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2012-UP-076 - McGowin v. McGowin

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

Barbara S. McGowin, Appellant,

v.

Jeffrey D. McGowin, Respondent.


Appeal From Berkeley County
Wayne M. Creech, Family Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-076
Heard December 7, 2011 – Filed February 8, 2012   


AFFIRMED


Thomas Ryan Phillips, of Charleston, for Appellant.

Mark Andrew Redmond, of Charleston, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: In this domestic action, Barbara McGowin (Wife) sought a change of custody of a minor child, child support, restoration of the prior marital residence to her possession, a home maintenance fee, and attorney's fees.  After trial, the family court entered a Final Order terminating Wife's alimony, modifying Jeffrey McGowin's (Husband) child support obligation, denying both parties' requests for attorney's fees, and incorporating a pretrial agreement made between the parties. She now contends the family court erred in treating her alimony award as rehabilitative, terminating her alimony award, and denying her request for attorney's fees.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authority:

1. As to whether the family court improperly treated the award of alimony as rehabilitative rather than permanent and periodic, we find the issue is not preserved for our review.  Foster v. Foster, 393 S.C. 95, 99, 711 S.E.2d 878, 880 (2011) (stating that "[i]n order to preserve an issue for appellate review, a party must both raise that issue to the trial court and obtain a ruling").

2. As to whether the family court erred in finding an unanticipated, substantial change in circumstances sufficient to warrant a termination of Wife's award of alimony, we affirm the family court.  Lewis v. Lewis, 392 S.C. 381, 384, 709 S.E.2d 650, 651 (2011) (finding this court reviews appeals from the family court de novo); Fiddie v. Fiddie, 384 S.C. 120, 127, 681 S.E.2d 42, 46 (Ct. App. 2009) (stating that upon a substantial and material change in circumstances, the family court may modify an alimony obligation); Fiddie, 384 S.C. at 127, 681 S.E.2d at 46 (stating moreover, the change in circumstances must be unanticipated); Miles v. Miles, 355 S.C. 511, 519, 586 S.E.2d 136, 140 (Ct. App. 2003) (commenting that "[m]any of the same considerations relevant to the initial setting of an alimony award may be applied in the modification context as well, including the parties' standard of living during the marriage, each party's earning capacity, and the supporting spouse's ability to continue to support the other spouse").

3. As to whether the family court considered the appropriate factors in reaching its decision to deny Wife's request for attorney's fees, we affirm the family court.  E.D.M. v. T.A.M., 307 S.C. 471, 476-77, 415 S.E.2d 812, 816 (1992) (stating that when deciding whether to award attorney's fees and costs, the family court should consider the following: "(1) the party's ability to pay his/her own attorney's fee; (2) beneficial results obtained by the attorney; (3) the parties' respective financial conditions; and (4) effect of the attorney's fee on each party's standard of living").

AFFIRMED.

HUFF, PIEPER, and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur.