Posts Tagged ‘Alimony/Spousal Support’

Is there a ceiling on alimony or child support?

An issue more philosophical than legal is whether there should be a ceiling on alimony and (especially) child support awards. On one hand, alimony (and to some extent child support) is intended to allow the spouse or child to enjoy a similar lifestyle to a high-income spouse or parent. On the other hand, why should […]

Marital property as lump sum alimony

There are occasionally cases in which a spouse who would typically pay significant permanent periodic alimony as part of a marital dissolution has destroyed his career around the time of the parties’ separation. Often this career destruction was the cause of the marital dissolution: a spouse charged with a crime that leaves him incarcerated or […]

Wives can pay alimony too

When I first began practicing family law twenty-five years ago it was almost unheard of for South Carolina wives to be ordered to pay alimony. Even when circumstances suggested alimony might be appropriate (high income wife; low income husband staying home with the parties’ children) few took these husbands’ alimony requests seriously. Often these husbands […]

Hagood opinion establishes important points on transmutation and alimony

The July 17, 2019 Court of Appeals opinion in Hagood v. Hagood, 427 S.C. 642, 832 S.E.2d 609 (Ct. App, 2019), 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 […]

Alimony for the less ambitious spouse

On June 6, 2019, I argued an appeal in the Court of Appeals that involved a novel issue that I expect to become increasingly common. The family court ordered my client, the Appellant/Wife (I was not the trial attorney), to pay significant permanent periodic alimony to her now Ex-Husband. Unhappy with the both amount and […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion does the unprecedented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 While I only began reading unpublished opinions in 2004, I cannot recall any such unpublished opinions.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 […]

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, 420 S.C. 69, 800 S.E.2d 148 (2019), “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 […]

There is no formula to predict South Carolina alimony obligations

There’s a chart circulating amongst South Carolina family law attorneys that lists most of the published alimony opinions and has columns for the amount of alimony ordered, length of marriage, the spouses’ respective incomes and expenses, grounds for divorce, and other factors described in the alimony statute. My understanding is that family law attorneys look […]

 

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