Posts Tagged ‘Post-Trial Motions’

Vacating court approved agreements

Most family law attorneys will occasionally get contacted by an unhappy litigant who wishes to “appeal” his or her court approved agreement. The simple answer to that request is that “you can’t.” The “court will not entertain appeal from an order issued with parties’ consent.” Hooper v. Rockwell, 334 S.C. 281, 513 S.E.2d 358, 363 […]

Court of Appeals approves joint custody order (and the post-trial reformation of an equitable distribution agreement)

The May 2, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion of Clark v. Clark, 423 S.C. 596, 815 S.E.2d 772 (Ct. App. 2018), is one of the rare published opinions approving true joint physical custody. Further the opinion approves a post-trial reformation of an equitable distribution agreement based upon what the court described as a “clerical error.” The […]

There is no relief from judgment for intrinsic fraud (or do your due diligence)

South Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) list five different ways one can use a streamlined procedure to obtain relief from a judgment within one year of the order or judgment. Item three includes, “fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party.” While the parallel rule of Federal Procedure, upon which the South Carolina […]

Court of Appeals holds Rule 59(e) motion does not authorize family court to modify final order, sua sponte, in manner not requested by the moving party

The June 29, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion in Wannamaker v. Wannamaker, 395 S.C. 592, 719 S.E.2d 261 (Ct. App. 2011) (refiled August 11, 2011 with a slightly altered analysis of the equitable distribution issue) involved three issues, two of which were not novel.  The unnovel issues: In a sixteen year marriage, where the supported spouse earns $30k […]

Should being the victim of a third-party’s Ponzi scheme entitle one to reopen a marital property settlement?

The May 30, 2011 New York Times reports a story about a husband, a partner at a powerful New York City law firm, attempting to reopen his marital property settlement because the value of a major asset he kept in the settlement, shares in the Madoff account, declined in value when it was learned that […]

Supreme Court authorizes use of SCRCP 60(b)(5) to right obvious injustice

The 2006 Court of Appeals opinion in Simmons v. Simmons, 370 S.C. 109, 634 S.E.2d 1 (Ct. App. 2006) voided a provision in the parties’ 1990 court-approved equitable distribution agreement that gave Wife a portion of Husband’s Social Security benefits.  The Court of Appeals found that this provision violated 42 U.S.C. § 407(a) of the Social […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion provides guidance for mediators regarding admissibility of documents provided during mediation

From Guest Blogger, the Honorable Barry W. Knobel The South Carolina Court of Appeals filed what I consider to be an important unpublished family court opinion which, most probably, should have been published, in that it could have provided precedential guidance for family court mediators and attorneys participating in mediation.  [On a side note, an excellent family […]

Being the primary caretaker, not discussing litigation with the child, and not harassing the other parent continue to be prevailing factors in custody case

The July 28, 2010 Court of Appeals opinion in High v. High, 389 S.C. 226, 697 S.E.2d 690 (Ct. App. 2010) presents little new analysis of custody law.  Mother was awarded custody by the family court and this was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, primarily because it appeared that mother was the primary caretaker of […]


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