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.

1 comment:

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