Technical College of the Lowcountry 921 Ribaut Rd. Beaufort, SC 29901
Dr. Leah Parisi Building 14, Room 116 843-525-8278 [email protected]
LEG 213 Family Law
Course Description This course includes an examination of the laws of marriage, divorce, annulment, separation, adoption, custody and the juvenile. P/Co-Requisites: LEG 135 – Introduction to Law and Ethics and ENG 101 – English Composition I or Approval of the Instructor 3 Cr (3lect/pres, 0 lab, 0 other) Course Focus The course will assist the paralegal in preparing to work with an attorney in the area of family law by covering the basic South Carolina law and approach to issues of marriage, annulment, divorce, custody, support, adoption, and domestic abuse. The changing law related to technology and non-traditional relationships is included. Emphasis is on the role of the paralegal in a family law practice. Text and References Wilson, Mary E. Family Law for the Paralegal – Concepts and Applications. Pearson/Prentice Hall Publishers, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-13-159368-8 Course Goals The following list of course goals will be addressed in the course. (* designates a CRUCIAL goal) 1. address family law jurisdictional issues 2. demonstrate ethical principles 3. * provide premarital agreement indications 4. *state factors influencing premarital agreement enforcability 5. *create a premarital agreement 6. *present valid ceremonial marriage requirement 7. *discuss South Carolina common law marriage requirements 8. *explore same sex marriage issues 9. outline marriage rights, benefits and obligations 10.*present cohabitation agreement use and requirements
11.*compare annulment and divorce 12.*interpret grounds for and defenses to annulment 13. contrast cohabitation and marriage 14. address alternative family legal issues 15.*state South Carolina grounds for divorce 16.*apply South Carolina defenses to grounds for divorce 17.*identify divorce dispute resolution options 18. apply formal and informal discovery methods 19.*examine South Carolina child custody common law 20. address child custody and visitation third party rights 21*state methods of enforcing custody and visitation orders 22.*contrast child and spousal support requirements 23.*examine federal and state child support laws and enforcement 24.*explain child support order modification 25.*explain child support order enforcement 26.*provide child support and alimony tax implications 27.*present spousal support request and enforcement processes 28.*contrast spousal support and property division 29.*differentiate spousal support methods 30. compare separate and marital property 31.*define co-mingling 32. compare equitable and community property approaches 33. discuss marital home division 34. identify pension division issues 35.*present separation agreement requirements 36.*outline court role in approving, modifying and enforcing agreements 37.*present means of establishing parentage 38. explore assisted reproductive technology issues 39. describe types of adoption 40.*present requirements for termination of parental rights 41.*identify parties who must consent to adoption 42. describe victims, perpetrators and fimily violence types 43.*identify child abuse and neglect methods 44.*explain abuse reporting 45. contrast stalking and harrassment 46.*differentiate paralegal practice from law practice 47.*write a legal brief Student Contributions Preparation for class and participation in discussion Preparation of a legal brief Preparation of a pre-marital agreement Midterm and Final Examinations Course Evaluation Midterm Examination – 30% of grade Final Examination – 30% of grade Legal brief assignment – 15% of grade Will drafting assignment – 15% of grade
ADA Statement The Technical College of the Lowcountry provides access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation, contact the counselor for students with disabilities at (843) 525-8228 during the first ten business days of the academic term. ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT There is no tolerance at TCL for academic dishonesty and misconduct. The College expects all students to conduct themselves with dignity and to maintain high standards of responsible citizenship. It is the student’s responsibility to address any questions regarding what might constitute academic misconduct to the course instructor for further clarification. The College adheres to the Student Code for the South Carolina Technical College System. Copies of the Student Code and Grievance Procedure are provided in the TCL Student Handbook, the Division Office, and the Learning Resources Center. ATTENDANCE • The College’s statement of policy indicates that students must attend ninety percent of total class hours or they will be in violation of the attendance policy. • •
Students not physically attending class during the first ten calendar days from the start of the semester must be dropped from the class for NOT ATTENDING. Students taking an online/internet class must sign in and communicate with the instructor within the first ten calendar days from the start of the semester to indicate attendance in the class. Students not attending class during the first ten calendar days from the start of the semester must be dropped from the class for NOT ATTENDING. Reinstatement requires the signature of the division dean.
• In the event it becomes necessary for a student to withdraw from the course OR if a student stops attending class, it is the student’s responsibility to initiate and complete the necessary paperwork. Withdrawing from class may have consequences associated with financial aid and time to completion. • When a student exceeds the allowed absences, the student is in violation of the attendance policy. The instructor MUST withdrawal the student with a grade of “W”, “WP”, or “WF” depending on the date the student exceeded the allowed absences and the student’s progress up to the last date of attendance or o under extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of the faculty member teaching the class, allow the student to continue in the class and make-up the work. This exception must be documented at the time the allowed absences are exceeded. • Absences are counted from the first day of class. There are no "excused" absences. All absences are counted, regardless of the reason for the absence. • A student must take the final exam or be excused from the final exam in order to earn a nonwithdrawal grade. • A copy of TCL’s STATEMENT OF POLICY NUMBER: 3-1-307 CLASS ATTENDANCE (WITHDRAWAL) is on file in the Division Office and in the Learning Resources Center. HAZARDOUS WEATHER In case weather conditions are so severe that operation of the College may clearly pose a hardship on students and staff traveling to the College, notification of closing will be made through the following radio and television stations: WYKZ 98.7, WGCO 98.3, WGZO 103.1, WFXH 106.1, WWVV 106.9, WLOW 107.9, WGZR 104.9, WFXH 1130 AM, WLVH 101.1, WSOK 1230 AM, WAEV 97.3, WTOC TV, WTGS TV, WJWJ TV, and WSAV TV. Students, faculty and
staff are highly encouraged to opt in to the Emergency Text Message Alert System. www.tcl.edu/textalert.asp
EXTRA: Emergency Text Message Alert Students, faculty and staff are highly encouraged to opt in to the Emergency Text Message Alert System. Participants receive immediate notification of emergency events and weather cancelations via text messaging on their cell phones. Participants can also opt in to receive non-emergency news and announcements. Go to www.tcl.edu. On the homepage, click on “emergency TextAlert at TCL” and fill out the form or go to www.tcl.edu/textalert.asp BROADCAST LEARNING FORMAT: This class is being taught in a broadcast learning format. Images and word of class participants may be transmitted live or on a delayed basis to other locations. Classes may be rebroadcast due to extenuating circumstance.
COURSE TOPIC OUTLINE/PURPOSE: GENERAL COURSE OUTLINE: Week Topic 1 Review of Syllabus and Orientation The nature and scope of family law practice The role of the paralegal Legal research in family law Jurisdiction and the South Carolina court system Ethical issues McMackin v. McMackin, 651 A.2d 778 (Del. 1993); Columbus Bar Association v. Thomas, 102 Ohio St. 3d. 89, 846 N.W. 2d 31 (2006) Preparation: Read Chapter One 2 Pre-marital agreements; differences from other contracts Legal requirements and ethical issues Content and expectations for preparation of a pre-marital agreement Forms Enforceability Discuss assignment Preparation: Read Chapter Two 3 Marriage – Ceremonial, Common law, Same-Sex, Putative Legal requirements and ethical issues Rights, benefits and obligations Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 87 S.Ct. 1817, 18 L.Ed. 1010 (1967); Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 440 Mass. 309, 98 N.E. 2d 941 (2003); Callen v. Callen, 365 S.C. 618, 620 S.E. 2d 59 (2005) Preparation: Read Chapter 3 4 Discuss how to write a legal brief – discuss assignment Annulment – differences between annulment and divorce Void vs. voidable marriage Grounds, defenses, consequences McCombs v. Haley, 13 Neb. App. 729, 700 N.W. 2d 659 (2005); Estate of Goodwin v. FoustGraham, 171 N.C. App. 707, 615 S.E. 2d 398 (2005); Medlin v. Eli, 194 Ariz. 306, 981 P.2d 1087 (Ariz. App. 1999); Pickard v. Pickard, 625 S.E. 2d 869 (N.C. App. 2006); Emmit v. Emmit, 174 S.W. 3d 248 (Tenn. App. 2005); Williams v. Williams, 97 P. 3d 1124 (Nev. 2004); Fredo v. Fredo, 49 Conn. Supp. 489, 894 A. 2d 399 (Conn. Super. 2005) Preparation: Read Chapter Four. 5 Non-marital families Co-habitation
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Co-habitation agreements and protection of rights Domestic partnerships/Civil unions Marvin v. Marvin, 18 Cal. 3d 660, 557 P. 2d 106, 134 Cal. Rptr. 815 (1976) Preparation: Read Chapter 5; PRE-MARITAL AGREEMENT DUE 6 The divorce process Culture and history; civil and religious Jurisdiction Grounds vs. no-fault Defenses Process and pleadings; negotiation and mediation Von Schack v. Von Schack, 2006 ME. 30; 893 A.2d 1004 (2006); In the Matter of Blanchflower and Blanchflower, 150 N.H. 226, 834 A. 2d 1010 (2003); Pfoltzer v. Pflotzer, 9 A.3d 615, 779 N.Y.S. 2d 668, (N.Y App. Div 2004) 7 Preparation: Read Chapter 6 Informal and formal discovery – Interrogatories, depositions, requests for admissions, requests for production, requests for physical or mental examination Objections Financial statements Ethical issues and court involvement Preparation: Read Chapter Seven 8 MIDTERM EXAMINATION 9 Child custody – jurisdictional issues – UCCJA, UCCJEA, PKPA, Hague Convention History – Best interests of the child Types of custody Issues courts consider Parental and child rights Third party rights Enforcement Palmore v. Sidoti, 466 U.S. 429, 104 S.Ct. 1879, 80 S.E. 2d 421 (1984); McGriff v. McGriff, 140 Idaho 642, 99 P. 3d 111 (2004); Jackson v. Jackson, 2004 WY. 99, 96 P. 3d 21 (2004); Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 120 S.Ct. 2054, 147 L.Ed.2d 49 (2000); Holtzman v. Knott (In re H.S.H.-K), 193 Wis. 2d 649, 533 N.W. 2d 419 (1995) Preparation: Read Chapter 8. 10 Child support – when and to whom awarded; differences between child support and alimony Jurisdictional issues Factors courts consider – guidelines; calculations Enforcement – UIFSA; Title IVD; Role of DSS Modification Tax implications McKenzie v. McKenzie, 709 N.W.2d 528 (Iowa 2006); Pursley v. Pursley, 144 S.W. 3d 820 (Ky. 2004) Preparation: LEGAL BRIEF DUE; Read Chapter 9 11 Spousal Support – History and approaches Property division versus support Factors considered Enforcement, Modification and Termination Tax implications Mani v. Mani, 183 N.J. 70, 869 A.2d 904 (2005); Sanford v. Sanford, 2005 S.D. 34, 694 N.W.2d 283 (2005); Mahoney v. Mahoney, 91 J.J. 488, 453 A.2d 527 (1982); Adkins v. Adkins, 650 So.2d 61 (Fla. App. 1994); Ray v. Ray, 2006 OK. 30, 136 P.
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3d 634 (2006); Willoughby v. Willoughby, 2004 Pa. Super.439, 864 A.2d 654 (2004); Williams v. Williams, 276 conn. 491, 886 A.2d 817 (2005); Sutphin v. Sutphin, 2004 Ohio App (2004) Preparation: Read Chapter 10 Property Division – Separate v. Marital property Equitable division v. Community property Options for division – pensions; marital home Liabilities Tax implications Bennett v. Bennett, 655 So. 2d 109 (Fla. App., 1995); Woodworth v. Woodworth, 126 Mich. App. 258, 227 N.W.2d 332 (1983); Miller v. Miller, 105 P.3d 1136 (Alas. 2005); Wade v. Wade, 2005 Vt. 72, 178 Vt. 189, 878 A.2d 303 (2005); Szesny v. Szesny, 197 Ill. App 3d 966, 557 N.E.2d 222 (1990) Preparation: Read Chapter 11 Separation Agreements – Purpose and Characteristics Components Court approval and modification Enforcement Read Chapter 12 Parenthood – Legitimacy and Illegitimacy How parentage is established – parties having standing; UPA; testing Assisted reproductive technology; surrogacy, cryopreservation of embryos; posthumous conception; contract and inheritance issues; liability; ethical issues Doran v. Doran, 2003 Pa. Super. 129, 820 A.2d 1279 (2003); A.J. v. I.J., 2002 Wi. App. 307, 259 Wi. 2d 120, 605 N.W. 2d 195 (2002); Johnson v. Calvert, 5 Cal. 4th 84, 851 P. 2d 776, 19 Cal. Rptr. 2d 494 (1993), Cert. denied 510 U.S. 874, 114 S.Ct. 206, 126 L.Ed.2d 163 (1993) Read Chapter 13 Adoption – Types of Adoption; Rights of biological parents; Unwed mothers v. unwed fathers Putative fathers Termination of parental rights Consent to adoption Who can adopt Process Challenge Alma Society, Inc. v. Mellon, 601 F.2d 1225 (2d Cir. 1079); In re Doe, 159 Ill. 2d 347, 638 N.E.2d 181 (1994) Preparation: Read Chapter 14 Family Violence – Definition and scope Violence Against Women Act Stalking v. Harassment (South Carolina) Victims and Perpetrators Child victims -0 CAPTA Types of abuse Reporting Impact on custody Criminal and tort actions Preparation: Read Chapters 15 Lefebre v. Lefebre, 165 Ore. App. 297, 996 P. 2d 518 (2000); State of New Mexico v. Lefebre, 138 N.M. 174, 2005; 117 P. 3d 980 (2005) Final Examination Total
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2.5 40 hrs.