Blog

Is merely having a “crush” on another marital fault?

I recently handled oral argument on an appeal that resulted in the unpublished opinion. One unusual aspect of the case was Husband’s focus, and the opinion’s recognition, that, Wife had a “crush” on someone who worked with one of the parties’ children and that Husband learned of this crush when he caught Wife emailing a […]

Applying prior, more restrictive, version of grandparent visitation statute, Court of Appeals still affirms award of grandparent visitation

The September 5, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in Grantham v. Weatherford addresses the application of South Carolina’s Grandparent Visitation Statute, S.C. Code § 63-3-530(A)(33). However, while granting maternal grandparents (Grandparents) visitation with their grandchildren, it does so under the 2010 amendment to that subsection, which has since been superseded by the 2014 version. Grantham […]

Stoney 2 (or 4) largely follows the original Stoney opinion

The long strange journey of the Stoney appeal took another step on August 29, 2018 when the Court of Appeals issued its remanded opinion. Told by the Supreme Court to review the case on a de novo standard of review, and then told by the Supreme Court to review evidentiary and procedural issues on an […]

Can non-custodial parents delegate their parenting time to third-parties?

An issue that commonly arises in interpreting custody orders is whether the non-custodial parent is allowed to delegate his or her (in this culture, mostly his) visitation to third-parties during his custodial periods when the custody order is otherwise silent on the issue. South Carolina case law remains silent on this dispute. However, while acknowledging […]

The unusual distribution of bi-weekly overnights in most custody trials (or why one’s unlikely to get 50/50 custody except by agreement)

When I first started trying custody cases a quarter century ago, the family court was pretty uniform, and uncreative, in its awards of visitation to the non-custodial parent. Absent a mother’s unfitness, she was very likely to get custody. Absent the non-custodial parent’s unfitness, that parent was likely to get every other weekend. If the […]

A client’s tolerance for uncertainty is a consideration in settlement negotiations

There’s a theory that our modern world offers us so little exposure to pathogens that our autoimmune systems overreact to things like pollen and peanuts, causing a massive increase in allergic reactions to relatively benign substances. On a level of culture I see something similar playing out with the human ability to tolerate risk. Evolved […]

Mediator or messenger

During the past few weeks two attorneys I greatly respect have conducted mediations for my clients. One mediator settled every single case, often in circumstances in which I thought reaching settlement would be difficult. The other attorney failed to obtain a settlement in a case that frankly should have settled without much difficulty. This had […]

Recent Workers Compensation opinion may impact child custody cases

The June 6, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in York v. York addresses the issue of who is a dependent for the purpose of benefits under South Carolina’s Workers Compensation Act. In doing so, it analyzing an issue that may impact child custody cases. In York, Yvonne Burns sought dependancy benefits from the Workers Compensation […]

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