Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

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 […]

Don’t let your kids become pinball wizards

I have no desire to mine the legislative history to determine when and why some South Carolina legislator decided he needed to save our state’s youth from the evils of pinball. Whatever fears led to the enactment of S.C. Code § 63-19-2430–a model of simplicity which states, “It is unlawful for a minor under the […]

The legislative paternalism of South Carolina’s name change law

When my wife was a social worker at a local hospital she once acted as a case manager for a mother giving birth to twins. That mother had allowed her five year-old son to name the newborns. Thus, there are teenage twins running around the LowCountry with the names “Bubba” and “Mufasa.” No South Carolina […]

How does retirement affect alimony?

In 2012 South Carolina amended the alimony modification statute, S.C. Code § 20-3-170(B), to include specific factors for the family court to consider on whether to modify or terminate alimony when a supporting spouse retires. Those factors are: (1) whether retirement was contemplated when alimony was awarded; (2) the age of the supporting spouse; (3) […]

After eight years South Carolina finally updates its child support guidelines

On July 1, 2014 South Carolina’s new child support guidelines went into effect. The updated guidelines can be downloaded here. It is the first revision to these guidelines since 2006. There are four primary changes from the previous guidelines. The first change is to the child support tables. These tables now go up to incomes […]

South Carolina finally does grandparent visitation rights right

On June 9, 2014 Governor Nikki Haley signed into law House bill 4348 amending S.C. Code § 63-3-530 (A)(33), commonly known as the grandparent visitation statute. The new law is effective immediately. This law makes it much easier for grandparents to obtain court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren. As modified, subsection 33 now authorizes the family […]

Should there be a uniform waiting period for a no-fault divorce?

I rarely blog on proposed family law legislation.  Often legislation fizzles to nothing: in my twenty years of practice bills to abolish common law marriage or reform alimony had gone nowhere.  Other times bills become radically altered during the legislative process.  Within the past few years a bill to make grandparent visitation more uniform ended […]

Can a deserting (without good cause) spouse get alimony?

How many family law attorneys are aware of S.C. Code § 63-5-20?  In my experience not many. With the proper fact pattern that statute might be revived to remarkable effect. Back in the good ole days (ironic affect intended) only wives could get alimony, divorce could only be granted for fault (until the late 1940’s […]

 

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