform, and uncreative, in its awards of visitation to the non-custodial parent. Absent a mother’s unfitness, she was very likely to get custody. Absent the non-custodial parent’s unfitness, that parent was likely to get every other weekend. If the […]

Recent Workers Compensation opinion may impact child custody cases

The June 6, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in York v. York addresses the issue of who is a dependent for the purpose of benefits under South Carolina’s Workers Compensation Act. In doing so, it analyzing an issue that may impact child custody cases. In York, Yvonne Burns sought dependancy benefits from the Workers Compensation […]

Court of Appeals finds standing for paternal grandparents to obtain custody when mother is unfit

Given a culture that expects parents to be responsible for raising their children, the law has developed that fit parents should (with the limited exceptions of defacto custodians or psychological parents) defeat the custody challenges of non-parents. Just last month, in Urban v. Kerscher, the Court of Appeals returned custody to a fit mother who […]

Sealing records when private custody cases reference past child protective services involvement

While the general principal is that court records are open to the public, information from child protective services cases are not. Thus conflicts develop between the general rule of open records and the prohibition against revealing child protective services information. Twice in the past month I have been involved in a private custody case that […]

 

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