The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers will be hosting a conference this spring in which Melissa Brown will be speaking on the topic of Safety and Security in a Digital Age. Her article, previously published, has been updated and will provide valuable and useful information to both attorneys and clients alike.

Presented July 26, 2012, at the Center for Women in Charleston, SC.

Judge Paul Garfinkle’s advice to family court litigants in child custody disputes is deservedly “going viral.” Judge Garfinkle gave Melissa permission to publish his wise words here.

Delineating the Rules of Guardians Ad Litem and Custody Evaluators: Where Do Their Labors Intersect and Where Not?

Melissa Brown’s article published in the May 2012 issue of South Carolina Lawyer magazine. Article explains proper interaction between Guardians ad Litem and Custody Evaluators in contested custody actions.

How to Find the Right Divorce Attorney For You

Tips on finding the right divorce attorney to handle your case, including a useful printable checklist to use during initial interviews.

Useful Trial Preparation Materials for Lawyers and Parties — including software, apps (for iPhone & iPad) as well as books and articles

Presented June 3, 2011, at a local CLE for newly licensed attorneys practicing family law in Charleston, SC.

Safety and Security in a Digital Age

The South Carolina Lawyer magazine, a publication of the South Carolina Bar, published Melissa F. Brown’s article “Safety and Security in a Digital Age” as its featured story. The article is pertinent to all lawyers and clients alike, and provides valuable information to protect oneself.

How Can a Forensic Financial Expert Assist a Family Court Litigant?

This handout includes a list of relevant 2009 South Carolina cases as well as PowerPoint slides. These materials were presented by Melissa Brown at the Dixon Hughes PLLC Annual Litigation Conference to members of their litigation team comprised of CPAs from South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and West Virginia. The purpose of this presentation was to educate forensic financial experts on recent case law relevant to their expertise, as well as to address the valuable services these professionals provide to family law attorneys.

Safety Tips to Protect You in This Digital Age

This is a checklist of useful tips to protect yourself from an abusive spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend or stalker. It also includes tips to help protect your cell phone and computer.

The South Carolina Family Court Process

This article provides clients and potential clients with a concise yet informative overview of the Family Court system in South Carolina.

South Carolina Family Law Divorce Flow Chart

This flow chart provides a visual map that explains the potential options and routes parties may take when navigating SC’s Family Court system.

Financial Declaration Form & Instruction Sheet

All parties involved in a Family Court action that involves money are required by the South Carolina Rules of Family Court to provide the court with a sworn financial declaration.  Attached is the required Financial Declaration in Word format so you can fill it out online. (This format should add up the columns for you.)  The instructions to fill out this form are attached in pdf format.

Popular Frequently Asked Questions

This is a short list of some of the most frequently asked questions. The Resources button provides a much more comprehensive list of questions and answers.

Initial Consultation Agreement (Document that potential clients sign prior to the initial consultation)

This document outlines the limited nature of our relationship with the potential client during the initial consultation.   This document is not a retainer agreement for our legal services.  Instead, by signing this document, the potential client acknowledges that he/she will not become a client of the firm until a formal retainer agreement is signed and retainer paid. However, this document explains that all discussions are protected by the attorney client privilege and will not be disclosed to third parties. It also explains the fees for this visit.

Files in Family Court: A Treasure Trove for Identity Thieves

This article written by Melissa was originally published in a local Charleston paper called The Charleston Mercury. The article discusses the dangers public family court files pose for the litigants because critical information is open to the public.  Having otherwise private information open to the public makes identity theft much easier. Since this article was written some of the laws regarding what information is available to the public in family court cases has changed.  Now, it is possible to seal one’s file from the public’s eyes if your attorney files the appropriate motion and obtains a court order sealing the record or specific documents.  Melissa drafted the form motions and orders for lawyers to use to protect their clients.  She also published a law review article on the same subject, and she worked with the Legislature to get laws passed to protect family court litigants.

Tomboy to Lawyer to Jewelry Designer

This article was published in the local newspaper, The Charleston Mercury, in 2006.  It provides a glimpse into Mrs. Brown’s life both inside and outside of her law practice.

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