Family Court’s “365-Day” Rule

South Carolina has an administrative rule regarding resolution of Family Court cases.  It requires that all cases be settled or mediated within 365 days from the date of filing.  This can lead to hardship for both litigants and attorneys.  Although a year may sound more than sufficient to resolve a case, that is only the case when both parties (and both of their counsel) wish for fast resolution of the case.  Of course, this isn’t always the case.

Even more concerning is that if a Temporary Order for child custody, visitation, support, alimony or payment of debts has been entered, the stroke of a pen can end this obligation.  Family practitioners now tend to track this and try to schedule accordingly. But, be aware of this issue and help your attorney timely and promptly move your case through the system so that you will not find yourself on the receiving end of an Order of Dismissal.  This will result in the need to refile your action and requesting the court to reinstate the prior Temporary Order, a process that could take as long as 60 or more days.

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