Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

2019 Published Family Court opinions summary

After a couple of years mid-decade in which South Carolina’s appellate courts published only six opinions addressing family law, 2019 produced a more robust set of opinions: eighteen, plus a refiled opinion from late-2018. Many of these opinions were highly consequential. Two Court of Appeals opinions, Singh v. Singh, and Kosciusko v. Parham, held that […]

Court of Appeals reverses equitable estoppel defense to past due child support

Continuing a very recent pattern of appellate courts disregarding the family court’s credibility determinations, the December 31, 2019, Court of Appeals opinion in Bauckman v. McLeod reversed a family court finding of equitable estoppel. In Bauckman, the parties reached a court-approved agreement in 2002 that Father would pay $399 per month in child support. In […]

A second Court of Appeals panel finds family court cannot enforce custody issues decided by arbitration

Argued first but decided second, the December 18, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in Singh v. Singh confirms what a November 6, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in Kosciusko v. Parham previously determined: the family court cannot enforce custody issues decided by arbitration. With no judges overlapping on the two three-judge panels, we have a […]

Unpublished Supreme Court opinion in Conits demonstrates the effect of de novo standard of review

Last week I blogged about how the Supreme Court’s decisions in Lewis and Stoney–mandating a de novo standard of appellate review of family court factual findings–was making it more worthwhile to appeal family court orders. I noted last month’s oral argument in Conits v. Conits as an example of how this less deferential standard of […]

Tomlinson continues the appellate disfavor of joint custody

The November 13, 2019, Court of Appeals opinion in Tomlinson v. Melton continues the appellate court’s disfavor of joint custody. In Tomlinson, the parties entered a custody agreement at the time of their 2011 divorce that gave Father primary physical custody and final decision making authority but gave Mother every other week from Wednesday to […]

South Carolina Supreme Court holds family court improperly denied foster parents’ requests to intervene in removal cases

In the November 6, 2019, case of Cooper v. SCDSS, the South Carolina Supreme Court found that the family court had improperly denied Foster Parents’ requests to intervene in DSS removal actions. The two sets of Foster Parents at issue had placement of Mother and Father’s three children (at the time of trial one set […]

South Carolina Court of Appeals holds arbitration orders regarding children’s issues are void ab initio

Many family law attorneys in the Charleston area were awaiting the Court of Appeals decision in Singh v. Singh, which was argued there this February. That appeal was supposed to determine whether child issues in family court could be arbitrated. While many family law attorneys were allowing such issues to be arbitrated, other family law […]

South Carolina Supreme Court uses grandparent visitation case to reveal its true feelings about duplicitous parents

The October 30, 2019, South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in Bazen v. Bazen would be interesting if it merely tested the constitutionality of South Carolina’s most recent version of its grandparent visitation statute–more on that later. However, this case, which featured a mother who mouthed the proper pieties about encouraging a relationship between her children […]

 

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