Friday, October 19, 2012

Boise Divorce Attorney 208-472-2383 Idaho Family Law Lawyers

Divorce and Community Property
As a Boise Divorce Attorney I have the honor of outlining and explaining community property law to many clients.  One very difficult thing for many people to understand is that community property law in Idaho doesn't necessarily mean equal division of property and debts. Rather, it requires an equitable division.

The scenario where this generally arises is in long term relationships.  Often, an individual, usually a woman (I don't say this in any way derogatorily.  I mean it statistically because women are generally the ones who give up their careers to stay at home and raise their children), will be offered a settlement agreement by her spouse indicating that the agreement contains an equal split of all the property and the debt and is therefore "fair".  Often these settlement agreements will contain a provision for child support and even an equal division of the retirement fund.

Thankfully, many women will call for a free consultation to discuss whether or not this equal division is fair.  I say thankfully not because it means more work for Boise Divorce Attorneys, but because, as I indicated above, equal does not mean equitable.  If a woman has given up her career or the option of having a career to raise a family, her contribution to the community should not be figured at zero.  All too often people think that if they are the ones who went out and supported the community, provided the home and the livelihood for the family, that they are the only ones who provided value to the community.  This simply is not true and Idaho community property law recognizes this.

Sadly, however,  in order to keep the peace, a spouse will misguidedly accept a settlement agreement that purports to be equal.  My advice as an experienced Boise Divorce Attorney is STOP! Don't accept such an agreement.  It will leave you struggling to pay your bills during the pendancy of your divorce, it may leave you with inadequate child support and you won't be compensated for the value that you have added to the community.  So what can you do?

Community Income During the Divorce
Most judges won't order child support or spousal support while a divorce is actively being pursued.  Instead what they will do is issue temporary orders.  In these orders, your divorce attorney will ask that the discretionary income of the community be divided equally.  How this works is this:  You and your spouse will be asked to make an accounting of your regularly occurring bills.  Your two incomes will be added up, the bills deducted and anything that remains is considered discretionary and will be split between the parties.  What this means for you is that if you make 1/4 of what your spouse does, you will not be left hanging until the divorce is finalized.  You will maintain an equal share of the community income. 

Child Support and Spousal Support
Your divorce attorney will compute the child support owing and may ask (in appropriate situations) for spousal support.  These two sources of monies will begin to be owing upon the finalization of the divorce.  Properly computed child support insures that the children are being provided for financially and spousal support financially acknowledges that a spouse who has stayed home with the children.

If you need to discuss divorce or any other family law issue with an Idaho lawyer, please call 208-472-2383 and see what we can do for you. 


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