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April 2015 South Carolina Family Law Update

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | May 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

Monthly law update

The Stevens Firm is pleased to present the April 2015 South Carolina Family Law Update:

Shearouse Advance Sheets:

Brown v. Brown, Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 14 at 12, Op. No. 5311 (S.C. Ct. App. filed April 8, 2015): Husband appealed the family court's equitable division of the marital estate, the custodial determination, and the award of guardian ad litem fees and attorney's fees to Wife. The South Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the family court's decision. You can find our briefing of the opinion here.

Legislative Update:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee met giving a favorable report to S. 500 – Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and carrying over S. 250 – Release of a child's medical records and S. 31 – Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Tuesday, April 14, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee met giving a favorable report to S. 250 – Release of a child's medical records and carrying over S. 31 – Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, the House Judiciary Committee met and gave a favorable report to H. 3156 – Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act and H. 3548 – Child abuse and neglect. The Committee also gave a favorable report as amended to H. – 3766 Uniform Instate Family Support Act and H.3215 – Alimony.

Legislation Introduced in the House:

H. 3989 (Word version): Reps. J. E. Smith and Bernstein: A bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, so as to enact the “persons with disabilities right to parent act” by adding Chapter 21 to Title 63 so as to require the department of social services, law enforcement, and the family and probate courts, among others, to protect the parenting rights of persons with a disability by establishing certain requirements and safeguards applicable in child custody, child protection, and probate guardianship proceedings to ensure that persons with disabilities are not denied the right to parent or to have custody of or visitation with a child because of the disability; to prohibit child placing agencies, adoption service providers, and assisted reproductive technology service providers from denying persons with a disability the right to access services because of the person's disability, with exceptions; by adding Section 62-1-510 so as to require assessments and evaluations of certain persons with a disability in probate court proceedings, and to take into consideration the disability and ways in which to accommodate the disability to enable the person to parent a child adequately; by adding Sections 63-7-1695, 63-7-2575, and 63-15-270 so as to require assessments and evaluations of certain persons with a disability in family court proceedings to take into consideration the disability and ways in which to accommodate the disability to enable the person to parent a child adequately; to amend Section 63-7-720, relating to reasonable efforts requirements for probable cause hearings, so as to require services for parents and legal guardians with a disability to take into consideration the disability and ways in which to accommodate the disability to avoid removal of the child; and to amend Section 63-7-1640, as amended, relating to family court determinations whether to require reasonable efforts to preserve or reunify a family when the parent or legal guardian has a disability, so as to require the court to take into consideration the disability and ways in which to accommodate the disability to preserve or reunify the family; and for other purposes. (Referred to Committee on Judiciary.)

H. 4001 (Word version): Reps. Pitts, Hardwick, Goldfinch, Merrill, Burns, Loftis, Bales, Horne, Anthony, Gagnon, Gambrell, Lowe, Sandifer, Spires, Whitmire and Willis: A bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, to enact the “South Carolina Family Law Arbitration Act” by adding Chapter 9 to Title 20 so as to provide for arbitration as a means of resolving certain matters related to marital separation and divorce, consistent with Title 20, Title 63, and Chapter 48, Title 15; to provide for default rules for conducting arbitration proceedings; to assure access to the Family Courts of this state for proceedings ancillary to arbitration; and to provide for the award of certain costs and interest. (Referred to Committee on Judiciary.)

H. 4007 (Word version): Rep. McEachern: A bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, to enact the “Sibling Transfer Rule Act” by adding Section 59-63-427 so as to provide conditions in which a school district may be required to permit a student to transfer to another school district when he is a sibling of a student who attends another school or when the school attendance zone of the student's parent or guardian changes as the result of a reordering of school attendance zones, and to provide that this act does not mandate certain transportation obligations on any school district. (Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.)

S. 133 (Word version): Senators Davis and Kimpson: A bill to amend Section 63-19-2050 of the 1976 code, relating to record destruction of juvenile records, to provide for the automatic expungement of juvenile records for non-violent crimes that occur before the age of sixteen years old, to provide for the circumstances under which the automatic expungement may occur, and to provide for an expungement process for juvenile records related to certain crimes that occur at the age of sixteen or seventeen years old. (Referred to Committee on judiciary.)

H. 4026 (Word version): Reps. Erickson, Collins, M. S. McLeod, Alexander, Allison, Anderson, Anthony, Atwater, Bales, Ballentine, Bamberg, Bannister, Bedingfield, Bernstein, Bingham, Bowers, Bradley, Brannon, G. A. Brown, R. L. Brown, Burns, Chumley, Clary, Clemmons, Clyburn, Cobb-Hunter, Cole, Corley, H. A. Crawford, Crosby, Daning, Delleney, Dillard, Douglas, Duckworth, Felder, Finlay, Forrester, Funderburk, Gagnon, Gambrell, George, Gilliard, Goldfinch, Govan, Hamilton, Hardee, Hardwick, Hart, Hayes, Henderson, Henegan, Herbkersman, Hicks, Hill, Hiott, Hixon, Hodges, Horne, Hosey, Howard, Huggins, Jefferson, Johnson, Jordan, Kennedy, King, Kirby, Knight, Limehouse, Loftis, Long, Lowe, Lucas, Mack, McCoy, McEachern, McKnight, W. J. McLeod, Merrill, Mitchell, D. C. Moss, V. S. Moss, Murphy, Nanney, Neal, Newton, Norman, Norrell, Ott, Parks, Pitts, Pope, Putnam, Quinn, Ridgeway, Riley, Rivers, Robinson-Simpson, Rutherford, Ryhal, Sandifer, Simrill, G. M. Smith, G. R. Smith, J. E. Smith, Sottile, Southard, Spires, Stavrinakis, Stringer, Tallon, Taylor, Thayer, Tinkler, Toole, Weeks, Wells, Whipper, White, Whitmire, Williams, Willis and Yow: A concurrent resolution to recognize that abuse and neglect of children are significant problems and to declare Tuesday, April 28, 2015, as “Children's Advocacy Day” in South Carolina.

H. 4029 (Word version): Reps. Norman, Govan, King, Corley, Hixon and Simrill: A bill to amend Section 20-3-130, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to alimony awards, so as to create a presumption for the award of lump-sum or reimbursement alimony and against the award of periodic or rehabilitative alimony, to establish guidelines for awarding alimony based on the duration of the marriage, to provide that the court may find cohabitation even if a party maintains a residence or dwelling in addition to the residence or dwelling where the party is cohabiting, to prohibit the court from taking into consideration certain earnings or properties when determining a supporting spouse's ability to pay, to allow the court to consider the extent to which alimony paid to a party who is cohabiting is used to continue or support the cohabitation, to require the court to consider social security spousal retirement benefits and other retirement income to which a supported spouse is entitled when making or modifying an alimony award, to prohibit the court from taking into consideration income or benefits related to an injury or disability of the supporting spouse when determining the supporting spouse's ability to pay; and to amend Section 20-3-170, relating to modification, confirmation, and termination of alimony, so as to create a presumption that retirement is a change of circumstance justifying termination of alimony when the supporting spouse is eligible to receive social security retirement benefits, to provide that the court should decrease an alimony award if a supported spouse is entitled to receive certain spousal social security retirement benefits, and to provide that the court has the discretion to modify an alimony award at whatever age the supporting spouse retires. (Referred to Committee on Judiciary.)

S. 500 (Word version) — Senator Hayes: A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 23, CHAPTER 17, TITLE 63, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE UNIFORM INTERSTATE FAMILY SUPPORT ACT, SO AS TO ENACT AMENDMENTS TO THAT ACT ADOPTED BY THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF COMMISSIONERS FOR UNIFORM STATE LAWS IN 2008, AS REQUIRED BY THE FEDERAL “PREVENTING SEX TRAFFICKING AND STRENGTHENING FAMILIES ACT” INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, AMENDMENTS ADDRESSING INTERNATIONAL RECOVERY OF CHILD SUPPORT AND OTHER FAMILY MAINTENANCE AND DETERMINATION OF PARENTAGE. (Recommitted to Committee on Judiciary.)

H. 4054 (Word version) — Reps. Clyburn, Pitts and Hosey: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 63-17-1095 SO AS TO ALLOW PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINE, UP TO AND INCLUDING REVOCATION OF BUSINESS, OCCUPATIONAL, OR PROFESSIONAL LICENSES OR OTHER CERTIFICATIONS, FOR FAILURE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT; TO AMEND SECTION 63-5-20, RELATING TO THE DUTY TO PROVIDE REASONABLE SUPPORT FOR SPOUSES AND CHILDREN, SO AS TO REQUIRE COURTS TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION EMPLOYMENT CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN DETERMINING WHETHER THERE IS JUST CAUSE OR EXCUSE FOR A PERSON NOT TO PROVIDE REASONABLE SUPPORT; TO AMEND SECTION 63-17-390, RELATING TO PLACING PERSONS IN JAIL FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH A CHILD SUPPORT ORDER, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE COURT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THERE IS JUST CAUSE OR EXCUSE FOR NONCOMPLIANCE, INCLUDING EMPLOYMENT CIRCUMSTANCES, AND TO PROHIBIT PLACING PERSONS IN JAIL IF THERE IS JUST CAUSE OR EXCUSE FOR NONCOMPLIANCE; AND TO AMEND SECTION 63-17-1020, RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT THROUGH LICENSE REVOCATION, SO AS NOT TO APPLY TO BUSINESS, OCCUPATIONAL, OR PROFESSIONAL LICENSES. (Referred to Committee on Judiciary.)

H. 4066 (Word version) — Reps. Gagnon, H. A. Crawford, Gambrell, Putnam, Thayer, Southard, Daning, Newton, Pitts and Willis: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SUBARTICLE 5 TO ARTICLE 9, CHAPTER 5, TITLE 43 SO AS TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO ADMINISTER THE FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) AND TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR PROGRAM BENEFITS, TO LIMIT INDIVIDUALS TO RECEIPT OF SNAP BENEFITS TO THREE MONTHS OUT OF EVERY THIRTY-SIX MONTHS WITH EXCEPTIONS, TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE SNAP BENEFITS AND ESTABLISH ADDITIONAL PENALTIES, TO PROVIDE A PROCESS THROUGH WHICH INDIVIDUALS MAY REGAIN ELIGIBILITY FOR SNAP BENEFITS, AND TO PROHIBIT THE DEPARTMENT FROM APPLYING FOR WAIVERS FROM WORK REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE SNAP BENEFITS; TO AMEND SECTION 43-5-1105, RELATING TO STATE WELFARE POLICY, SO AS TO EXPAND THE SCOPE OF THE POLICY; TO AMEND SECTION 43-5-1110, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED IN ARTICLE 9, SO AS TO ADD DEFINITIONS RELATING TO THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND TO CHANGE OR ELIMINATE CERTAIN DEFINITIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 43-5-1115, RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN PUBLIC BENEFITS, SO AS TO REFERENCE TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES AND THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM; TO AMEND SECTION 43-5-1150, RELATING TO A FEDERAL PROGRAM WHOSE FUNCTION IS TO INCREASE JOB OPPORTUNITIES, SO AS TO CONFORM THE PROGRAM NAME TO CURRENT LAW; TO DESIGNATE EXISTING SECTIONS OF ARTICLE 9 AS SUBARTICLES; AND TO RENAME ARTICLE 9, CHAPTER 5, TITLE 43 THE “TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES AND SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ACT”. (Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.)

Legislation Introduced in the Senate:

H. 3433 (Word version) — Reps. Erickson, Weeks, Cobb-Hunter, McCoy, Douglas, Kennedy, Long, Lucas, M. S. McLeod, Ridgeway, Tallon, Thayer, Felder, Pope, J. E. Smith, King, Howard, Parks, Ott, Jefferson, Bernstein, Rivers, Southard, Tinkler, Henegan, Kirby, Bales, Neal, Henderson, Herbkersman, Merrill, G. R. Smith, Bradley, Bannister, H. A. Crawford, Newton, Clemmons, Nanney, Wells, Quinn, Whitmire, Bingham, Stringer, Atwater, Hicks, Mitchell, Funderburk, Norrell, Knight, Sandifer, Gilliard, R. L. Brown, Whipper and W. J. McLeod: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO ENACT THE “DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REFORM ACT”; TO AMEND SECTION 16-25-10, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS FOR PURPOSES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES, SO AS TO DEFINE OTHER NECESSARY TERMS; TO AMEND SECTION 16-25-20, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES, SO AS TO RESTRUCTURE THE OFFENSES BY GRADUATING THE PENALTIES INTO DEGREES, DEFINE THE ELEMENTS OF EACH DEGREE, AND PROVIDE A NEW PENALTY STRUCTURE; TO AMEND SECTION 16-25-65, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OF A HIGH AND AGGRAVATED NATURE, SO AS TO RESTRUCTURE THE OFFENSE, REDEFINE THE ELEMENTS OF THE OFFENSE, TO RESTRUCTURE THE PENALTY, AND TO PROVIDE THAT AS A CONDITION OF BOND FOR THIS OFFENSE, THE JUDGE MAY PROVIDE THAT THE OFFENDER MAY NOT SHIP, TRANSPORT, POSSESS, OR RECEIVE A FIREARM OR AMMUNITION WHILE THE OFFENDER IS UNDER BOND; TO AMEND SECTION 16-1-60, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO CRIMES DEFINED AS VIOLENT, SO AS TO INCLUDE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS A VIOLENT CRIME; TO AMEND SECTION 17-25-45, RELATING TO OFFENSES DEFINED AS “MOST SERIOUS” AND “SERIOUS”, SO AS TO ADD THE OFFENSES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OF A HIGH AND AGGRAVATED NATURE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE FIRST DEGREE TO THE LIST OF “SERIOUS” OFFENSES; TO AMEND SECTION 16-3-600, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO ASSAULT AND BATTERY OFFENSES, SO AS TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF “MODERATE BODILY INJURY”; TO AMEND SECTION 22-3-546, RELATING TO THE AUTHORIZATION OF CIRCUIT SOLICITORS, IN THEIR DISCRETION, TO ESTABLISH A PROGRAM FOR PROSECUTION OF FIRST OFFENSE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES, SO AS TO EXPAND THE PROGRAMS TO INCLUDE ALL MISDEMEANOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES; TO AMEND SECTION 22-5-530, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DEPOSITS IN LIEU OF RECOGNIZANCE AND PAYMENT TO A JAIL OR CORRECTIONAL FACILITY TO SECURE IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE SECTION DO NOT APPLY TO A PERSON CHARGED WITH A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSE AND SUCH A PERSON IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED FROM MAKING A DEPOSIT IN LIEU OF RECOGNIZANCE TO SECURE IMMEDIATE RELEASE; TO AMEND SECTION 17-15-30 AND SECTION 22-5-510, BOTH AS AMENDED, RELATING TO MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN DETERMINING CONDITIONS OF RELEASE ON BOND AND BOND HEARINGS AND INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED TO THE COURT, RESPECTIVELY, BOTH SO AS TO REQUIRE THE COURT TO CONSIDER IF RELEASE ON BOND WOULD CONSTITUTE AN UNREASONABLE DANGER TO THE COMMUNITY OR AN INDIVIDUAL, TO PROVIDE THAT WHEN A PERSON IS CHARGED WITH A VIOLATION OF CERTAIN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES THAT A BOND HEARING MAY NOT PROCEED WITHOUT THE PERSON'S CRIMINAL RECORD AND INCIDENT REPORT, OR THE PRESENCE OF THE ARRESTING OFFICER, TO REQUIRE BOND HEARINGS FOR THESE VIOLATIONS TO BE HELD WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AFTER ARREST, AND TO PROVIDE THAT FAILURE OF A PARTY TO ADHERE TO A CONDITION OF BOND MAY RESULT IN THE ISSUANCE OF A BENCH WARRANT FOR CONTEMPT; TO AMEND SECTION 17-15-10, RELATING TO PERSONS WHO MAY BE RELEASED PENDING TRIAL, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE COURT TO CONSIDER IF RELEASE ON BOND WOULD CONSTITUTE AN UNREASONABLE DANGER TO THE COMMUNITY OR AN INDIVIDUAL; TO AMEND SECTION 16-25-120, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE RELEASE OF A PERSON ON BOND WHO IS CHARGED WITH A VIOLENT OFFENSE OR WHEN THE VICTIM IS A HOUSEHOLD MEMBER, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE COURT MUST CONSIDER CERTAIN FACTORS BEFORE RELEASING A PERSON ON BOND; TO AMEND SECTION 17-15-50, RELATING TO AMENDMENT OF AN ORDER RELATING TO BOND, SO AS TO CLARIFY THAT THE COURT WITH JURISDICTION OF THE OFFENSE MAY AMEND THE ORDER AT ANY TIME; TO AMEND SECTION 17-15-55, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO BOND AND THE AUTHORITY OF THE CIRCUIT COURT TO REVOKE BOND UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PURPOSE OF BOND REVOCATION ONLY THAT A SUMMARY COURT HAS CONCURRENT JURISDICTION WITH THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR TEN DAYS FROM THE DATE BOND IS FIRST SET ON A CHARGE BY THE SUMMARY COURT TO DETERMINE IF BOND SHOULD BE REVOKED; TO AMEND SECTION 16-25-20, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE A JUDGE TO PROCEED WITH THE PROSECUTION OF A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSE WITHOUT THE VICTIM PRESENT AND TO REQUIRE A JUDGE TO MAKE CERTAIN INQUIRIES AND WRITTEN FINDINGS REGARDING WHETHER THE PROSECUTION IS READY TO PROCEED AND THE TYPE OF EVIDENCE THE PROSECUTION IS PREPARED TO PRESENT; TO AMEND SECTION 16-25-70, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO WARRANTLESS ARREST OR SEARCH FOR A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSE, SO AS TO REQUIRE THAT THE MANDATED LAW ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATION OF A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSE MUST BE DOCUMENTED ON AN INCIDENT REPORT FORM WHICH MUST BE MAINTAINED BY THE INVESTIGATING AGENCY; TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES IN CONSULTATION WITH THE SOUTH CAROLINA VOUCHER PROGRAM TO PROVIDE CERTAIN CHILDCARE SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION IN COURT HEARINGS RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; TO AMEND SECTION 17-22-90, RELATING TO PRETRIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMS, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FATALITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO DEVELOP AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO APPROVE A BATTERER'S TREATMENT PROGRAM FOR USE AS PART OF PRETRIAL INTERVENTION FOR CERTAIN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES AND TO ALLOW THE COURT TO DESIGNATE A SPECIFIC BATTERER'S TREATMENT PROGRAM; BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 25, TITLE 16 SO AS TO CREATE THE DEPARTMENT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FATALITIES OF THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF SOUTH CAROLINA WHOSE PURPOSE IS TO INVESTIGATE FATALITIES RESULTING FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, TO REQUIRE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO OVERSEE THESE INVESTIGATIONS AND THE OVERALL OPERATION OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE DEPARTMENT'S DUTIES AND POWERS; TO CREATE THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FATALITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE WHOSE PURPOSE IS TO DECREASE FATALITIES RESULTING FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE COMMITTEE'S MEMBERSHIP, DUTIES, AND POWERS; AND TO EXEMPT CERTAIN MEETINGS AND INFORMATION FROM THE APPLICABILITY OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND PROVIDE FOR CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN INFORMATION RELATED TO THE INVESTIGATION AND REVIEW OF INCIDENCES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BY THE DEPARTMENT AND COMMITTEE; BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 25, TITLE 16 SO AS TO RECODIFY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 43-1-260, RELATING TO COMMUNITY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COORDINATING COUNCILS, WITHIN ARTICLE 5; TO REPEAL SECTION 43-1-260 RELATING TO COMMUNITY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COORDINATING COUNCILS; TO AMEND SECTION 59-32-30, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SUBJECTS TAUGHT IN THE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAM, SO AS TO ADD THE SUBJECT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BEGINNING WITH THE 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR; AND TO STRIKE THE WORD “CRIMINAL” FROM REFERENCES TO CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES THROUGHOUT AS APPROPRIATE. (Senator L.MARTIN spoke on the Bill.)(Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.)

H. 4026 (Word version) — Reps. Erickson, Collins, M. S. McLeod, Alexander, Allison, Anderson, Anthony, Atwater, Bales, Ballentine, Bamberg, Bannister, Bedingfield, Bernstein, Bingham, Bowers, Bradley, Brannon, G. A. Brown, R. L. Brown, Burns, Chumley, Clary, Clemmons, Clyburn, Cobb-Hunter, Cole, Corley, H. A. Crawford, Crosby, Daning, Delleney, Dillard, Douglas, Duckworth, Felder, Finlay, Forrester, Funderburk, Gagnon, Gambrell, George, Gilliard, Goldfinch, Govan, Hamilton, Hardee, Hardwick, Hart, Hayes, Henderson, Henegan, Herbkersman, Hicks, Hill, Hiott, Hixon, Hodges, Horne, Hosey, Howard, Huggins, Jefferson, Johnson, Jordan, Kennedy, King, Kirby, Knight, Limehouse, Loftis, Long, Lowe, Lucas, Mack, McCoy, McEachern, McKnight, W. J. McLeod, Merrill, Mitchell, D. C. Moss, V. S. Moss, Murphy, Nanney, Neal, Newton, Norman, Norrell, Ott, Parks, Pitts, Pope, Putnam, Quinn, Ridgeway, Riley, Rivers, Robinson-Simpson, Rutherford, Ryhal, Sandifer, Simrill, G. M. Smith, G. R. Smith, J. E. Smith, Sottile, Southard, Spires, Stavrinakis, Stringer, Tallon, Taylor, Thayer, Tinkler, Toole, Weeks, Wells, Whipper, White, Whitmire, Williams, Willis and Yow: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE THAT ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF CHILDREN ARE SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS AND TO DECLARE TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2015, AS “CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY DAY” IN SOUTH CAROLINA. (The Concurrent Resolution was introduced and referred to the General Committee.)

S. 707 (Word version) — Senators Shealy and McElveen: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 1, TITLE 27 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO PROPERTY AND CONVEYANCES, TO PROVIDE THAT A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO IS DEPLOYED OR MOBILIZED OUTSIDE OF THIS STATE, OR RECEIVES ORDERS FOR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OUTSIDE OF THIS STATE, OR A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY OUTSIDE OF THE STATE IN SUPPORT OF THE ARMED FORCES, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO WAIVE ANY UNPAID HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION REGIME FEES THAT ACCRUE DURING THE TIME PERIOD THAT THE PERSON IS DEPLOYED, TO PROVIDE THAT THE ASSOCIATION MUST GRANT THE WAIVER IF THE PERSON PROVIDES COPIES OF THE ORDERS THAT REQUIRE SERVICE OUTSIDE OF THIS STATE AND A VALID MILITARY IDENTIFICATION CARD, AND TO EXTEND THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION TO DEPENDENTS RESIDING WITH THE SERVICE MEMBER. (Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.)

H. 3156 (Word version) — Reps. J. E. Smith, Cobb-Hunter, Whipper, Weeks and Yow: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 15, TITLE 63 ENACTING THE “UNIFORM DEPLOYED PARENTS CUSTODY AND VISITATION ACT” SO AS TO ADDRESS ISSUES OF CUSTODIAL RESPONSIBILITY WHEN A PARENT IN THE UNIFORMED SERVICE IS BEING DEPLOYED; TO PROVIDE THAT A COURT MUST HAVE JURISDICTION PURSUANT TO THE UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION AND ENFORCEMENT ACT TO ISSUE AN ORDER UNDER THIS ARTICLE; TO REQUIRE PROMPT NOTICE OF DEPLOYMENT TO THE OTHER PARENT; TO PROVIDE THAT THE CUSTODIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF A DEPLOYING PARENT MAY BE ASSIGNED FOR THE DURATION OF THE DEPLOYMENT BY A TEMPORARY AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BY THE PARENTS OR WITH THE DEPLOYING PARENT'S CONSENT, BY A COURT ISSUING A TEMPORARY ORDER GRANTING CUSTODIAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND TO FURTHER PROVIDE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS AND LIMITATIONS OF AN AGREEMENT OR COURT ORDER; TO PROVIDE FOR THE TERMINATION OF A TEMPORARY AGREEMENT OR A TEMPORARY ORDER; TO PROVIDE THAT THIS ARTICLE SUPERSEDES THE FEDERAL ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES IN GLOBAL AND NATIONAL COMMERCE ACT, EXCEPT CERTAIN PROVISIONS IN THAT ACT; AND TO PROVIDE THAT THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT AFFECT THE VALIDITY OF A TEMPORARY COURT ORDER CONCERNING CUSTODIAL RESPONSIBILITY DURING DEPLOYMENT ENTERED BEFORE THIS ARTICLE'S EFFECTIVE DATE. (Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.)

H. 3215 (Word version) — Reps. Govan, Robinson-Simpson and Willis: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO CREATE A STUDY COMMITTEE TO REFORM ALIMONY, TO PROVIDE FOR MEMBERSHIP OF THE STUDY COMMITTEE AND THE METHOD OF APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, TO REQUIRE THE STUDY COMMITTEE TO PREPARE A REPORT WITH FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AND TO INCLUDE A SUNSET PROVISION FOR THE STUDY COMMITTEE. (Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.)

H. 3548 (Word version) — Reps. J. E. Smith, Yow and Weeks: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 63-7-320, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO NOTIFICATION AND TRANSFER OF REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT IF THE ALLEGED ABUSED OR NEGLECTED CHILD IS A MEMBER OF AN ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY FAMILY, THE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL NOTIFY CERTAIN DESIGNATED MILITARY OFFICIALS AT THE INSTALLATION WHERE THE ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE MEMBER, WHO IS THE SPONSOR OF THE ALLEGED ABUSED OR NEGLECTED CHILD, IS ASSIGNED; TO AMEND SECTION 63-7-920, RELATING TO INVESTIGATIONS AND CASE DETERMINATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OR LAW ENFORCEMENT, OR BOTH, MAY COLLECT INFORMATION CONCERNING THE MILITARY AFFILIATION OF THE PERSON HAVING CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF THE CHILD SUBJECT TO AN INVESTIGATION AND MAY SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH THE APPROPRIATE MILITARY AUTHORITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 63-7-1990, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO CONFIDENTIALITY AND RELEASE OF RECORDS AND INFORMATION, SO AS TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS AND TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO GRANT ACCESS TO THE RECORDS OF AN INDICATED CASE TO CERTAIN DESIGNATED MILITARY OFFICIALS AT THE INSTALLATION WHERE THE ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE MEMBER, WHO IS THE SPONSOR OF THE ALLEGED ABUSED OR NEGLECTED CHILD, IS ASSIGNED; AND TO AMEND SECTION 63-11-80, RELATING TO CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION WITHIN CHILD WELFARE AGENCIES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT AN OFFICER, AGENT OR EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OR A CHILD WELFARE AGENCY SHALL NOT DISCLOSE, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, INFORMATION LEARNED ABOUT A CHILD, THE CHILD'S PARENTS OR RELATIVES, OR OTHER PERSONS HAVING CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF THE CHILD, EXCEPT IN CASES INVOLVING A CHILD IN THE CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF PERSONS WHO HAVE MILITARY AFFILIATION. (Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.)

Administrative Order/Court Rules Update:

The South Carolina Supreme Court amended the Rule 1.0, South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, based a proposal from the South Carolina Bar to include a definition of “person.” See a copy of the Administrative Order here. The new definition will appear as Rule 1.0(j), SCRPC, Rule 407, SCACR.

The South Carolina Supreme Court added Rule 427, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, and amended Rule 410(h)(2), South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, to allow for a limited certificate of admission to practice law allowing Armed Forces Judge Advocates to represent authorized clients before a court or administrative tribunal in South Carolina. See a copy of the Administrative Order here.

After ninety days passed without rejection from the General Assembly, the amended versions of the following court rules are effective as of April 29, 2015 (see a copy of the Administrative Orderhere):

  • Rule 45(b)(1), South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. The order amending this rule can be found here.
  • Rules 16 and 19, South Carolina Rules of Magistrates Court. The order amending this rule can be found here.
  • Rule 4(d)(2), South Carolina Court-Annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules. The order amending this rule can be found here.

The Stevens Firm, P.A. South Carolina Family Law Update is published as a service to our attorneys, clients, and friends. It is intended to be a high level overview of the developments in South Carolina Family Law and is a general summary of law. This publication It should in no way replace legal advice specific to your circumstances or in any way creates an attorney-client relationship. If you require further information on anything covered in our South Carolina Family Law Update, please contact our firm at (864) 598-9172 or [email protected] to make an appointment with one of our attorneys. Further information can also be found on our website.

About the Author

J. Benjamin Stevens

Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Ben is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocates. He is one of only four attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. To schedule a consultation with Ben Stevens call (864) 598-9172.

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