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2009-UP-007 - Miles v. Miles

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

James Richard Miles, Appellant,

v.

Theodora M. Miles, Respondent.


Appeal From Greenwood County
Brian M. Gibbons, Family Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2009-UP-007
Submitted December 1, 2008 – Filed January 7, 2009   


AFFIRMED


Matthew P. Turner and J. Michael Turner Sr., both of Laurens, for Appellant.

Rauch C. Wise and Marvin R. Watson, both of Greenwood, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: James R. Miles appeals from the family court’s order: (1) maintaining his obligation to provide health and dental insurance to his former wife, and (2) awarding attorney’s fees of $1,000 to his former wife.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1.  Regarding Miles’s obligation to maintain his former wife’s health and dental insurance through his former employer’s health insurance plan, pursuant to the parties’ Agreement and the court’s subsequent divorce decree of August 16, 2000: Smith-Cooper v. Cooper, 344 S.C. 289, 295, 543 S.E.2d 271, 274 (Ct. App. 2001) (“[W]here an agreement is clear and capable of legal construction, the court’s only function is to interpret its lawful meaning and the intent of the parties as found within the agreement.”); Lindsay v. Lindsay, 328 S.C. 329, 337, 491 S.E.2d 583, 587 (Ct. App. 1997) (“Unambiguous marital agreements will be enforced in accordance with their terms, while ambiguous agreements will be examined in the same manner as other agreements in order to determine the intention of the parties.”).  

2.  Regarding the family court’s award of $1,000 in attorney’s fees to Miles’s former wife:  S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-420(38) (Supp. 2007) (granting the family court jurisdiction to award a reasonable sum for attorney’s fees if the request appears well-founded); Upchurch v. Upchurch, 367 S.C. 16, 28, 624 S.E.2d 643, 648-49 (2006) (“The award of attorney’s fees is left to the discretion of the trial judge and will only be disturbed upon a showing of abuse of discretion.”); Glasscock v. Glasscock, 304 S.C. 158, 161, 403 S.E.2d 313, 315 (1991) (stating the family court should consider the following factors in determining reasonable attorney’s fees: (1) the nature, extent, and difficulty of the case; (2) the time necessarily devoted to the case; (3) professional standing of counsel; (4) contingency of compensation; (5) beneficial results obtained; and (6) the customary legal fees for similar services).

AFFIRMED.[1]

WILLIAMS, PIEPER, and GEATHERS, JJ., concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.