Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

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, 833 S.E.2d 274 (S.C. App. 2019), 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 […]

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, 833 S.E.2d 78 (S.C. App. 2019), 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 […]

 

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