Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
2012-UP-054 - Allen-Hines v. Hines

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

Karen Allen-Hines, Appellant,

v.

Franklin Hines, Respondent.


Appeal From Darlington County
Roger E. Henderson, Family Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-054 
Heard December 6, 2011 – Filed February 1, 2012


AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED


Robert N. Rosen, of Charleston, and Cynthia B. Patterson, of Columbia, for Appellant.

J. Anthony Floyd and Rob F. Gardner, III, both of Hartsville, and Marian D. Nettles, of Lake City, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Karen Allen-Hines appeals several decisions the family court made on remand from this court.  See Allen-Hines v. Hines, Op. No. 2008-UP-198 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Mar. 20, 2008).  We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

1.  Karen argues the family court erred in awarding her rehabilitative alimony instead of permanent periodic alimony.  We agree.  The purpose of awarding rehabilitative alimony is "to encourage a dependent spouse to become self-supporting by providing alimony for a limited period of time during which the dependent spouse might retrain and rehabilitate himself or herself thereby limiting the duration of the time in which the supporting spouse is burdened by spousal support."  Eagerton v. Eagerton, 285 S.C. 279, 282, 328 S.E.2d 912, 914 (Ct. App. 1985).  Here, however, the family court found Karen "is very able to work," "does not need any training in order to secure employment," and "does not need any additional time to acquire job skills in that she presently has more than adequate job skills."  We conclude the family court erred in awarding rehabilitative alimony to someone it found needed no rehabilitation.  Further, having conducted our own review of the record, we find no special circumstances warranting rehabilitative alimony.  See Canady v. Canady, 296 S.C. 521, 525, 374 S.E.2d 502, 504 (Ct. App. 1988) ("Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded only upon a showing of special circumstances justifying a departure from the normal preference for permanent, periodic support.").  We therefore reverse the family court's decision awarding Karen rehabilitative alimony and denying her permanent periodic alimony.

This is the second appeal in this case.  In the first appeal, we concluded Karen "is entitled to permanent periodic alimony, unless a showing is made of special circumstances justifying rehabilitative alimony."  Our determination in the present appeal that the record contains no such circumstances leaves an award of permanent periodic alimony as the only outcome available under the law of this case.  On remand, the family court shall make written findings of fact under the factors listed in subsection 20-3-130(C) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2010) and award Karen an appropriate amount of permanent periodic alimony. 

2. Karen argues the family court erred in awarding attorney's fees without making specific findings explaining its basis for the amount of the award.  We agree.  The family court's only explanation for the award was that it had reviewed "the record herein, arguments of counsel[,] and the directions from the Court of Appeals."  Because this statement identifies no specific basis for the amount of the award, the family court abused its discretion.  See Johnson v. Johnson, 296 S.C. 289, 304, 372 S.E.2d 107, 115 (Ct. App. 1988) ("A decision lacking a discernable reason is arbitrary and constitutes an abuse of discretion."). 

In the first appeal, we instructed the family court to award attorney's fees after making "specific findings as to the factors expressed in" E.D.M. v. T.A.M., 307 S.C. 471, 415 S.E.2d 812 (1992), Glasscock v. Glasscock, 304 S.C. 158, 403 S.E.2d 313 (1991), and Mitchell v. Mitchell, 283 S.C. 87, 320 S.E.2d 706 (1984).  The family court's order contains no such findings.  We reiterate our previous instructions.  On remand, the family court shall make written findings of fact under the factors in E.D.M., Glasscock, and Mitchell, and award attorney's fees in an amount appropriate under those factors.

3. Karen argues post-judgment interest should accrue on the family court's $11,025.00 interest award until Franklin pays it.  Because the family court did not make a ruling regarding whether interest accrues on this award, this issue is not preserved.  See Wilder Corp. v. Wilke, 330 S.C. 71, 76, 497 S.E.2d 731, 733 (1998) ("It is axiomatic that an issue cannot be raised for the first time on appeal, but must have been raised to and ruled upon by the trial judge to be preserved for appellate review."). 

4. Finally, Karen argues the family court erred in refusing to hold Franklin in contempt.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities: Browder v. Browder, 382 S.C. 512, 521, 675 S.E.2d 820, 824-25 (Ct. App. 2009) ("[A] decision regarding contempt is not subject to reversal absent an abuse of discretion."); Tirado v. Tirado, 339 S.C. 649, 654, 530 S.E.2d 128, 131 (Ct. App. 2000) ("Contempt is a consequence of the willful disobedience of a court order." (emphasis added)).

The judgment of the family court is

AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.

FEW, C.J., and THOMAS and KONDUROS, JJ., concur.