Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

Nelson demonstrates the problems of inaccurate or incomplete financial disclosure when resolving equitable distribution

The August 21, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in Nelson v. Nelson demonstrates the problems of inaccurate or incomplete financial disclosure when resolving equitable distribution issues. In Nelson both parties, but especially Husband, went to trial with incomplete or inaccurate information regarding the value of and their interest in various assets and debts, including real […]

Thompson finds Rule 60(b)(5), SCRCP, does not give family court subject matter jurisdiction to modify equitable distribution

The August 7, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in Thompson v. Thompson, holds that Rule 60(b)(5), SCRCP, does not give that family court subject matter jurisdiction to modify an equitable distribution order. The Thompsons’ divorce decree approved a separation agreement providing “[a]s soon as she is able, Wife shall assume or re-finance all loans on […]

May approves reformation of a court-approved equitable distribution agreement based upon an alleged mutual mistake

The July 24, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in May v. May, upheld the family court’s reformation of a court-approved separation agreement based upon the mediator’s scrivener’s error and an alleged mutual mistake. In May, the parties entered a separation agreement drafted by the mediator. In a provision dealing with the marital home, the parties’ […]

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,” […]

Hagood opinion establishes important points on transmutation and alimony

The July 17, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in Hagood v. Hagood establishes important points on transmutation and alimony. It is one of the rare published opinions to reject a transmutation claim while finding a special equity interest. It is the first published opinion in twenty years to address nonmarital assets as a basis to […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion does the unprecedented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 […]

 

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