Archive for the ‘Divorce and Marriage’ Category

South Carolina Supreme Court finally (and only prospectively) abolishes common-law marriage–and makes it harder to establish retroactive common-law marriages

A decade ago, in a blog titled, “Why won’t South Carolina end common-law marriage?,” I expressed my strong dislike of the doctrine by noting, “cases resolving the issue of whether a couple was married at common-law do not become a ‘quest for the truth’ but instead devolve into determining who is the less convincing liar,” […]

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 […]

Supreme Court holds order establishing common-law marriage is immediately appealable

The April 3, 2019 Supreme Court opinion in Stone v. Thompson, 426 S.C. 291, 826 S.E.2d 868 (2019), addresses the appealability of final orders from bifurcated proceedings for marital dissolution when a common-law marriage is alleged. Stone filed an action in the family court to establish a common-law marriage and for equitable distribution of marital […]

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I recently handled oral argument on an appeal that resulted in the unpublished opinion.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 […]

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 in Stoney v. Stoney, 425 S.C. 47, 819 S.E.2d 201 (Ct. App. 2018). Told by the Supreme Court to review the case on a de novo standard of review, and then told by […]

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 […]

A too broad and too narrow definition of cheating

A few months ago, an attorney friend asking me if I’d ever “cheated” on my wife. Being a legalistic sort, I asked back, “what do you mean by cheating?” He didn’t think it was a question that needed clarification. In this culture, he’s right–which is a shame. A definition that considers all adultery cheating is […]

 

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