Starnes v. Starnes
Supreme Court of South Carolina
723 S.E.2d 198 (S.C. 2012)
Kristi Starnes (plaintiff) and Robert Starnes (defendant) were divorced after five years of marriage. As part of the divorce decree, Kristi was awarded custody of the Starneses’ two minor children. Robert was required to pay weekly child support, which was later reduced by an agreement between Kristi and Robert. Additionally, Robert was ordered to pay a portion of his annual bonus as child support. Over the years, Robert’s salary grew significantly, from approximately $32,000 to nearly $250,000. Kristi’s income grew from $14,000 at the time of the divorce to nearly $40,000. Despite the sizeable difference in income, Kristi never sought to modify Robert’s child-support obligation. When their oldest child, Collin, enrolled in college, Robert agreed to repay all student loans upon Collin’s graduation and unilaterally reduced the monthly child-support obligation by $75. Kristi did not object. However, when Robert failed to pay for Collin’s college expenses, Kristi filed suit, seeking payment and increase in child support for their younger daughter, Jamie. Robert filed a counterclaim to terminate (1) the child-support obligation for Collin, who had reached the age of majority and graduated from high school; (2) the child support for Jamie once she graduated from high school; and (3) the requirement that Robert pay a percentage of his annual bonus as child support. Robert also claimed that the requirement to pay for Collin’s college expenses violated equal protection. The trial court dismissed Kristi’s claim for payment of Collin’s college expenses on the ground that the payment violated equal protection. Kristi appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hearn, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.