Archive for the ‘Divorce and Marriage’ Category

Reflections on thirty years of marriage

The main thing that differentiates marriages that end in divorce from those that end when death-do-them-part is the sheer stubbornness of the parties involved…. –that and the access or lack thereof to a handy murder weapon. In my twenty-six years practicing family law, I’ve yet to have a marital dissolution case end in murder–although a […]

Stone v. Thompson is in the books

Updating some of my blogs this morning to include citations to Southeastern Reporter and South Carolina Reports, I realized that the petition for rehearing in Stone v. Thompson, 833 S.E.2d 266 (S.C. 2019), was denied on October 16, 2019. Until a petition for rehearing is denied or remittitur issues, a published opinion is always subject […]

In Thornton, Court of Appeals mostly affirms decisions on equitable distribution and fees

The October 23, 2019, Court of Appeals opinion in Thornton v. Thornton mostly affirms the family court’s decision on issues of equitable distribution and fees. In Thornton, Husband filed for an adultery divorce after he became suspicions of Wife’s relationship with a co-worker. Custody was highly contested and required the services of a guardian ad […]

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 […]

 

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