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Ex-Wife of South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford Seeks To Limit Child Visitation


The breakdown of the marriage of former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford made headlines across the nation at the time. The episode also illustrates how family law disputes don't always end with the divorce decree.

In a recent Associated Press report Sanford, who is now in the House of Representatives, said his ex-wife's new accusations that he is suffering from psychological and alcohol issues are "preposterous, crazy and wrong."

The article referred to a "long running feud" between the former governor and his ex-wife.

Sanford spoke to AP after Jenny Sanford filed papers in court seeking to limit his visitation schedule to the four children of the marriage.

In the court papers, Jenny Sanford asked that the GOP lawmaker undergo a psychiatric evaluation as well as taking an anger management class. She went on to claim that he's been under the influence of excessive alcohol and prescription drugs, AP reported.

Mark Sanford spent two terms as South Carolina's governor. He was elected to the House in a May 2013 special election.

His marriage to Jenny fell apart when it was revealed that he had been having an affair with Maria Belen Chapur, an Argentinian woman. In 2009 the former governor went AWOL from South Carolina for five days to visit Chapur in Argentina. He initially claimed he had been walking the Appalachian Trail.

The scandal led Jenny to divorce him and also resulted in the governor finishing out his last term in disgrace.

The couple divorced in 2010 and that was not the end of their disputes. In April 2013, just before the special election was held, it was revealed that Jenny Sanford had filed a lawsuit alleging that her ex-husband trespassed on her property, violating the terms of their divorce agreement. The revelations nearly derailed Sanford's campaign for the right to represent the Lowcountry-based 1st District. Jenny Sanford later dropped the charges.

The AP article said Mark Sanford had once been talked about as a potential presidential candidate, but his career was derailed by his personal life.

In South Carolina the terms of a divorce such as visitation are set out in the final divorce decree. However, it is possible to bring a modification to the terms post-divorce.

Although an order can be changed you must provide compelling evidence of why such a change is necessary. This should not be a minor change of circumstances.

Modifications can be made to visitation, custody, child support and alimony. You can negotiate the modification directly with your former spouse and then bring a petition forward to court, or you can go directly to the judge if the other party will not agree to your request. A Columbia divorce lawyer can help you with post decree modifications. Call Masella Law at 803.748.9990.

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