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2011-UP-509 - Blalock v. Blalock

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Heather J. Blalock, Respondent,

v.

Michael Blalock, Appellant.


Appeal From Dorchester County
Anne G. Jones, Family Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2011-UP-509
Submitted November 1, 2011 – Filed November 28, 2011


AFFIRMED


H. Stanley Feldman, of Charleston, for Appellant.

Heather J. Blalock, pro se, of Charleston.

PER CURIAM:  Michael Blalock (Husband) appeals from the family court's divorce decree awarding full custody of parties' minor children to Heather J. Blalock (Wife), arguing the family court (1) abused its discretion in failing to consider Wife's promiscuity when granting her primary custody of the children and (2) erred in denying Husband's motion for a continuance.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1.  As to whether the family court abused its discretion in failing to consider Wife's promiscuity when granting her primary custody of the children: Simmons v. Simmons, 392 S.C. 412, 414-15, 709 S.E.2d 666, 667 (2011) ("In appeals from the family court, this Court reviews factual and legal issues de novo."); Paparella v. Paparella, 340 S.C. 186, 189, 531 S.E.2d 297, 299 (Ct. App. 2000) ("The paramount and controlling factor in every custody dispute is the best interests of the child.  Although this court may find facts in accordance with our own view of the preponderance of the evidence, we are not required to ignore the fact that the [family court, which] saw and heard the witnesses, was in a better position to evaluate their credibility and assign comparative weight to their testimony.  In particular, an appellate court should be reluctant to substitute its own evaluation of the evidence on child custody for that of the [family] court." (citations and internal quotation marks omitted)); Chastain v. Chastain, 381 S.C. 295, 302, 672 S.E.2d 108, 112 (Ct. App. 2009) ("A parent's morality, while a proper consideration in custody disputes, is limited in its force and effect to the relevance it has, either directly or indirectly, on the welfare of the child.  Thus, conduct that is immoral must also be shown to be detrimental to the welfare of a child before it is of legal significance in a custody dispute." (citations omitted)).

2.  As to whether the family court erred in denying Husband's motion for a continuance: Bridwell v. Bridwell, 279 S.C. 111, 112, 302 S.E.2d 856, 858 (1983) ("Motions for continuance are discretionary with the [family court], and we will not disturb [its] ruling on appeal absent an abuse of that discretion."); State v. Irick, 344 S.C. 460, 464, 545 S.E.2d 282, 284 (2001) ("An abuse of discretion arises from an error of law or a factual conclusion that is without evidentiary support.");  State v. Preslar, 364 S.C. 466, 473, 613 S.E.2d 381, 385 (Ct. App. 2005) ("In order for an error to warrant reversal, the error must result in prejudice to the appellant.")

AFFIRMED.

SHORT, WILLIAMS, and GEATHERS, JJ., concur.


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