Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion does the unprecedented

For the 25 years I have been practicing family law no published South Carolina appellate opinion has approved an award of rehabilitative alimony. While I only began reading unpublished opinions in 2004, I cannot recall any such unpublished opinions. I certainly cannot recall any opinion in which an appellate court reversed an award of permanent […]

Court of Appeals affirms an unusual and detailed custody arrangement

The May 8, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in Klein v. Barrett finds the Court of Appeals affirming a very detailed and highly unusual custody arrangement. Kline involved a custody modification brought by (Ex-)Wife. At the time of the parties’ 2010 divorce, (Ex-)Husband had primary custody of the children with Wife having liberal visitation and […]

A published appellate opinion that might finally terminate alimony based upon continued cohabitation–finally

When, in 1990, South Carolina enacted its current alimony statute, S.C. Code § 20-3-130, it provided three grounds to automatically terminate permanent periodic alimony: 1) either party’s death; 2) the supported spouse’s remarriage; and 3) the “continued cohabitation” of the supported spouse. The statute further defined continued cohabitation as: the supported spouse resides with another […]

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

The April 3, 2019 Supreme Court opinion in Stone v. Thompson 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 property. The family court bifurcated the proceedings […]

Supreme Court acknowledges investment income is a factor in awarding alimony but affirms alimony award in which family court declined to set a specific figure for such income

The March 20, 2019, South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in Sweeney v. Sweeney “establishes” something I had assumed was already well established: in setting alimony, the family court should consider investment income available to the parties. After all, the sixth alimony factor is “the current and reasonably anticipated earnings of both spouses.” S.C. Code Ann. […]

Court of Appeals reverses family court’s finding of child abandonment

e January 13, 2019 Court of Appeals revered a family court’s finding that adoptive parents abandoned their teenage child in the case of SCDSS v. Wiseman. The case began when the daughter got into a verbal, and then physical, altercation with her parents. Law enforcement intervened and transported the child to a short-term psychiatric unit. […]

2018 Published Family Court opinions summary

My annual table of the previous year’s published South Carolina family court opinions are below. There were sixteen published opinions in 2018, two of which were slight revisions of opinions first published in 2017. This is much fewer than the number when I started this blog a decade ago but much more than have been […]

Court of Appeals slightly revises opinion in Brown v. Odom

On January 9, 2019 the South Carolina Court of Appeals released a slightly revised opinion in Brown v. Odom. Normally I would discuss the changes to a substituted published opinion. However, here the substituted opinion contains no new legal analysis and simply makes small but frequent revisions to the factual findings that underpin the holding. […]

 

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