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Clark v. Clark

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

November 28, 2018

George Wetherill Clark, Respondent,
v.
Patricia Brennan Clark, Appellant. Appellate Case No. 2015-002111

          Heard March 13, 2018

          Appeal From Greenville County Harry L. Phillips, Jr., Family Court Judge

          Ken H. Lester and Catherine S. Hendrix, both of Ken Lester & Associates, of Columbia; and David Michael Collins, Jr., of Collins Law Firm, P.C., of Greenville, all for Appellant.

          David Alan Wilson, of Wilson & Englebardt, LLC, of Greenville, for Respondent.

          HILL, J.

         In this appeal, Patricia Clark (Wife) argues the family court erred in (1) setting child support; (2) finding 75% of Pure Country, Inc. (PCI) was non-marital property; (3) valuing Wife's 25% interest in PCI at $75, 000; and (4) refusing to order George Clark (Husband) to contribute to her attorney's fees. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

         I.

         In 2012, after twenty-five years of marriage, Husband sought a divorce from Wife on the ground of adultery. The parties had three children; one was still a minor at the time of filing. The parties met in 1982 at Emory University. Husband later obtained an MBA and worked for several businesses before joining PCI, his parents' and sister's company, in sales. He became president of PCI around 2001 after his mother stepped down. Wife began working for PCI a few years later, eventually becoming the art director. At the time of filing, Husband was the president of PCI and owned 75% of the stock; Wife owned the remaining 25%. The family court (1) granted the parties a divorce on the ground of one year's separation; (2) granted the parties joint custody and ordered Husband to pay Wife $744 a month in child support; (3) found Wife's adultery barred her from receiving alimony; (4) found Husband's 75% interest in PCI non-marital and valued Wife's 25% interest at $75, 000; and (5) found each party responsible for their own attorney's fees.

         II.

         We review decisions of the family court de novo. Stoney v. Stoney, 422 S.C. 593, 596, 813 S.E.2d 486, 487 (2018). We may find the facts based on our view of the greater weight of the evidence. Lewis v. Lewis, 392 S.C. 381, 384, 709 S.E.2d 650, 651 (2011). This does not, however, require us to ignore the reality that the family court saw and heard the witnesses and was in a better position to gauge their credibility. The appellant bears the burden of convincing us the family court erred. Evidentiary and procedural rulings of the family court, however, are reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Stoney, 422 S.C. at 594 n.2, 813 S.E.2d at 486 n.2.

         III.

         Husband argues Wife did not timely serve her notice of appeal. We disagree.

         Rule 203 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules requires Wife to serve her notice of appeal within thirty days of her receipt of written notice of entry of the order on appeal. She did. Wife received written notice of entry of the order denying her motion for reconsideration on September 11, 2015. Because October 11, 2015, was a Sunday, and October 12, 2015, was a federal holiday, Wife's deadline to file and serve her notice of appeal was October 13, 2015, and she served her notice of appeal on October 12, 2015, giving us jurisdiction. See Rules 262(a)(2) and 263(a), SCACR.

         IV.

         Wife argues the family court erred in refusing to deviate from the Child Support Guidelines when it awarded child support, contending the amount is inadequate and the family court ...


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