Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday DUI - Boise Criminal Attorneys - 208-472-2383

Holiday DUI

It's that time of year again when Boise Criminal Lawyers see an increase in DUI charges. Part of the increase has to do with the all the parties and holiday cheer.  Another portion has to do with the increase in police presence and DUI patrols.  Still yet some has to do with depression surrounding the holiday when people are more likely to be emotionally down about the sadnesses in their lives such as divorce, family or job loss and the like.

The best advice anyone can give about Holiday DUI is to play it safe.  The message is not new:  Don't drink and drive.  People often go out with the best intentions.  They plan on a designated driver, or not drinking too much.  They may even plan to take a taxi home rather than risk a DUI.  Unfortunately, the best laid plans may fall through.  Perhaps you don't realize how much you have had to drink.  Perhaps you are more depressed about your relationship and the impending divorce than you think.  Whatever it is, inevitably someone fails to follow through with their plans and that's when the unfortunate happens.  A DUI, like any criminal charge, will ruin your holidays. 

DUI Patrols and Probable Cause
People often ask me if increased DUI patrols and checks constitute entrapment or a violation of their civil rights.  The short of it is most likely not.  If you are drinking and driving you are committing a crime if your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit.  You are placing yourself at risk and others in your vehicle and on the road.  The increased patrol is an awareness that this time of year brings more drinking and partying.  

Of course, the police still must follow the rules of probable cause before they pull you over.  If, however, they fail to follow the proper laws to stop or arrest you, you have good grounds to suppress any evidence they collect from their stop.  Often the suppression of evidence is the best way to beat a DUI.  While it may be difficult to remember everything from your DUI stop, usually because you have been drinking, if you can, you can provide your criminal attorney with valuable evidence to aid your defense.

What to do After You Are Charged with DUI
What do you do when you are charged with a DUI?  It is critically important to get a Boise DUI Attorney immediately.  There are some very important time constraints.  When you are charged or convicted of a DUI there are two potential license suspensions.  The first suspension comes from the Department of Transportation.  You must act very quickly to challenge this suspension.  Although the likelihood of not having you license suspended for a DUI by the DOT is slim, it is worth a shot.  The second license suspension comes after you plead guilty or are found guilty of a DUI.

People often think that they can handle their own DUI case.  The problem with this is unless you are trained in the law and you know and have personal experience with he prosecuting attorneys you re risking the same result as a do-it-yourself plummer.  You will get leaks and often leaks that come back to haunt you.  

I hope you all have a very happy holiday season.  I also hope that you play it safe and don't get a DUI.  If you do, however, give us a call, 208-472-2383, and see what we can do for you.  We are here for you and we can answer your questions.  Give us a call today.

Friday, November 29, 2013

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

Property Division in Divorce
As a Boise Divorce Attorney I hear from a lot of people who wonder how and why property is divided in divorce.  The general answer to this is that property pursuant to divorce is split according to Idaho community property laws.  If you are unfamiliar with the law this seems like a rhetorical answer and in fact, it really doesn't tell you much even if you have some understanding of the law.

Who Get's How Much in Divorce?
In today's discussion I am not going to focus too much on community property and what that entails.  For a more in depth discussion of that concept please visit www.lawboiseid.com.  What I want to discuss is the practical division of property in divorce.  I generally tell my clients that a judge will begin with the premise of a 50-50 split.  That figure is based upon community property concepts.  What happens after that division depends upon a lot of factors such as the concept of unequal but equitable division.  Basically, that's the concept that fair doesn't mean equal.  Your Boise Divorce Lawyer puts together the evidence you have in your case to help show the judge, or the other side if you are in negotiation, how 50-50 isn't necessarily fair. It is in this fashion that you may end up with an unequal split.  On the other hand, it may be the case that the judge sticks with the fairness concept of a 50-50 division.

Factors to Consider in Division of Property Pursuant to Divorce
While there is no general factor or set of factors that says that one activity leads to a reduction in assets taken pursuant to divorce there are general trends that can lead to an unequal division.  For example, if one party has contributed more to the community, prevented the other party from contributing to the community or by the nature of your relationship one party has had a greater economical contribution while the other party has taken care of the children, are all factors to consider and which can play out differently depending upon the facts of the case.  The concept that I am trying to convey is that even though the split of property pursuant to divorce in Idaho is based upon community property, each case has its individual set of facts and circumstances which can effect the outcome of the case.

If you have found yourself in need of a Boise Divorce Attorney, please give us a call and see what we can do for you, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Holiday Visitation Schedule
It's that time of year again when I like to discuss holiday visitation.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney I spend a lot of time with my divorce clients reminding them to consult with their divorce decrees and custody arrangements so they know who has the kids this holiday season.  Inevitably, however, there are always glitches.

What the Divorce Decree Says
When I talk about glitches I mean anything from miscommunication to flat out disregard for the original custody order in the divorce decree.  No one should be in the dark about who has a child  for Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation.  The parties either agreed to dates in mediation or the judge ordered who would have what visitation.  Miscommunimcation happens when the parties think they have agreed to something other than what is in the decree.  The best way to prevent this is to keep any agreed upon changes in writing.  It can be very frustrating for someone to make plans and have those fall through because of confusion.

Far worse than miscommunication is flat out disobeying your court order.  The scenario is obvious; You are supposed to have the kids for Thanksgiving.  Your ex fails to meet for the exchange and instead takes the kids with them for their own Thanksgiving visitation and your ex denies you of your court ordered time. What can you do about it?  A lot of the depends upon when the vacation is supposed to start.  Even on emergency orders it is very difficult and rare to get into the court a day or two before Thanksgiving or Christmas. Usually, this is dealt with after the fact with contempt motions and orders.  While that does nothing for your immediate plans, the courts do not look kindly on contempt.

Visitation Before Divorce
A different situation occurs when your divorce has not yet been finalized.  Your divorce attorney will have moved for temporary orders and in those orders there will be information as to who has the children for what holidays.  Often the difference in temporary orders and a final order fall under taking the child out of the jurisdiction pending the divorce.  You may have Christmas vacation visitation, but you may not take your kids out of state without written approval by the other parent.  This differs from visitation after divorce. Generally, after divorce, within your visitation time you can take the kids with you out of state without the other party's approval as long as they are returned on time.

Whatever your holiday visitation schedule is, it is always best to follow what has been ordered by the court unless you get any change in writing and signed by both parties.  You can limit the involvement of the court and your Boise Divorce Attorney by doing this and thereby limit your out of pocket expenses.  Just a reminder;:  Double Check your holiday visitation schedule before you make plans and if you want to do something different talk to the other parent about any changes you would like to see.

If you are seeking a divorce or need to speak with a Boise Family Law Lawyer, give us a call, 208-472-2383 and see what we can do for you.  You will be glad you did.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Boise Divorce Attorney - 208-472-2383 - The Connection Between Family Law and Criminal Law

Divorce Law and Criminal Law - Unlikely Bed Fellows
As a Boise Divorce Attorney  I am often in both the divorce court and the criminal court.  To some people family law and criminal law seem like unlikely bed fellows.  Unfortunately, they can  and often are connected.

There are two main times in a family law case that criminal law a domestic law come into contact with one another.  The first connection is through contempt and the other is through domestic battery.  There are other situations that will bring the two together, but these two are the most common.

Contempt of Court in the Divorce Context and Criminal Charges
First, let's talk about contempt.  Contempt of Court occurs when someone intentionally disobeys a court order.  In the divorce or family law context that can happen when one party is ordered to something and they don't.  Common examples are failure to pay child support, failure to pay medical bills, failure to make a solid effort to refinance a community home.  Contempt can carry criminal charges with it.  If your ex-spouse fails to perform in a way the court has ordered your divorce attorney will file a motion for contempt.  Ultimately, it is up to the judge, but that motion can ask for criminal sanctions such as a fine or jail time.  Generally, however, the motion is filed and the filing of the motion is enough to get the other side to pony up the money they owe or to do what they were ordered to.  Sometimes, however, they simply can't pay the money that was owed, could not refinance the house or were not given the proper notice for their obligation to kick in.  These are justifying circumstances which the judge will consider in deciding what to do.

Domestic Battery as a Criminal Charge in Divorce
Another situation where criminal law and divorce law meet are in the case of domestic battery.  While battery is a criminal charge if the battery occurs within a domestic relationship it is handled in the family law court.  That does not mean, however, that it does not carry criminal sanctions.  It does and they are very serious sanctions.  If a domestic battery is found to have occurred, the perpetrator will be ordered to stay away from the victim and if they don't they can be arrested and sanctions will be brought against them.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you need a divorce attorney, a criminal lawyer or both, give us a call, 208-472-2383 and see what we can do for you - You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Link Between Divorce and Bankruptcy - Boise Divorce Attorney - Idaho Bankruptcy Lawyer 208-472-2383

Divorce and Bankruptcy

As a Boise Divorce Attorney and Idaho Bankruptcy Lawyer I field numerous questions about the effect of bankruptcy on divorce and visa versa.  Probably the most common question I receive has to do with the timing of bankruptcy.  People want to know if they should file for bankruptcy before or after divorce.  There are a few things which must be considered when answering this question.

Community Property and Debt in Idaho
Idaho is a community property state.  It follows, therefore that it is also a community debt state.  If you are considering filing bankruptcy before, during or after divorce, you must consider the effect of community debt on your bankruptcy.

The debt you incur during a marriage is a community debt (with a few exceptions which won't be discussed here today).  If one party files for bankruptcy before divorce, they will include all the community debt in the petition.  If the bankruptcy is accepted by the court, the debt is discharged as to that individual, but not to the other member of the community.  This potentially leaves the non-filing party with the complete responsibility of all the debt.  It general, it is always best for a couple to file bankruptcy together so that all the dischargeable debt is discharged for both parties.

Bankruptcy After Divorce
Another twist pops up when you file for bankruptcy after divorce.  When you split the community debt with each party taking a certain split of what is owing, that technically does not leave the other party free from those debts.  They are still community debts but the responsibility is just assigned to one party or the other. If the party assigned the debt fails to pay there are legal avenues to get a judgment against them or order them to pay.  If one party files for bankruptcy after the divorce and the non-filing party will still be responsible for the debt split in the divorce.

Yet another complication is when an individual files for bankruptcy after a divorce and fails to include all the community debt.  Sometimes people think they just need to include the debt they were assigned in the divorce.  In all likelihood, however, the trustee in bankruptcy will discover this over site and require the petition to be amended to include all the debt.

If you are seeking a divorce and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney or you are filing bankruptcy and need to speak to a Boise Bankruptcy Lawyer, give us a call, 208-472-2383 and see what we can do for you.  You will be glad you did.

Monday, October 14, 2013

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

The Role of a Divorce Lawyer
As a Boise Divorce Attorney, I routinely provide divorce services to my clients.  But, what does it mean to provide divorce services?  What is the role of a divorce lawyer?  I pose this question because a divorce is a very complex thing.  There are the legal aspects and then there are the social, emotional and potentially spiritual aspects to it.

What a Divorce Lawyer Does
As a Family Law Lawyer, I initiate or respond to a divorce.  I help clients make determinations as to how and why property should be divided.  I help clients understand custody, determine the best custody situation, establish child support amounts.  I negotiate with the other side to get the best settlement for my client.  I file motions, responses, temporary orders, briefs and final orders with the court in support of my client.  I argue before the judge my client's case.  My role is to take the client through the loops and the hoops of the law.

To a degree I also must counsel my clients.  Divorce is a very emotional occurrence; something people don't go through personally everyday.  I see the effects on people daily and I see what pours fuel on a fire and what helps to make things go smoothly.  However, I also always tell my clients that there are many resources out there for counseling and counselors who are best equipped to help them emotionally, spiritually and socially.

Emotional, Social and Spiritual Support Before, During and After Divorce
Just as a legal professional can make your divorce go smoothly and have the best outcome for you, a professional counselor can go a long way helping someone through a divorce.  Long after your divorce is completed, you will continue to suffer the effects of divorce and will continue to need support.  They don't call marriage a life decision for nothing and the end of a marriage has life long consequences, especially if you have children.

While a court will order mediation and a court will order child support and a court will order custody, a court doesn't order you to take care of yourself.  Professional counseling will help you do that.  If you are struggling through your divorce, avail yourself of the resources available to you.  Understanding what the professionals you have employed in your life can do for you can help you make the best of your situation.

If you are seeking a divorce and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, give us a call and see what we can do for you, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Boise Divorce Attorney 208-472-2383

Divorce in Idaho

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I see a whole range of divorce cases.  Some settle very amicably while others are knock down drag out lengthy court battles.  Today, I will focus on those cases where the divorce settles quickly, but specifically in regard to mutually agreed upon terms.

Default Divorce

You can have a divorce that settles quickly in a couple of ways.  One way is to have a default divorce.  In a default divorce, one party files a complaint outlining exactly what the terms of the divorce should be.  The other party is served with the papers.  Ordinarily in divorce, you must file an answer and if you don't the other party can take exactly what they asked for by default.  If you and your spouse agree to all the terms this is a very quick way to get divorced.  Inevitably, however, someone will change their mind and decide the terms are not fair.  The case can proceed and changes can be made simply by the other party filing an answer within 20 days of receiving the divorce complaint.

Property Settlement Agreements in Divorce

The Idaho Family Law Courts see thousands of divorces a year.  Many will start out very contentiously, however, many often settle because the courts really push mediation to help divorcing couples resolve their issues.  One way to put your agreement on the record is to create a property settlement agreement.  This is basically a contract between the two parties agreeing to the terms and conditions of the divorce.  It is a very effective tool to settle divorce issues.

One caveat, however.  It is critical to ask the court to retain jurisdiction over the case in the property settlement agreement.  If you don't, then when a party fails to comply with the terms or there has been a substantial and material change of circumstance, the court no longer has jurisdiction to hear the case or make changes.  If you want to enforce the agreement, you must start a new case to get a judgment against the other party.

If you are seeking a divorce and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, give us a call, 208-472-2383, you will be glad you did.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How Much is My Personal Injury Worth - Boise Personal Injury Lawyers - (208) 472-2383

How Much is a Personal Injury Worth in Idaho?
As a Boise Personal Injury Attorney I get frequent questions from people wanting to know how much there injury is worth.  What kind of settlement can I get for my personal injury?  As with all legal issues, there is no cut and dry answer.  There are several factors, however, to keep in mind when trying to quantify how much your injury is worth.

Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
You might hear a personal injury lawyer speak about compensatory damages.  These are damages award to compensate a person for their injury.  Compensatory damages include special damages, general damages and potentially punitive damages.

Special Damages
Most attorneys will start with identifying something known as special damages.  These are fairly easy to identify because they include actual expenses including things like medical bills, prescription costs, lost wages, durable medical goods, such as crutches and the like.     

It is important if you have suffered a personal injury to keep a good record of these expenses because the extent of your injury can be manifest in your medical bills, though not always.  At any rate, you will need to be able to identify the cost of your injuries.  If you have been injured and you never go to the doctor, you lose evidence of your injury and you have no evidence to prove your damages.

General Damages
Another type of damage personal injury attorneys look at is general damages which are non-quantifiable damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium.  While special damages are easy to quantify, these general damages are less easy to identify.  For example, how much is the pain and suffering associated with a broken back?  In order to value the non-quantifiable damage, it is important to look at the extent of the medical bills because they can indicate the severity of the injury, though not always.  It is also important to look at the circumstances of injury.  For example, if you have two automobile accidents that are similar in nature, you may end up with two widely varying damage awards based upon the circumstances of the situation.  If you have a rear end accident that is caused by a 75 year old woman driving in the rain and she hits you and is cited for following too closely and going too fast for the conditions outside vs. you have a rear end accident caused by a 25 year old intoxicated male who is cited for DUI, you may end up with a different award amount because of the surrounding circumstances of the case.   

In regard to types of general damages, I often am asked, “what is loss of consortium?”  Consortium is your relationship with your spouse, your children or society in general.  Consortium with your child means your relationship and how you related.  Your closeness as parent and child.  Loss of consortium with a spouse includes your relationship but also your sexual relationship.  If you injury caused you to lose that closeness or sexual intimacy with your spouse, you have a loss of consortium.  If you no longer have a sexual relationship or you sought a divorce after the accident because of the loss of consortium, this emotional for of injury is often a recoverable damage. 

Another factor that can affect the amount of damages awarded is the condition of the plaintiff.  For example, an older person will generally take longer to heal than a young person.  Pain and suffering will associated with a paralyzation will affect a younger person for a longer duration than an older person and therefore the award for that loss will be more.  A scar on the face of a young woman will be valued at a greater degree than a leg scar on a same aged male because of what our society values as beauty.

One other interesting fact about personal injury is that you can recover general damages for yourself but also for those close to you who witness or are affected by your injury.  For example, if your child witnesses your accident, they may have emotional damages associated with witnessing that.  If your spouse is shown your an x-ray of your neck after a catastrophic neck injury, this can cause emotional harm directly related to the injury.  Even if you have had a divorce, if your ex-spouse witnesses your accident, that distress may be a compensated claim in regard to both parties.

Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are not routinely awarded.  They are given when it can be shown that the defendant acted extremely irresponsibly.  They might economically benefit from a defective product and continue to do so after they are aware of the harm.  Punitive damages are awarded to discourage others from doing the same type of thing and to penalize the party who caused the harm.

The above discussion just goes to show how and why there is no cut and dry answer about how much your injury is worth.  If you have been injured and need to speak to a Boise Personal Injury Attorney, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383,  and see what we can do for you.  You will be glad you did.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Boise Family Law and Divorce Attorneys - 208-472-2383 - Irreconcilable Differences

Divorce in Idaho
As a Boise Divorce Attorney I often have clients who are very upset concerning a marital situation.  So upset, in fact, that they are seeking divorce.  They often want to file for divorce on certain grounds such as adultery.  But what if you don't have any such grounds?  Idaho is an "irreconcilable differences" state.  But what exactly does that mean?

Irreconcilable Differences
Many many years ago, most states were "for cause" divorce states.  What this meant was you had to prove the grounds for your divorce.  For example, if you claimed you were seeking divorce on the grounds of adultery, you would have to prove that your spouse, in fact, committed adultery.

As time went on the legislatures of the various states, including Idaho, decided that sometimes there wasn't just one identifiable reason why you would want to get a divorce.  They realized that there wasn't a big issue like adultery or habitual intemperance or the like.  Irreconcilable difference takes just that into account.  You don't have to give a reason why you want to get a divorce.

Irreconcilable differences allows you to get divorced without proving a case.  You simply tell the court that basically you no longer get along or you no longer want to be married to the other person.

Other Grounds for Divorce
Does that mean that you can't file for divorce on the grounds of adultery in Idaho?  Absolutely not.  Idaho still has grounds for cause laws articulated by statute.  Adultery, extreme cruelty, willful desertion, willful neglect and habitual intemperance are all for cause grounds for divorce.

If you have found yourself in one of these situations you can file for divorce on those grounds.  You will, however, have to be prepared to prove the proper elements of each case.  However, if you go this route you will want to also plead irreconcilable differences in the alternative just in case you are not able to prove the grounds you have plead.

If you are seeking a divorce and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, please call our office at 208-472-2383 and see what we can do for you.  You will be glad you did.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Boise Divorce Attorney 208-472-2383 Child Custody

Across State Lines
As a Boise Divorce Attorney I regularly get calls from individuals who are in the middle of divorce and/or a custody battle.  I field all sorts of questions, but probably one of the top ten questions involves taking children out of state before, after or during a divorce.

Can I Take My Child Out of State?
Whether you can take your child out of state during, before or after a divorce depends in large part on what stage of the process you are in and what an order of the court says about it to you in your particular case. For example, if you are separated and have not even approached the court with divorce papers, you can leave the state of Idaho with your child without any court restraint, just like you could if you and your spouse were still together.  However, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is a great idea to up and leave the state without permission or knowledge of the other parent.  Inevitably, the other party may try to use that against you in a child custody determination and a judge may look at it as a lapse of judgement on your part.

If you have filed divorce papers or have been served divorce papers there will be included in that an order of the court which prohibits you from leaving the state of Idaho with your child for more than 48 hours if you don't have written permission of the other parent.  This joint preliminary injunction also prohibits you from doing other things like squandering community income or destroying community property.

Once your divorce is final you may have the right to leave the state during your periods of custody unless otherwise forbidden by the court and so long as the child is returned to the state in order to effect the other party's exercise of custody or for the child to be present at necessary specific times such as to attend school.

What if I Have a Job in Another State?
Leaving Idaho for gainful employment may be an allowable reason for you to leave the state with your child. However, the above stated rules will still apply.  If you are in the midst of a divorce, you will have to get the ok from the other parent.  If you have already gotten a divorce you may move wherever you want.  One caveat in that regard, however.  If you move with your child, that move must not negatively impact the child or the other parent's visitation and if it does, the other party can motion to modify the child custody decree. And, as stated above, if you haven't filed yet, you can go where you want but remember how the court will look at your move particularly if you move without informing the other parent (which you never want to do because you could face parental kidnapping charges) or getting their permission; even if you have what seems like a justifiable reason such as a new job or neglect or abuse by the other parent.  Also, if you move because of a job, always ask yourself if you could have gotten a comparable job in Idaho where you already live.  Is it necessary for you to leave the state?

If you are seeking a divorce and need to speak to a Boise Family Law Lawyer, give us a call, 208-472-2383 and see what we can do for you.  You will be glad you did.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Boise Bankruptcy Attorney - Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 - 208-472-2383

Bankruptcy and the Means Test

While filing for bankruptcy is not overly difficult, there are a number of important things to keep in mind.  Before you can file you must run what is known as the “means test”.  The means test determines which chapter of bankruptcy you will file under.  

The means test looks at your income.  If you exceed a statutory threshold you are forced to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  However, if after running the initial income test your income exceed the “means”, you aren’t necessarily out of luck.  The means test also looks at certain expenses that will potentially reduce your countable income.

The means test is several pages long, but it, in and of itself, should not be intimidating.  After you go through the first several questions, you will know if your income is too great to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  If your income is not above the statutory level you need go no further.

Bankruptcy and Military Service
There are some interesting exceptions in the means test as well.  For example, if you are an active member of the military and you incurred the majority of your debt while on active duty, you qualify for a Chapter 7 automatically.  There are also exceptions for members of the Guard.

Chapter 13
If you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy you can explore a Chapter 13.  Some people are concerned about going that route because they want all their debts discharged.  However, a Chapter 13 might actually work better in some cases.  In it you reaffirm debts and create a repayment plan.  It allows you to save your house and other items if you reaffirm.  And while not all of your debts are discharged if they are unsecured they will be.

Another consideration about filing out the means test is family size.  The more people in your family, the greater the income you can have and stay within the means.  Obviously, you would count your spouse and your children.  This can get tricky if you are in the process of divorce, or you have already gone through a divorce.  Can you count the kids if you only have shared custody?  What if you are engaged to be married?  Do you consider your fiancĂ© part of your household?  These are all questions your Boise Bankruptcy Attorney can discuss with you to help you decide which bankruptcy route is best for you.

If you want to speak to an affordable and experienced Boise Bankruptcy Attorney, please give us a call at 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Boise Divorce Attorney - 208-472-2383 - Child Custody Across State Lines

Child Custody Issues
Child Custody is a major issue involved in divorce law in Idaho.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney I see a range of child custody issues.  These issues range from which parent will have primary physical custody to whether Idaho can exercise jurisdiction over a child who is not living in the state of Idaho.

Child Custody Across State Lines
The custody of children who don't live in Idaho is regulated by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.  This is a law that has been adopted by all 50 states.  It looks at several factors to determine whether a state can exercise jurisdiction over a child who does not live in a particular state.

There are three basic scenarios that I see regularly.  Firstly, when a child has lived in Idaho and it is their home state.  One parent moves out of state with the child.  The parent who remained in Idaho can assert that Idaho has jurisdiction over the child and therefore Idaho should hear the custody case.  The second situation is when a family has resided in a state other than Idaho.  They move to Idaho as a family.  After a short period of time one parent moves back to the original state where the family lived.  This is a tougher situation.  The question Idaho has to address is, "had Idaho become the child's home state?"  To determine this, a court will look at relationships to the state.  If the child wasn't "established" in Idaho (school, doctor, friends, family, relationships) then Idaho will have a difficult time establishing jurisdiction and the other state may assert it's jurisdiction over the child.  The third situation results in complete lack of jurisdiction in Idaho.  If a child has never lived in Idaho but a parent does, that parent cannot ask Idaho to establish custody there.  They must return to the child's home state.

In all these situations, you can seek a divorce in Idaho if you have lived here for a period of time greater than six weeks.  However, even though Idaho will grant you a divorce the Idaho court may "bifurcate" your case.  That means that if your property is not located here and/or your children are not located here, the court will not hear that portion of your divorce.  Often people who need to get divorced fast, say to get remarried, choose this option.

If you are seeking a divorce or child custody and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, give us a call, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Boise Divorce Attorney - 208-472-2383 - Enforcing a Child Custody Visitation Schedule

Child Custody Visitation
As the 4th of July approaches, I, like numerous other Boise Divorce Attorneys, are getting frantic calls about enforcing the holiday visitation schedule.  Without fail, these individuals are worried that the other parent won't honor the visitation order and they won't get their holiday visitation.  What can be done?

There are different approaches to enforcing a child custody visitation schedule.  There are two different approaches that I want to focus on today.  The first is by involving law enforcement.  The second is involving the court.  What are the pros and cons of each?

Law Enforcement

It is always important to keep your court ordered visitation schedule with you when you are picking up and dropping off your child.  If you have agreed to meet at a particular location for regular drop off and pick up, it is also very important to have that information in hand.  Say for example, you are supposed to meet your child's other parent at the Albertson's parking lot on Fairview.  You arrive on the 4th of July at the designated time and the parent fails to show up.  If you have your visitation schedule with you and you know where the other party is, you can call the police.  Once you have shown them your order and where you were supposed to meet, the police can intervene.  Of course, this is predicated on you knowing where the other party is.


Contempt is a process where you go before the Court.  You show the Court that the other party is in violation of the court order and you ask the Judge to punish the other party for intentionally disregarding the order.  Contempt can carry some severe penalties which the Judge may or may not impose on the other party, such as jail time or a fine. The remedy of Contempt takes time because you need to motion the Court and come before the Judge to present evidence.

Pros and Cons

Obviously, involving the police can be a faster remedy.  It, however, isn't always possible, especially if you don't know where the other party or the child is.  You also may end up with an officer who is hesitant to help you enforce your order.  The option of Contempt is slower but it may have longer lasting effects.  Judges do not like it when people disregard their orders.  If a party upsets a Judge by disobeying their order, that party will know that the Judge won't put up with further shenanigans.

Hopefully, your 4th of July and all your holiday visitations will transpire smoothly and without incident.  If, however, you find yourself in need of a Boise Divorce Attorney to help you with your custody, visitation or modification issues, please give us a call, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Boise Divorce Attorney (208) 472-2383 Custody Agreements

Parenting Plan and Custody Agreements
Boise Divorce Attorneys will tell you that most judges prefer that a divorcing couple come to an agreement as to what their custody arrangement will be, rather than making the decision for them.  Judges know that each couple knows their family dynamics best.  They know how their family works.  No two families are alike so there cannot simply be one parenting plan and one custody arrangement.  Custody isn't a one size fits all proposition.

How are Parenting Plans and Custody Agreements Decided Upon?
After filing for divorce, serving the complaint upon the other party and after the defendant's response is filed, one of the first things that divorce attorneys do is see what issues can be worked out.  If the parties already have in mind a custody arrangement that will work for them or is working for them, they can reduce that agreement to writing, establish temporary orders along those lines and eventually have the agreement signed and incorporated into the final divorce decree by the judge.

Unfortunately, in the real world it is not always that easy.  Often the emotions of divorce get in the way and the process is clouded by hurt feelings or feelings of mistrust or anger.  If the parties cannot agree as to how custody will be split or how they will parent during the interim, the judge in a divorce case will send them to mediation.  The aim of mediation is to help the parties work out a parenting arrangement that will work best for them.  The court has approved mediators from whom it will accept mediation agreements.  The parties will be asked to use their best effort to work out an agreement that will work for them.

What Happens When You Can't Agree?
If you make a good faith effort in mediation but cannot come to an agreement, the judge will make the decision for you.  The judge will look at the situation and use a set of statutory criteria to decide what is in the best interest of the child.  Once this is done, this will be your custody arrangement, whether you like it or not.  That is why it is critical to use your best effort to come up with an mutually acceptable agreement with the other parent.

Will the Judge Always Accept Your Parenting Agreement?
For the most part, if you come up with a mutually agreeable parenting arrangement, the judge will accept it and sign it, making it a part of the final decree.  There are, however, situations where a judge will absolutely not sign the agreement.  By statute, all custody arrangements must be in the best interest of the child.  If a judge looks at your agreement and determines that it does not fit the criteria, he or she can and will make you either voluntarily change the agreement, or will make the decision for you based upon the criteria that make up the best interest of the child. 

Perhaps the most frequent time this occurs is when you have extended absences away from each parent.  For example, judges frown on arrangements where a very young child lives for an entire year with one parent and then switches the next year to the other parent.  Part of being is in the best interest of child includes frequent and regular contact with both parents.

If you are seeking a divorce or need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383, and see what we can do for you.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Boise Bankruptcy Attorneys

Ordinarily I write these bankruptcy blogs from the perspective of a bankruptcy attorney helping clients understand and file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Today, however, I would like to discuss a particular element for creditors.  Often, people will speak derogatorily about bankruptcy saying that it allows people to wrack up debt and then walk away scot-free.  As a Boise Bankruptcy Attorney, I do not hold that perspective.  I believe that bankruptcy is a valuable tool aimed at helping people get back on their feet and giving them a second chance.  There is one situation, however, that I find unacceptable for an individual filing bankruptcy and that is FRAUD.

What is fraud?  Fraud is the intentional deception of another to make financial gain.  If a debtor files bankruptcy and is trying to get out of paying debt justly owed to a creditor and the debtor has committed fraud, can anything be done?

Absolutely! First, let's look at a situation where this might occur.  Say you are remodeling your home.  You hire a contractor who hires subcontractors to work on your house.  If the contractor knowingly submits bills for subcontractor work that has not been done, with the intent to get paid and to use those funds for their own benefit, that contractor has committed fraud.  Say that you discover his fraudulent activity and you file suit against him and win a judgment against him.  Say then, you try to execute on your judgment only to find out that he has filed for bankruptcy.

Ordinarily, a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will discharge a debtors debt.  But what if fraud is involved?  Is the creditor barred from collecting on his judgment and is the debtor freed of the debt?  No.  But that is not automatic.  You must file an objection on the basis of fraud.  The bankruptcy court will look at your judgment and your claim of fraud and make a determination as to whether or not the judgment will be barred by bankruptcy or not discharged because of the fraud.

After the bankruptcy court determines that there was fraud and that your judgment won't be discharged, you can collect on the outstanding judgment.  You would proceed with collection efforts as if the bankruptcy were not there.  This might include having the sheriff attach property or by doing a garnishment against the debtor's wages.

If you are seeking a bankruptcy or are the victim of fraud and you need your judgment protected from discharge, please give us a call and see what we can do for you, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bankruptcy - Who Can File - Boise Bankruptcy Attorneys

As a Boise Bankruptcy Attorney, I often hear from people that they are confused about who and when you can file for bankruptcy.  Today, I will give a quick overview of the who and when of bankruptcy.  In addition, I often get questions about when it is advantageous to file for bankruptcy.  I will also address some examples of that today.

Who Can File For Bankruptcy?
Anyone who meets the requirements for the various forms of bankruptcy can file for the protection it provides.  This includes businesses.  While, technically, a business isn't a person and visa versa, the protection granted by the Federal Court extends to entities. 

Some examples of who can file for bankruptcy include and individual who meets a financial criteria test (Chapter 7), an individual who does not meet the financial test of bankruptcy but who needs to make a payment plan (Chapter 13) or a business which needs to restructure its debt payments (Chapter 11).

When Can You File For Bankruptcy?
In most cases, if you need the protection of bankruptcy it is there for you.  However, there are limits on how frequently you can file and which Chapter will apply to you.  For example, if you have filed for Chapter 7 within the past 8 years,  and received a discharge, you may not file for Chapter 7 again before that time frame has expired.  If, however, you find yourself in a financial situation where you can't pay your debts, you may qualify for a Chapter 13 after four years, even though you might meet the means test required for a Chapter 7.  Not to further complicate the issue, but there are more limits.  If you need to file for Chapter 7 after you have filed a Chapter 13, you need to wait six years.  In this situation, however, you may actually be able to get a complete discharge of unsecured debt under a Chapter 7 before the six year period if you have paid 70% of your secured debt.  In order to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy a second time, you must wait two full years from the date of filing.

Mortgage Foreclosure and Asset Protection
The obvious reason for filing for bankruptcy is to discharge your debt or to get a repayment plan to restructure debt.

These are two situations where there can be a reason, other than financial protection, for filing bankruptcy.  If you are behind on your mortgage, filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can protect your home.  This allows you to pay off the arrerages over a period of time so that you are not foreclosed against.  Chapter 13 will allow you to make a payment plan for repayment for the mortgage debt as well as your other debts.

Another situation which can provide an important reason to file bankruptcy beyond a financial consideration, is the protection of assets.  By law certain pieces of property are exempt from being used to cover your debt.  If you have an asset associated with your financial livelihood, for example, it doesn't make any sense for a court to take that asset away.  If you have debt associated with that asset you can file for Chapter 13 and make payments on the back debt, thereby protecting your asset.

If you need to speak to a Boise Bankruptcy please give us a call, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Boise DUI Lawyers - Idaho Criminal Defense Attorneys - (208) 472-2383

Felony DUI
As a Boise DUI Lawyer, I see a lot of drunk driving cases.  Often these cases are what a criminal defense attorney might call routine.  Although DUI is not routine or run of the mill, misdemeanor driving under the influence follows a typical pattern.  This is not the case with Felony DUI.

Most often a person will end up with misdemeanor DUI and they will learn their lesson.  They know that they must be on guard and not drive under the influence of alcohol again, or else.  This isn't necessarily the case with felony DUI.  It is not the case that they just won't learn their lesson, it is more likely the case that there is an underlying situation causing a problem which is manifesting itself in reckless behavior.

Repeat DUI
When a person gets three or more DUI charges within 10 years it is a felony.  The lasted news about the 52 year old Boise resident who has received 6 DUI charges since 1994 is an example of a situation out of hand.

How does the court deal with offenders such as this?  To prevent recidivism (repeated criminal offenses), the law creates a graduated fine, jail time and suspended driving privileges deterrent.  Often, in first time offenses or even second time, the full extent of available sentence won't be imposed.  It is often "suspended" or a maximum fine is not imposed.  The more time a person commits a crime, especially the same type, the more likely they will be to get the full force of the sentence as well as anything that has been suspended previously if they are still on probation.

Jail, Fine and DUI
Does the graduated method of penalty deter repeated crime?  When there is an underlying problem that is causing the repeated DUI, jail time, fines and license suspension cannot possibly prevent further problems.  The underlying issue must be resolved.  The law does provide for optional Drug or Mental Health Court, but these are not automatic and you do not have a "right" to be admitted into these.  Perhaps a more involved prevention would help.  If a second time DUI sentence carried with it the mandatory requirement for a drug or mental health counseling, perhaps it would go a long way in preventing felony DUI by addressing the underlying problem before it results in recidivism. 

If you have been charged with a DUI or other crime in Idaho and need to speak to a Boise DUI Attorney, please give us a call, 208-472-2383, and see what we can do for you.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Boise Family Law Attorneys - Idaho Child Support - Can You Agree to a Different Amount?

Child Support in Idaho
As a Boise Family Law Attorney one very common question I get is how is child support determined?  As I have noted many times before, Idaho uses the Idaho Child Support Guidelines to establish child support.

Child Support by Agreement
Once people understand this they want to know if they can agree to an amount different than established by the guidelines.  In general you can but you must rationalize the deviation.  For example, if one party pays all the transportation, they may be able to show the court why the monthly obligation should be adjusted to an amount lower than what has been established by the guidelines. 

Sometimes people want to include payments in child support that actually don't belong there.  An example of where this can happen is if one spouse feels that they should pay more than what is required by the guidelines so that the other spouse can have help paying the mortgage.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney, I would caution against this type of inclusion and a judge may actually not allow it at all anyway.

Child Support by Contract
In a divorce the court has jurisdiction over the parties, their children and their property.  When you make an agreement by stipulation or contract the court may determine that it does not have jurisdiction over your agreement.  What does this mean for you?  If you take the above example of including more money in the monthly child support obligation for the ex-spouse to pay the mortgage, you may not be able to modify that amount if the court determines it doesn't have jurisdiction.  This means that once you feel it is no longer necessary to pay the ex-spouse additional monies for the house payment, you won't be able to modify your contract.

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I recommend that you keep your child support obligation free of external agreements and amounts not contemplated by the guidelines.  If you absolutely feel it necessary to provide more money for your ex-spouse you can have a separate agreement where you agree to pay money to them.  In that contract, it would be an absolute necessity to create provisions that would allow you to revisit and modify the contract so you not unnecessarily bound for a lengthy duration.

If you are seeking a divorce or child support modification and you need to speak to a Boise Family Law Lawyer, please give us a call, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Contempt of Court - Boise Divorce Attorney (208) 472-2383

Contempt of Court
Being held in contempt of court is not a legal situation unique to family law.  You can be held in contempt of court by any judge in any court.  But what exactly is contempt of court and how does it apply to family law?

What is Contempt?
Whenever a judge orders you to do something, you are required to do it just as the judge tells you.  If you do not, you can be held in contempt of court, meaning the judge can punish you for not doing what you were told. Often, like in the case of divorce law, the other side brings a motion against you telling the judge that you did not comply with his or her order and asking them to hold you in contempt.  

Contempt in a Family Law Court
As a Boise Divorce Attorney, I see contempt cases all the time.  There can be many different reasons people, within the Family Law Court, are held in contempt.  Often in a court order, for example, a person will be ordered to sell or refinance the community home within a certain time period.  If they fail to comply, the other side can bring contempt charges against them.  What if, however, the party who was ordered to act tried their best to sell the house but was unable due to market conditions?  Or, what if their credit was ruined in the course of the divorce and they could not qualify for refinancing?  These are very common situations I see as a family law lawyer.  Like so many things in the law, there isn't a cut and dry answer.  A judge may say, "you didn't comply" period and "you go to jail"  More likely, however, a judge will look at the circumstances surrounding the contempt.  They might look at the effort you used to sell the house or why your credit was bad.  Did the other side do something to hinder your credit?  Was your credit bad before the divorce?  The judge will also look at whether you were ordered to do something or you agreed to do something.  That little difference between being ordered and agreeing can be huge!  Sometimes the judge will also look at something known as "clean hands".  Has the other party violated the order just as much?  Much like the kettle calling the pot black!

Contempt is a very serious charge that can result in jail time.  You should never take it lightly.  While you may think you have a valid justification for your non-compliance the judge may not.  Judges do not like to see their orders ignored!

If you have a divorce or family law issue and you need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, give us a call, (208) 472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Boise DUI Attorney - How Will a DUI Effect My Job - (208) 472-2383

As a Boise Criminal Attorney I often get anxious calls from individuals who have gotten a DUI.  They are not only concerned about the consequences of being charged with a crime, but also the widespread effects on other aspects of their lives.  DUI can wreak havoc on your personal life as well as on your employment. Probably the second or third most frequent question I get as a Boise DUI Lawyer is, "Will I lose my job?"

There is no universal answer to this question.  A lot of it depends upon your employer.  Does your employer have a policy on DUI charges?  Is there a zero tolerance for criminal charges at your workplace?  Will your termination depend upon your job performance?

If you are charged with a DUI and you are aware of a no tolerance policy or your boss approaches you to discuss termination, what should you do?  First, you should remain calm.  If there is an across the board termination requirement for DUI, ask your boss to wait until the final outcome.  Just because you have been charged with a crime doesn't mean you will be convicted of a crime.  You might be lucky and have one of those cases where there was improper search, lack of probable cause or some other situation that would result in a dismissal of your case or a conviction on a lesser charge.

Termination based upon a DUI or a conviction of a crime often has to do with the company's public reputation.  Can you imagine the hypocrisy a police officer getting a DUI?  Also, remember that a charge for driving under the influence can mean having drunk too much or having illegal drugs in your system (or too much prescription drugs or over the counter drugs in your system resulting in an impairment of your ability to drive).  Your boss may not want the public to believe that his employees are drug users, especially if your job revolves around public service or safety.

If you have been charged with a DUI or a crime in Idaho and need to speak to either a Boise Criminal Attorney or a Boise DUI Lawyer, give us a call and see what we can do for you, (208) 472-2383