Posts Tagged ‘Marital Litigation in South Carolina’

Cultural misconceptions regarding annulment

An annulment, in contrast to a divorce, treats a marriage as though it never happened.  Folks often contact me seeking an annulment but, in close to two decades of family law practice, I cannot recall ever obtaining an annulment for a client.  Except for marriages that are void as a matter of law, the grounds […]

In opinion with numerous oddities, Supreme Court approves active/passive approach to valuing marital property

In the October 31, 2011 opinion in Burch v. Burch, 395 S.C. 318, 717 S.E.2d 757 (2011), the South Carolina Supreme Court finally ratifies the passive versus active gain distinction the Court of Appeals has used for years in determining the valuation date for marital assets that change value between the date of filing and the […]

Should having sex, or even spending nights, with one’s spouse prevent a one-year’s continuous separation divorce?

South Carolina law allows spouses to obtain a divorce when they “have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year.” S.C. Code Ann. § 20-3-10(5).  Based primarily upon what I hear anecdotally, I suspect if you asked South Carolina family court judges whether they could grant a divorce on this ground […]

Court ordered sibling visitation in South Carolina

One of the more recent additions to the South Carolina jurisdictional code regarding children and family court, § 63-3-530, is subsection 44, which allows the family court “to order sibling visitation where the court finds it is in the best interest of the children.”  The sentiments behind this code subsection, the judicial protection of sibling […]

Court of Appeals opinion clarifies transmutation and adultery’s bar to alimony

The August 4, 2010 South Carolina Court of Appeals opinion in Pruitt v. Pruitt, 389 S.C. 250, 697 S.E.2d 702 (Ct. App. 2010), covers numerous issues, a few of which are not that uninteresting or novel.  The uninteresting issues are: 1) Transfers of property to family members close to the time that marital litigation commences that are […]

How to draft a family court final order that will get sustained on appeal

Pursuant to South Carolina Rule of Family Court 26 (a & b): An order or judgment pursuant to an adjudication in a domestic relations case shall set forth the specific findings of fact and conclusions of law to support the court’s decision. By signing his name to an order in a domestic relations case, the […]

When to file a contested marital dissolution action before negotiating and when not to request a temporary hearing when filing a contested family court case

It is my experience that most family law attorneys in South Carolina reflexively file a motion for temporary relief when filing a contested family court action or fail to file a marital dissolution action when they hope to negotiate a separation agreement.  Yet I know of two good reasons (there may be others) to file […]

Court of Appeals confirms that severance pay that is not tied to an agreement not to compete is marital property

When a spouse becomes terminated in the midst of marital litigation there are frequent disputes whether any severance should be treated as income to the terminated spouse or as marital property.  Within the past few years I have had a couple of cases in which the parties disputed whether these payments were income or marital […]


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