If you were practicing family law in South Carolina prior to 1979, then you were able to advise your clients, with some reasonable degree of certainty and with only certain limited exceptions (such as a child’s disability), that when their child reached the age of 18 and became an “adult”, the parents’ legal obligation to provide court-ordered financial support for that child ended.
And then this happened …
In 1979, the South Carolina Supreme Court, in the then precedent-setting case of Risinger v. Risinger, determined that a parent’s potential court-ordered obligation to provide child support for his or her child did not necessarily stop at the “water’s edge of adulthood”, but rather, if that 18-year old child decided to go to college (or have a “post-secondary education”), then both that child’s decision and his or her college-related expenses could be considered “an exceptional circumstance” under the now-repealed Section 14-21-810(b)(4), SCCA, [this code section was replaced by the current Section 63-3-530(A)(17)] which supported the family court’s authority to require the parents to continue to provide college-related financial assistance for that child, as a matter of law.
And from 1979 until 2010, that issue was settled law in South Carolina – stare decisis.
And then this happened …… Continue reading