Craig v. Craig, No. 25970.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtToal
Citation617 S.E.2d 359
PartiesCheryl Howard CRAIG, Respondent, v. William Rhett CRAIG, III, Petitioner.
Decision Date25 July 2005
Docket NumberNo. 25970.

Page 359

617 S.E.2d 359
Cheryl Howard CRAIG, Respondent,
v.
William Rhett CRAIG, III, Petitioner.
No. 25970.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Submitted February 16, 2005.
Decided April 11, 2005.
Refiled July 25, 2005.

Page 360

T. Preston Reid, of Howard, Howard, Francis & Reid, of Greenville, for Petitioner.

Jean Perrin Derrick, of Lexington; and Stuart G. Anderson, Jr., of Anderson, Fayssoux & Chasteen, of Greenville, for Respondent.

Chief Justice TOAL.


Respondent, Cheryl Howard Craig (Wife), brought the underlying divorce against Petitioner, William Rhett Craig, III (Husband), seeking custody of the couple's youngest child, division of the marital property, alimony, child support, and attorney's fees.

FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Husband and wife were married in 1974. In January 2000, Husband told Wife that he wanted to end the marriage and that he had engaged in five affairs over the course of their twenty-five-year marriage. Husband denied that he was having an affair and claimed the last affair he had was two-and-a-half years earlier. The couple decided to separate. In August 2000, Wife filed for divorce. After filing for divorce, Wife learned that Husband was engaged in a pre-separation affair. Husband denied this allegation, but before the case went to trial, Husband admitted the extra marital affair in a sworn affidavit submitted to the court. As a result, Wife established pre-separation adultery and was granted a divorce a vinculo matrimonii.

The couple has three children. The oldest child was living in the marital home at the time of the divorce. The oldest child suffers from injuries sustained in a childhood bicycle incident, but is able to care for himself financially because of a settlement relating to the injuries he suffered as a child. The second child is a college graduate who, at the time of divorce, also lived in the marital home while searching for employment. The third and youngest child was a junior in high school and lived in the home.

Wife has a master's degree in nursing and has been employed as a critical care nurse. Husband is a doctor and is a partner in a medical group that specializes in internal medicine. The couple has significant marital assets. The total value of the marital estate was determined to be $2,473,430.10. The marital property includes, but is not limited to, a home in Greenville, a significant 401(k) account, and other financial investment accounts.

The family court awarded custody of the youngest child to Wife. In addition, the family court found Wife had a special equity in non-marital property owned by the husband.1 The remaining marital assets, including Husband's retirement account, were divided equally. Moreover, the court ordered that, after the graduation of the youngest child from high school, the marital home was to be sold and the proceeds from the sale divided equally. In addition, the family court judge awarded Wife $500 per month in permanent periodic alimony and contribution toward her attorney's fees and costs.

Page 361

Following the court's ruling, Wife filed a motion to alter or amend the judgment. The judge granted the motion and amended the order to grant Wife transitional monthly alimony of $3,000, until the sale of the marital home, at which time the amount of permanent periodic alimony would be set at $875 per month.

Despite the increase in alimony, Wife appealed and the court of appeals held that the family court erred in requiring the sale of the marital home and awarded Wife the home. Craig v. Craig, 358 S.C. 548, 558-59, 595 S.E.2d 837, 843 (Ct.App.2004). The court of appeals then divided the remaining assets of the total marital estate equally, awarding both parties $1,236,715.05. Because the court awarded Wife the home, the court awarded Husband more of his retirement account to arrive at an even division of the assets and account for his equity in the home. Further, the court awarded Wife permanent periodic alimony of $3,000 per month.

This Court granted Husband's petition for certiorari, and the following issues have been raised for review:

I. Did the court of appeals err in reversing the family court's order to sell the marital home and equally divide the proceeds between Husband and Wife?

II. Did the court of appeals err in increasing the award of permanent periodic alimony to $3,000 per month?

LAW/ANALYSIS
I. Marital Residence

Husband contends that the court of appeals erred in reversing the family court's decision to sell the marital home and equally divide the proceeds between Husband and Wife. We disagree.

The division of marital property is within the discretion of the family court judge and the judge's decision will not be disturbed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion. Morris v. Morris, 295 S.C. 37, 39, 367 S.E.2d 24, 24 (1988). In...

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59 practice notes
  • Lafrance v. Lafrance, No. 4158.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 2, 2006
    ...action, the family court should consider all fifteen factors set forth in the applicable statute. Craig v. Craig, 365 S.C. 285, 290, 617 S.E.2d 359, 361 (2005). In reviewing the family court's equitable apportionment, an appellate court's role is to examine the fairness of the apportionment......
  • Dawkins v. Dawkins, 2007-UP-460
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 11, 2007
    ...842 (Ct. App. 2004) (affirming fifty-fifty apportionment of the marital estate in a twenty-seven-year marriage), aff'd by 365 S.C. 285, 617 S.E.2d 359 (2005); Doe v. Doe, 324 S.C. 492, 503, 478 S.E.2d 854, 859 (Ct. App. 1996) (finding a fifty-fifty apportionment appropriate where the marria......
  • Dawkins v. Dawkins, 2007-UP-460
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 11, 2007
    ...842 (Ct. App. 2004) (affirming fifty-fifty apportionment of the marital estate in a twenty-seven-year marriage), aff'd by 365 S.C. 285, 617 S.E.2d 359 (2005); Doe v. Doe, 324 S.C. 492, 503, 478 S.E.2d 854, 859 (Ct. App. 1996) (finding a fifty-fifty apportionment appropriate where the marria......
  • Bodkin v. Bodkin, No. 4689.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 27, 2010
    ...the family court's discretion and will not be disturbed on appeal absent an abuse of that discretion. Craig v. Craig, 365 S.C. 285, 290, 617 S.E.2d 359, 361 (2005). The appellate court looks to the overall fairness of the apportionment. Deidun v. Deidun, 362 S.C. 47, 58, 606 S.E.2d 489, 495......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
59 cases
  • Lafrance v. Lafrance, No. 4158.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 2, 2006
    ...action, the family court should consider all fifteen factors set forth in the applicable statute. Craig v. Craig, 365 S.C. 285, 290, 617 S.E.2d 359, 361 (2005). In reviewing the family court's equitable apportionment, an appellate court's role is to examine the fairness of the apportionment......
  • Dawkins v. Dawkins, 2007-UP-460
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 11, 2007
    ...842 (Ct. App. 2004) (affirming fifty-fifty apportionment of the marital estate in a twenty-seven-year marriage), aff'd by 365 S.C. 285, 617 S.E.2d 359 (2005); Doe v. Doe, 324 S.C. 492, 503, 478 S.E.2d 854, 859 (Ct. App. 1996) (finding a fifty-fifty apportionment appropriate where the marria......
  • Dawkins v. Dawkins, 2007-UP-460
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 11, 2007
    ...842 (Ct. App. 2004) (affirming fifty-fifty apportionment of the marital estate in a twenty-seven-year marriage), aff'd by 365 S.C. 285, 617 S.E.2d 359 (2005); Doe v. Doe, 324 S.C. 492, 503, 478 S.E.2d 854, 859 (Ct. App. 1996) (finding a fifty-fifty apportionment appropriate where the marria......
  • Bodkin v. Bodkin, No. 4689.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 27, 2010
    ...the family court's discretion and will not be disturbed on appeal absent an abuse of that discretion. Craig v. Craig, 365 S.C. 285, 290, 617 S.E.2d 359, 361 (2005). The appellate court looks to the overall fairness of the apportionment. Deidun v. Deidun, 362 S.C. 47, 58, 606 S.E.2d 489, 495......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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