Tuesday, August 28, 2007

S.C. Supreme Court holds laches is not a defense to claims for past due alimony

In Strickland v. Strickland, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that although the equitable nature of laches generally comports with the family court's equitable jurisdiction in determining support and maintenance between former spouses, the concept of "inexcusable delay" in the laches defense is inconsistent with the judicial authority inherent in a court order. Because court orders awarding support and maintenance do not have an expiration date, the Court held that allowing a party to avoid compliance based solely on the oblique notion of delay only serves to undermine the authority of the court. Hence, the Court concluded that laches is not a defense to a claim for the enforcement of an alimony award.

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