In The Court of Appeals

Virginia M. Johnson, f/k/a Virginia M. Smith,        Respondent,


Walton A. Smith,        Appellant.

Appeal From Edgefield County
C. David Sawyer, Jr., Family Court Judge

Unpublished Opinion No. 2003-UP-583
Submitted July 15, 2003 – Filed October 2, 2003


Mr. Walton A. Smith, of Edgefield, for Appellant.

Carolyn B. Steigner and Daun C. Steigner, both of Lexington, for Respondent.

M. Gwyn DuBose-Schmitt, of Lexington, for Guardian Ad Litem.

PER CURIAM: Walton A. Smith (Father) and Virginia M. Johnson (Mother) divorced in 1997.  Pursuant to their divorce, Mother was designated as the primary caretaker of their son, Cody, and Father was granted visitation every Wednesday night and every other weekend.  Mother brought an action to modify this visitation arrangement. Father counterclaimed, seeking to increase his visitation with Cody.  The family court suspended father’s Wednesday night visits, but gave him the right to keep Cody when mother was away overnight and increased the number of weeks Cody could spend with him during the summer. 

Father appeals from this order, and we affirm [1] pursuant to Rule 220, SCACR, and the following authorities: Holy Loch Distribs., Inc. v. Hitchcock, 340 S.C. 20, 24, 531 S.E.2d 282, 284 (2000) (requiring an issue to be raised to and ruled upon by the trial judge in order to preserve it for appellate review);  Hollar v. Hollar, 342 S.C. 463, 563 S.E.2d 883 (Ct. App. 2000) (controlling considerations in all child custody controversies are the child’s welfare and best interests);   In re Estate of Timmerman, 331 S.C. 455, 460, 502 S.E.2d 920, 922 (Ct. App. 1998) (“When a party receives an order that grants relief not previously contemplated or presented to the trial court, the aggrieved party must move, pursuant to Rule 59(e), SCRCP, to alter or amend the judgment in order to preserve the issue for appeal.”);   Dorchester County Dep’t of Soc. Servs. v. Miller, 324 S.C. 445, 477 S.E.2d 476 (Ct. App. 1996) (ruling that, because the appellate court lacks the opportunity for direct observation of witnesses, it should accord great deference to the family court’s findings where matters of credibility are involved); Terwilliger v. Terwilliger, 298 S.C. 144, 378 S.E.2d 609 (Ct. App. 1989) (holding the resolution of questions regarding credibility and the weight given to testimony is a function of the family court judge who heard the testimony).


HEARN, C.J., CONNOR and ANDERSON, JJ., concur.

[1]   We affirm this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.