Saturday, December 30, 2017

Divorce; Text Messages and Evidence of an Affair

Evidence of Infidelity in Divorce

In Idaho, as in most state, the most common cause of action in divorce is on the basis of irreconcilable difference.  Why then would I bother talking about infidelity?  Adultery is a cause of action for divorce in Idaho.  When you claim irreconcilable difference there is no need to prove anything.  You simply state that you cannot reconcile.  With adultery, however, you must prove that your spouse committed adultery.  In order to prove something in court, you need evidence.  Text messages provide an abundance of salacious evidence.

Wait, I Deleted Those Messages!

In IT circles the phrase, "things never go away" is very appropriate here.  You may have deleted those love struck musings and deny ever sexting naked pictures of yourself to your crush, but if you did, they are still there and they can be retrieved and used as evidence against you.  

What about your right to privacy?  What about it?  Once you put something out into the "public" sphere you have stepped outside of the realm of privacy. A text message or sexting naked or scantily clad photos of yourself over the "air waves" disqualifies your claim to privacy.

Ultimately Does it Matter?

I wish there was a good answer to this.  Whether you get an unequal division of property or debt or you get a greater amount of alimony is decided on a case by case basis.  It even varies with the same judge.  

Well then, should I even worry?  If your sex life laid out in all its glory in front of your divorce attorney, your family, the judge, the clerk, the marshal, your soon-to-be-ex and his or her family doesn't bother you, then you probably don't need to worry.  For most folks, that is pretty embarrassing.  Perhaps the bigger thing you should be concerned about is what else did you say in those texts which can and will be used?

If you want to speak with a Boise Divorce Attorney, give us a call, (208) 472-2383, and see what we can do for you.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Anatomy of a Divorce Trial

The Great Unknown

Divorce is stressful for all parties involved.  Not only is your marriage falling apart but you are having to live as a single person and a single parent.  Divorce is the "Great Unknown".  Not only is divorce stressful in this context, but it is in the legal context as well.  Most people know the general idea behind the divorce process, but the exact details, the ins and outs and the general minutiae are a mystery to most people.  Today, I would like to jump to the end and talk about the Anatomy of a Divorce Trial.

The Typical Divorce

Most people think that you pay your attorney, file for divorce, fight with each other more and then go to court and the judge decides your fate.  While this is an exaggerated description, it is what most people think.  There is a sense of mystery surrounding working out all the details and getting the parties divorced.

In general, you can have a divorce that goes smoothly and amicably, one that is a knock down drag out fight or, more likely, one where there are details to be worked out, hoops to jump through and negotiating to be done.   It is that type of divorce that I would like to focus on here as it is the most common.

In this type of divorce, the parties generally agree on some things.  Often they will agree on how to split the debts and the property or they will agree on how to parent the kids.  However, even though they have a lot of agreement, there may be sticking points; things they just can't agree to even with the help of mediation.

So what happens then?  If this is the type of divorce you have found yourself in, it is likely that your attorneys will help you negotiate what you can and in the end you may be left with a few issues to present to the judge.  This is where your divorce trial will be.

The Divorce Trial or Trying the Issues

In these situations you aren't really having a full blown trial, you are trying the issues.  Your divorce attorneys will present your issues, along with your evidence to the judge.  Unlike other legal cases, the judge may indicate to the lawyers that he or she will not hear the issue and that the parties need to work it out themselves.  Obviously, if they cannot work them out the judge ultimately decides, but what the judge is saying is, "Come on you guys.  This is your stuff.  Figure it out".  If you get this message from your attorney, it means the judge thinks the parties together would make a better decision than the judge and the judge then is giving you the opportunity to make the best decision.

What type of issues present themselves in a Trying the Issues case?  Really any issue can be a sticking point or be presented to the judge.   You can have child custody issues where the parties can't agree on a visitation schedule.  You can have property issues where the parties cannot agree on a division of the community property.  Often you have matters of principle.  Grounds for the divorce, for example, can be a place of contention.  Sometime a party won't agree to agree unless the other party agrees that the divorce happened because of adultery or extreme cruelty instead of irreconcilable differences.

Trying the issues is by far the most common resolution to a divorce next to the parties actually negotiating an agreement with the aid of their divorce lawyers.

If you are need a Boise Divorce Attorney or have questions, please give us a call at (208) 472-2383 or visit us at our website or our sister site.  You will be glad you did.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Divorce and Temporary Orders

Aren't All Divorces the Same?

While it can be said if you have seen one divorce you have seen them all, every divorce has a life of it's own.  Sometimes a client will come in and file for divorce and the whole thing is as smooth as ice. Other times, it's more like jagged as ice.  My point being, ice is ice and divorce is divorce, but that doesn't mean one size fits all.

Divorce and Temporary Orders

Temporary orders are a tool for dealing with complicated divorce and custody issues.  Not all divorce and custody cases will need temporary orders.  They become necessary in order to routinize a child's life during the pendancy of a divorce action.  If the parents cannot work together to develop a schedule that is healthy, consistent and good for a child, your attorney may suggest that you seek temporary orders.

Temporary orders are not the final custody arrangement, they are just what they say they are, "temporary".  These rules give the stability need to your child.  Will the temporary orders become permanent?  It is possible that they may but not necessarily so.  A judge will determine what is in the best interest of your child during the interim between filing for divorce and final decree.  If, in the end, you are unable to agree or negotiate a custody arrangement with your child's other parent and the judge is required to make a decision, he or she will look at the status quo as guidance as to what is in the best interest of the child.

But Who Wants a Judge to Decide?

As always, I advise my clients, they as the parents know what is best for their child.  Even though they are getting divorced, the parents know each other and they know the child.  The best interest of the child is really, in part, the parents agreeing on parenting the child.  If you can come to an acceptable, stable, healthy and consistent agreement about who will have the child when, visitation schedules and the other myriad of issues that go along with child custody, you will not need temporary orders.

Should You Avoid Temporary Orders?

Temporary orders have a time and a place.  When they are necessary, they are a fantastic tool.  They however, can be expensive, and in the end they might set a precedent that you wish they hadn't.  And, as always, if the other side has motioned for Temporary Orders you need to respond in order to preserve your rights.

If you need to speak with a Boise Divorce Attorney, give us a call at 208-473-2383.  You can also visit us our other web page for more information  Give us a call.  You will be glad you did.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Boise Divorce Attorney Discusses Discovery, Tax Returns and Comingling

Community Property, Taxes and Hiding Assets in Idaho

Idaho is a community property state.  What this means for the divorcing couple is regardless of whether you stayed and home and took care of the kids or you were the "bread winner", you each have an equal interest in the community's money.  What is not included in this is separate property such as property acquired before marriage or property or monies received pursuant to inheritance.  Of course, this can get tricky too when the parties "co-mingle" separate property funds.

How to Find the Goods

When these issues arise in divorce your attorney will take several different angles to try to figure out which monies belong to the community, which ones need to be reimbursed by the community and which ones are separate.  Sometimes it takes some sleuthing to figure this out.  This is called "tracing" and it is done through "discovery". Your Boise Divorce Attorney will look at tax returns, bank account records and other financial information to see who did what with the money and where it was used.

Often times people will ask, "aren't my financial records my own business?"  Unfortunately, when it comes to dividing the community estate, they aren't your own business; they are the business of the community and are required to be available to each other's divorce attorney.

Hidden Assets

Other things that discovery help attorneys uncover is hidden assets or monies.  Sometimes people will claim they only make a modest sum of money, when in reality they make more than what they want you to know.  Tax returns often don't reflect this.  This is where the attorneys need to turn to the bank records.  Of course, nothing is bullet proof and people can still hide money by using cash or "straw men".  If this happens the divorce attorney needs to look at life style.  How were the couple living?  Could their income support that?  Was it all purchased through credit?

Finally, you might ask, "Why would anyone want to hide money?"  Although the question seems obvious, it is for reasons such as wanting to reduce the amount of child support you have to pay or so that you end up with more money or property after the divorce than what you are entitled to.

If you need a Boise divorce attorney, give us a call today and see what we can do for you, (208) 472-2383 or visit us at

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Temporary Orders in Divorce - Boise Divorce Attorney's Perspective - (208) 472-2383

Temporary Orders in Divorce - What Do They Do?

Divorce, when contested, can be a very long process.  What happens to everything that you and your spouse had together during the divorce process?  Who do the kids stay with?  Who pays the bills? Who is responsible for getting the kids to and from school or to the doctor?  This is the world of temporary orders.  When the parties to a divorce cannot get along well enough to agree or maybe even discuss daily life, your attorney might suggest temporary orders.

If you need temporary orders your attorney will motion the court and present your case to the judge. This is sort of a mini trial.  The judge will listen to both parties and make the determination of what will happen between now and the actual divorce trial.

Do You Need Temporary Orders?

Often times clients will come in and tell me that their friend, their sister or their cousin had temporary orders in their divorce case and that they want to do the same.  Wanting and needing temporary orders are two different things.  I cannot stress that point enough.  Temporary orders are the judge telling you what to do rather than you and your spouse doing what you know how to do and doing what you have been doing.  Like I have said before about mediation; it simply works better for the parties to work out their own agreement than to have the judge do it for you.  You know what works best for you.

There are situations where one party or the other is being unreasonable and temporary orders are necessary.  They will help make a smooth transition on daily functioning of your life during the divorce process if your spouse is making every little decision into a conflict.

Are There Draw Backs to Temporary Orders?

Like with anything in life and divorce, there are always draw backs.  The first draw back is cost.  It can be expensive to have your divorce attorney put together the motion, the supporting documentation and to have a mini-trial.  Some attorneys will require the money for the motion and hearing upfront because it can be an expensive process.

The other draw back the really sticks out is what is known as status quo.  The status quo refers to the existing situation.  If you are in a high conflict divorce for over a year and you have temporary orders which place the children with mom 90% of the time, a judge is less likely to say, at the time of the divorce trial, "now lets split the custody 50/50".  Likewise, if the kids stay with dad 60% of the time and go to the school in his neighborhood, after a year or more of ongoing divorce proceedings will the judge now say "mom gets the kids 75% of the time and they will go tho her neighborhood school"?  Child custody is determined by the best interest of the child and often the status quo is in the best interest of the child because it is the most stable and consistent thing the child knows in the divorce process.

Again, these two reasons alone (and there are many more) highlight the importance of trying to work things out civilly between the two parties, rather than having a judge decide.  Your family law lawyer is a tremendous resource in this area because they are very familiar with the respect that is given to a stipulation by the judge.  They are also very knowledgeable about what a judge would find important and what they would find questionable.  They, or your mediator, can also help you negotiate terms which you are having difficulty deciding upon. They also help you preserve your rights and your best interest in the divorce. But in the end, it works best for the two parties to come together and decide how things will work during the divorce process.

If you need to speak with a Boise Divorce Attorney give us a call at (208) 472-2383 or click here to visit our website, or click here for more information on divorce in Idaho.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Divorce Trial or Settlement; Which is Best

Is There Such a Thing as a Quick Exit in Divorce?

Often times people want their divorce to be done quickly.  People want to know the exit point.  They want to get out of dodge quick as possible and move on.  A quick settlement, however, isn't always best.  Marriage brings two seperate lives together and then cements those two lives with property and children.  Sometimes ripping a bandaid off quickly is the best thing.  Other times it is not.

Settlement or Litigation

Whether your divorce will be settled or will go to trial depends on numerous considerations.  There may be complex debt or other money issues such as using seperate property monies to aid the community.  There may be a business that needs to be divided according to community property laws but done in such a way that the business isn't harmed.  There may be issues which effect custody such as continuity, crmininal or drug charges, dui, mental health issues or moving issues.  Each of these situations require careful negotiations between your attorney and the other side.  Often times most of the issues can be resolved outside of the court room and only select issues will go to trial.


If the parties agree on the majority of the issues in the divorce case, the divorce attorneys will draft a stipulation for the parties to sign.  This is like a contract.  It lays out the terms of the agreement.  This may contain all the issues of the divorce, in which case the divorce is settled and the stipulation is attached to the order and decree for divorce.  If it only contains part of the agreement the parties will go to trial to settle whatever issues that remain unresolved.  The judge will listen to the evidence from both attorneys and decide which is the best resolution to the issues.

As with all things in the law, it is generally best to resolve the problem through negotiation.  The parties know how things work in their lives.  They know how they have always dealt with their finances.  They are the experts when it comes to their kids.  When a judge decides he or she works within the confines of the law and the law isn't always rational.  Attorneys are experts at negotiating agreements.  They have the benefit of knowing, in general, what a judge will do so if their client is insisting on something they can inform their client whether a judge would decide for them or against them.  This prevents the client from spending money on a trial when there is little possiblity of a judge finding in their favor.

If you need a Boise divorce attorney please give us a call and see what we can do for you, 208-472-2383 or visit us at

Friday, August 5, 2016

Divorce, Summertime Custodial Transfers and Conflict

Divorce, Summertime Custodial Transfers and Conflict

Summertime is a time for relaxation, time off from school for the kids and vacation.  Summer can be a time of great stress relief, that is unless you have to make custodial transfers or a change in visitation during this season.

I have spoken before about custodial transfers and the importance of keeping your schedule or, if it must change, the importance of having that in writing.  I want to again, however, stress the point of smooth transfer.  I speak in terms of smooth transfer to create a situation of the least amount of stress on the parties, but more importantly, for the well being of the children.

A lot of my clients and other attorneys' clients think that divorce and the fluid nature of the "new" custody arrangement has little or no effect on their kids.  They think that kids are flexible and mostly unaware of any conflict that happens around them.  There are also those clients who choose to take every situation and use it as drama.  They do this for many reasons: some being control, other's as a tool to try to make themselves look good or to spite the other party.

Folks, I am going to tell you today that if this is the way you think you are dead wrong.  The courts speak of the best interest of the child for a reason.  Today's "children of divorce" are getting the short end of the stick.  Kids are not a bargaining chip, they are not a means of control.  This goes for all aspects of divorce including custodial transfers.

Both parents can be good parents.  That doesn't mean they parent the same.  That doesn't mean they cook the same.  It doesn't mean they do homework the same.  The important thing is that each parent loves their children and each parent gives their child permission to love the other parent.  It is hard for children to go from one parent's home to the other.  If you let your child know it is ok to have fun with the other parent and not make them feel like they are abandonning you or betraying you, you will not only gain your child's respect in the long run but you will help them adjust to the reality of life.

When you next go to make a custodial transfer, don't think about getting back at the other party.  Think about your child and make it easier on them.

If you need a family law attorney or a Boise Divorce Attorney, give us a call and see what we can do for you.  (208) 472-2383