Thursday, October 16, 2014

DUI in Idaho; What You Need to Know

Different Types of DUI in Idaho

As a Boise Criminal Attorney I frequently answer DUI questions.  One very popular question revolves around the different types of DUI and what they means as far as severity and penalty.  The severity of the charge and the penalty depends upon three main things: 1.  How many times have you gotten a DUI?, 2.  How much alcohol did you have in your system? 3. What were the circumstances surrounding your DUI?

When Does a  DUI become a Felony or How Serious is the Charge?
A standard DUI is a misdemeanor.  There are three situations, however, when drinking and driving becomes a felony.  If you receive 3 DUI's within 10 years, the third time will result in a felony charge.  An Aggravated is a felony and a second time excessive charge is also a felony.

The first is as simple as it sounds.  If you are charged with a DUI three times within 10 years, the third charge is a felony.  So what about the other two?  An aggravated DUI means that you caused serious bodily harm, disfigurement or death to another as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol.  It doesn't matter if you have never had a DUI before, if you hurt someone you will be charged with a felony.  An excessive DUI is when you have a blood alcohol content greater than a .20.  If you have at least one other DUI, and you are arrested with a BAC of .20 or greater, you will be charged with a felony.

Blood Alcohol Content

There are a few situations where blood alcohol content can effect the charge against you.  Obviously, the legal limit for alcohol in your system is .08.  This can be different depending upon different situations.  If you are a minor, an alcohol concentration of .02 will get you a DUI.  If you drive a commercial vehicle and are pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, an alcohol concentration of .04 will result in a DUI.

Circumstances Surrounding the DUI

As noted above there are certain circumstances which can effect the severity and the penalty for a DUI charge.  An aggravated DUI is caused by circumstances surrounding the DUI.  Those circumstances is the driver causing great bodily harm, death or disfigurement to an individual other than him or her self.  Also noted above are situations where the driver is a minor or a driver of a commercial vehicle.

An import circumstance to be noted, however, which is often overlooked is felony injury to a child. If you have a child in your vehicle and you are charged with driving under the influence you will also be charged with felony injury to a child even if the underlying DUI is a basic misdemeanor charge.

DUI is never a fun thing but there are situations that can make the charge worse.  Make sure you know what your risks are before you choose to drive.  If you have been charged with a DUI and you need a Boise DUI Lawyer, give us a call and see what we can do for you, 208-472-2383.

We also offer representation for family and divorce law.  Call today for your free consultation.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Child Endangerment - What it Means to Get a DUI When You Have Your Kids in the Car - Boise Criminal Attorney

What seems to be a fairly new phenomenon is popping up all over the headlines.  Child endangerment. It's not endangering a child that is new, it's just the circumstances surrounding it.  Many parents don't know that you cannot drink and drive with a child in the car and if you do you will be in serious trouble.

It is not unusual to hear about people who go out to dinner or over to friends' houses and have a few drinks. No biggie, right? Wrong.  If you are pulled over and impaired not only will you be cited for DUI, who will be cited for Child Endangerment and you will need to hire a Boise Criminal Attorney. Another situation that seems to be a new phenomenon or at least seems to be gaining traction in the news headlines is women driving while intoxicated with their kids in the car.  Many have heard of the latest series of child endangerment cases involving mothers driving drunk with their kids in the car. 

The law stems from an Idaho Code section which adds additional charges to your DUI if you have kids in the car.  The reasoning behind the law is that you have placed individuals who are incapable of making important legal decisions in a circumstance where they can be seriously hurt or killed.  It is different if you are driving with an adult.  The logic is that an adult should have the ability to say "No, I won't drive in a car with an intoxicated person", and if they do, it is a choice they made themselves.

Driving while intoxicated with kids in the car has is a serious problem and worsening over time.  Between 1985-1996 of the children killed in drinking and driving related accidents 64% were killed as passengers in their impaired parent's car.  That number increased between 1997-2002 to 68%.  Despite these statistics, not all states have child endangerment laws involving  DUI.

Idaho, however, does have a child endangerment law.  Although many individuals do not know it, driving with kids in the car while under the influence is a serious crime.  Whether you learn it here or after the fact from the news, you need to know it is a serious crime.

If you have been charged with a DUI or with child endangerment and you need an Idaho Criminal Lawyer, give us a call, 208-472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Recreational Marijuana Sales in Washington - What Does it Mean to a Boise Criminal Lawyer

Marijuana Legalization - A View from a Boise Criminal Attorney

Like it or not, marijuana is legally for sale for recreational purposes in Washington beginning today.  Gone is the need for the medical marijuana card.  Gone is the need for the note from the doctor that shows the state that you have chronic pain and therefore qualify for medical marijuana.

Recreational pot use is good news for some.  However, many don't like it. Medical marijuana users, for example, are angry.  They no longer are in a "special" category.  Sure, they can buy pot without the doctor's note but the fact that so can everybody else makes them uneasy about supply.  The state of Washington has limited the amount of pot you can buy per day to 1 gram.  In part that limit is to curb use, but it also reflects that there technically could be a shortage.  The price also reflects that demand is high and supply is low. Others are angry because they still consider marijuana a gateway drug despite the fact that the number of "only" marijuana users (those who don't use any other elicit drugs) has "officially" risen to 38%.  This number increases greatly when you look at the 18-35 year old demographic.  It is not uncommon to hear about "Mommy's for Pot Legalization" or Friends and neighbors who swap babysitting so that the parents can get high without the kids around.  They in turn watch their friends' kids to return the favor.  What I am trying to say is that pot use is becoming common place whether it is labeled gateway drug or not, and it is being legalized whether anyone likes it or not.

Legalized Marijuana Possession - Effect in Idaho

What does legalized recreational pot mean for an Idaho Criminal Attorney?  In reality it may not mean anything different than what medical marijuana has.  Or, it may mean that with greater availability and access more people will feel more comfortable crossing the border, buying pot and returning to Idaho with it.  A user/client I have spoken to recently confessed that he would prefer to drive to Washington, buy the pot legally and return to Idaho illegally with it rather than buy the hooch on the streets, even though right now, street pot is less expensive.

Another consideration for a Boise Criminal Lawyer is sales within Idaho and what that does to an uptick in possession charges as well as drug trafficking charges.  Although the law in Washington states that you can only purchase 1 gram of pot per day, there is not tracking software in place.  While this seems ironic because the legalization of marijuana in Washington is heavily monitored, there is nothing to stop someone from shopping at different stores and stock piling pot.  Although it is currently expensive, one could foresee once supply has increased and the price decreases, stock piling of marijuana could be an entrepreneur's dream come true.

Quickly, another consideration; this time from Boise DUI Lawyers.  I always feel it is important to remind people that possession of marijuana, intent to deliver or possession of paraphernalia are not the only charges they need to be concerned about when it comes to marijuana use and possession.  The Idaho Code includes in the offense of DUI, being under the influence of drugs.  If you are stoned and operating a motor vehicle you can be charged with a DUI. It is distinctly possible that there may be more DUI charges in Idaho as a result of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington.  That, however, remains to be seen.

And one final consideration from the perspective of a Boise Divorce Attorney;  Often in divorce cases there are allegations of drug use.  These are used control or eliminate visitation rights.  For example, if one party claims there is drug use in the other party's home, a judge may order a pee test or a hair follicle test.  If they turn up positive the judge has grounds to suspend, reduce or otherwise alter the party's visitation rights.  But what happens if you visit, live, work or in Washington and while in Washington you use marijuana legally? Can the court penalize you if you didn't break any laws?  Will providing the court proof that you were in Washington change the outcome of a family law judge's decision in Idaho?  These are questions which remain to be seen.  It seems that legalized recreational pot use may not only affect criminal law but will also have an affect upon divorce law.

Can You Legally Possess and Use Pot in Idaho?

As a Boise Criminal Attorney I have gotten a few calls from folks wondering about legalized marijuana. They want to know, "if it is legal in Washington and I buy it there, isn't it then legal in Idaho?"  And the answer is "no".  Marijuana possession and use still remains illegal in Idaho.

Again, this is a case of like it or not.  All sorts of Constitutional Lawyers can debate the full faith and credit laws and get no where.  A judge in Idaho won't even consider a person with a medical marijuana card in possession of pot in Idaho a valid defense.  Federal law, in fact, still states that possession of marijuana is a crime even in Washington.  Suffice it to say this topic goes deeply into states' rights v. federal laws which I will save for another day.

If you need a Boise Criminal Lawyer or a Boise DUI Attorney, give us a call (208) 472-2383, and see what we can do for you.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Boise Criminal Attorneys - When to Turn Your Child In - 208-472-2383

Boise Criminal Lawyer and Juvenile Offenses

One of the more difficult areas of criminal law is juvenile law; not because the laws are more complex but because it can be a very emotional area of the law.  As a Boise Criminal Attorney I often counsel parents who are considering turning their children in or those who have already done so.  The behavior of the juveniles range from relatively minor offenses such as possession of a very small amount of marijuana or coming home drunk from a party to very dangerous and serious offenses like possession of large amounts of drugs like marijuana, meth or prescription drugs, DUI or sex related crimes.  Parents generally are very stressed out and need help dealing with the bad behavior of their children.  While I counsel them in the law, I always stress the importance of finding a mental health professional to help them with the emotional and psychological issues these kind of stressors create.  While I have a few professionals whom I may suggest to them, I always tell them they need to find the right professional for them.  A friend, a lawyer, any of the many web directories can all suggest the best mental health professional, but they need to find someone with whom they work well.

What Causes Juveniles to Engage in Crimes Such as Possession of Marijuana, DUI, Intent to Distribute or Sex Crimes?

As a Boise Criminal Attorney I often see these juvenile crimes through the eyes of a Boise Divorce Attorney not because these juveniles are availing themselves of a Boise Divorce Lawyers, but because divorce can create acting out issues for children and teens alike.  While children may manifest the stress of divorce by wetting the bed, extended crying at a parent's absence or acting out at school, juveniles often act out in more destructive ways.  This will often manifest itself in partying, possession of alcohol or possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.  Teens may also engage in activities which aren't exactly criminal in nature, but left unaddressed may become criminal; ditching school, untempered behavior and the like.

Not all juvenile behavior is the result of divorce, but some can be the result of the family law context.  For example, people may be having family law issues which create juvenile issues for teens.  A teen who is sexually abused by a step-parent or step-sibling may themselves become a sex offender.  Teens may run away and engage is prostitution.  Teens who see violence in the home or who are victims of violence in the home may become abusers themselves.

There also is a certain amount of "normal" teen acting out which may get out of hand and become criminal in nature.  Further down this spectrum is when you have a "normal" family but there is conflict between the teen and one of the parents.  There can be jockeying for power or resentment at parental control.  If these situations are not handled carefully they can result in serious acting out leading to criminal behavior.

When do You Turn Your Child in to Law Enforcement?

This is perhaps the most difficult question to answer.  Psychologists tell me that tough love is the answer.  Cut your child off.  As a parent, myself, this seems beyond harsh.  Tough love proponents say the only way to get a kid to stop their destructive behavior is to let them hit rock bottom.  Helping them is only enabling them. The problem I have with this approach is you can set your child up to be embroiled in the legal system and once they are in there it can be difficult to extract them.  The other issue to consider is that you may set your child up to have one or more felony charges.  A felony charge never goes away.  They may be able to get a withheld judgment, but there is no guarantee of that especially if they have several felony charges.

So do you just let them keep destroying their life and yours?  Do you continue to enable them?  This is not what I am suggesting.  I think that availing yourself, your teen and your family to the help of mental help professionals really needs to be the first step, unless of course the teen is threatening or engaging in a crime that can cause serious bodily injury or death to themselves or another.  Having been a criminal attorney for over 20 years I have seen what the system can do and I have seen how mental health professionals can help prevent harm.

Take advantage of that free online directory and find a mental health professional to help you through this situation.  If you are more comfortable speaking with a Boise Criminal Attorney we would be happy to help you too.  What ever you choose, the choice has to be yours and should never be made in the heat of anger or frustration.  Your child's life is at stake.  It is understandable that you want to help them, but please take the time to consider the best way to help them.  Too many times parents come to me who have turned their child in.  They often say, "he is really a good kid", "she just hit a rough patch", "we decided to teach them a lesson" and bang they are entangled in the legal system.  Ultimately, however, you have to decide what is best for your child.

If you need to speak to a Boise Criminal Lawyer, give us a call, (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Criminal Law in the Divorce Context

Criminal Law in the Divorce Context

I have blogged before about the overlap of criminal and family law.  But summertime is a prime time for the two to overlap. So today I will spend a few moments discussing what not to do to prevent your Boise Divorce Attorney from having to become your Boise Criminal Lawyer.

Custodial Interference

Summertime, like Christmas and Spring Break are a time when vacations and holidays change up your visitation schedule.  Conflicts arise due to flight changes, activities and the general busyness of summer.  A court ordered visitation schedule or a court ordered temporary order schedule is undoubtedly in place if you are in the process of divorce or have gone through a divorce.  It should be well outlined in your schedule who has visitation, times for return and what happens if a change needs to be made.  Some people flow with this very easily.  For others, there is great strife.

So, how does criminal law come into changing a visitation schedule?  If your order says that you get your kids for two weeks during the summer and outlines when they are to be returned and you fail to return them and you fail to get the appropriate written consent for change or out-of-state visitation, the other party can seek the help of the authorities and have you charged in a criminal context.  Custodial interference is something that judges do not like.  Your divorce decree or your temporary orders should be very specific about return times and changes and out-of-state visitation.  Don't get caught up in the criminal law system. Make sure your read your order and get back on time or have a written agreement to the contrary signed by the other party.

DUI, Domestic Battery and Sumer-time Fun Gone Bad

Summertime, like the holidays, is another time when criminal lawyers and divorce attorneys, alike, see an uptick in drinking related offenses.  This can appear in things like DUI, because people tend to drink alcohol more heavily in the beautiful days of summer or during the winter holidays when people are gathering to celebrate.  While a DUI does not technically fit into the divorce law context, the drinking involved, which ultimately may lead to driving under the influence of alcohol, can spill over into the family law context.

Often, though not always, domestic battery is precipitated by drinking.  When you drink you lose your inhibitions.  Built up frustration can lead to anger and anger can get out-of-hand.  Don't let that happen.  If you drink, first and foremost, don't drink too much.  Avoid getting into discussions when you are angry.  You get relaxed when you drink and often people bring up difficult topics when they are drinking because they are relaxed and more comfortable about addressing issues which they may be unable to talk about without drinking.  If you find yourself in this situation, and you notice that either you or your partner get agitated, angry or violent, seeking counseling.  It can be a very helpful way to get issues on the table to discuss.  Much more helpful than alcohol.

If you need a Boise Divorce Attorney or Idaho Criminal Lawyer, give us a call, 208-472-2383, and see what we can do for you.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finding a Boise Divorce Attorney - Need to Find the Best Criminal Lawyer - You Have Come to the Right Place

Who is the Best Divorce Attorney in Boise?  Who is the Most Aggressive Criminal Attorney in Boise?

How do you find the best divorce attorney for you?  What about finding the best criminal lawyer or bankruptcy attorney?  Need to find a savvy probate attorney or business lawyer?  These are questions which are often raised when I receive calls from potential clients.  And this is why at Kershisnik Law, PLLC we offer a free consultation.

Finding a good divorce attorney or a criminal lawyer is not only important for your case, but it is also important for your peace of mind.  Not everyone likes to wear Nike Shoes and not everyone likes to eat McDonald's.  The same is true for your divorce attorney, criminal lawyer, bankruptcy attorney, probate attorney, business lawyer or personal injury lawyer.  Every person has a different style as does every attorney.

What to Look For in A Boise Divorce Attorney, Criminal Lawyer Etc.

So if there are a lot of good attorneys out there, and arguably even more "best" attorneys, how do you find the shoe that fits?  In my years of legal practice I have found several things that are helpful to aid you in finding an attorney who is a great fit.

First, a free consultation is indispensable.  It gives both the client and the attorney the opportunity to see if they hit it off.  You might not think that the attorney needs to be comfortable with the client but they do.  I have had situations where I turned work away because I did not hit it off with the client.  One person came in for a consultation.  When they arrived I grabbed the complaint they had forwarded to me from my secretary and took a moment to read it.  They looked at me with utter disdain.  They were appalled that I had not yet read the complaint.  I explained that there are several reasons why I wait to read the documents until the potential client has come in.  First, just because someone makes an appointment, doesn't mean they will come in.  In my busy schedule I cannot be reading complaints for enjoyment.  Secondly, I like to have their information fresh in my head when I am with them one on one.  Reading is a huge part of my job and I have a good memory, but would you want your doctor to not have read your chart minutes before operating on you?  And on and on.....This particular person was not impressed with my individual attention.  I suggested that she find a different attorney.

Second, an attorney who is not afraid of suggesting that you get a second opinion is, at first glance, a good choice.  I have prospective clients come to me with cases where I see no legal action or where I see that they would lose if they tried to bring suit.  I always suggest that it is my opinion and someone else might see it differently.

Third, along the lines of the above, a good attorney will tell you what they see as strong points in your case and weak points that you might have to deal with.  Also, in this regard, the whole expanse of your case may not be clear at first and in fact in all cases facts and evidence arise that can change the course of what was originally thought.

The fourth thought is price.  High price, low price, payment plan are not necessarily good things to judge a lawyer by.  Some attorneys might undercut the price to get you to sign up.  An attorney's fee is based upon the time they spend working on your case.  Do you really want the McDonald's Dollar Menu for your attorney just because it is cheap?  Likewise, very expensive attorneys do not necessarily mean the best attorneys.  Some people over value their worth and their ability.  There are a lot of cocky lawyers, but do you want an attorney who might mess up your case because they over value themselves? Likewise, there are people who like to try and impress others by how much they had to spend on their lawyer and try to give the impression that they had the best attorney because they were pricey.  Don't get caught up in image and snobbery.  Anyone who matters can see right through it.  If someone is impressed by another's bragging, they are equally trying to impress you too.  Attorneys in general are not cheap because they have spent many years educating themselves, but dollar amounts should not be your primary reason for choosing an attorney.

How to Make the Client Lawyer Relationship Successful

Like the question about choosing the best attorney in Boise, I also have learned a lot about making the client/attorney relationship a successful one.

First, listen to your attorney.  Your attorney has spent years mastering the law.  The law is not necessarily based on fairness or common sense.  Your attorney knows the judges and the other lawyers and how best to work out the situation for you.

Second, ask questions but do realize that having your attorney on speed dial will cost money.  It is important to know what is going on in your case but your attorney is busy helping others just like you.  That is not to say do not call them, but make sure that you are not using your attorney as an ear just to gripe.

Third, realize your attorney knows what is going on.  Often a case will go very fast and then slow way down so it seems like nothing is happening.  This is the way the legal system works.  Tickle your attorney now and then if you think you have been overlooked and even let them know that, but also realize the nature of the law is hurry up and slow down.

Fourth, stay apprised of your bill so there is no sticker shock in the end.  You will need to put down a retainer at the begging of your case but that may not be the end of what you will have to pay.  If you have a payment plan make sure you look at your statements to see how much you are out of pocket and if you have a billing question don't be afraid to ask about it.  Mistakes happen but it is better to clear it up before it is far down the road.  Some people never check their statements and in the end they might say that they don't want to pay that much or they are unhappy.  In general, the unhappiness stems from the cost, not the result.

And finally let your attorney know if you are confused, want something different or need help.  Your attorney is a trained professional who can provide you valuable information or direct you to a person who can help you.  Take advantage of their training and take what they have to offer you.

If you need to find a Boise Divorce Attorney, Criminal Lawyer, DUI Lawyer, Bankruptcy Attorney, Business Attorney or Personal Injury Lawyer, give us a call for your free consultation and see what we can do for you. 208-472-2383.  Call today.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Divorce and Tax Season - Boise Divorce Attorneys - 208-472-2383

Do Divorce and Taxes Belong in the Same Sentence?
Now that tax season has passed, everyone is expressing a sigh of relief.  But for divorce attorneys and bankruptcy lawyers and the like the thought of taxes still sits firmly in their heads. Perhaps you aren't accustomed to hearing divorce and tax season in the same sentence, or bankruptcy lawyer and taxes in the same paragraph.  As a Boise Attorney I actually hear those phrases togther a lot.

Taxes, Divorce and Bankruptcy; Where to Find Them
As a Boise Divorce Attorney taxes are frequent topic of conversation in my office.  Part of a property settlement can and will revolve around taxes and the IRS.  Who, for example, will receive the tax return for the year proceeding the divorce?  Who will be able to claim the children as tax deductions?  Who will be responsible for back taxes? As a Boise Bankruptcy Lawyer taxes are discussed primarily in terms of back taxes and non-dischargeable debt.

So who gets the tax deduction after divorce?  Who get's the tax return?  Who has to pay back taxes? Generally speaking, these are negotiable.  Tax exemptions aren't necessarily tied to primary custody.  You may have a situation where the parties share the deduction.  They either alternate years or each takes the exemption for half of the children.  The tax return may be split or may be used as a property settlement equalization.  Likewise, the parties may split the back taxes or they may used to offset a debt or property allocation.

What Happens to Taxes in Bankruptcy?
Sadly, taxes in bankruptcy aren't negotiable!  Back taxes must be paid.  Taxes are a non dischargeable item in bankruptcy.  What that means is that while some debts can be gotten rid of completely when you file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, taxes are not one of them.  Taxes are often a major albatross around the debtor's neck.

If you need to file for divorce or bankruptcy, we are here to help you will questions like these.  Give us a call, 208-472-2383, and see what we can do for you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Boise Divorce Attorney - Family Law Lawyers in Idaho

Decisions Decisions - Who Decides; Judge, Divorce Attorney or Parties?

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I am often involved in divorce cases where the parties simply cannot come to an agreement regarding the split of their property or as to the custody of their children.  Why would a family law lawyer expect there to be an agreement and what do you do when there isn't?

Agreement by the Parties With the Help of Their Attorneys or Mediators or Why Family Law Lawyers Would Expect Agreement

Agreement is a very important tool to the smooth resolution to a divorce and custody case.  Basically, when the parties agree they get what they want.  When people get what they want, they are happy.  It is basic psychology.  When the parties agree, they are able to communicate to their divorce attorneys the terms of the divorce and custody which they are happy with.  The attorneys then present the matter for judicial approval and order.

If the parties are having difficulty agreeing.  A  a judge will simply order mediation or the divorce attorney or the judge might suggest for the parties to smooth things out with the help of their divorce attorneys.  In the first scenario, the parties present their respective sides to a mediator who helps them work through their issues, negotiate and compromise to come to a mutually acceptable agreement.  In the second case, the judge may suggest that the parties step out in the hall before the case goes to trial and work things out or the attorneys will suggest a settlement conference. Either way, the parties decide.

What Happens When the Parties, by Their Own Consent or With the Help of Their Divorce Attorneys or Mediators, Can't Agree?

When the parties to an action don't agree, the judge does.  What this means is you may not be very happy with the outcome.  Your family law lawyer will present to the judge the reasons, for example, that you should keep the house, have primary physical custody and the like, but if the judge, after seeing the other side's argument, doesn't agree with you, the judge will decide who gets the house or who gets custody or what that custody order will look like.

Now, it is possible that you have a very strong case and you are able to get exactly what you want, at least on some issues.  However, by way of example, if you both want the house the judge will often act according to the Wisdom of Solomon; split the baby in half.  Not literally, of course, but the judge may very well order that the house be sold and the proceeds or the debt be split equally.  Who wants a debt without anything to show for the effort?

So now you can see the importance of agreement in a divorce and custody case.  If you are seeking a divorce or custody and are looking for a Boise Divorce Attorney or Idaho Family Law Lawyer, give us a call, 208-472-2383 and see what we can do for you.  You can also visit us at our Divorce website or our main Boise Divorce Attorney website by clicking on the highlighted links.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Divorce and Child Support Issues in Idaho - Boise Divorce Lawyers - 208-472-2383

Child Support in Idaho

Child Support is a hot button topic in Idaho.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney I deal daily with child support; everything from calculating, offsetting, modifying to equalizing.  People are often confused about the function of child support.  I often hear from people that they are tired of paying the ex-spouse all their money or that they hardly have any time with their child so they don't think they need to pay so much support.  This is a misconception of the value and the function of child support.

Even worse than the above two examples is when someone tries to get more time with their child, not because they truly desire to maintain contact with them but so that they can equalize the support and perhaps not have to pay anything.

Child Support Pursuant to Divorce

Child Support is calculated during a divorce, often as a part of temporary orders, based upon the income of the respective parents.  If one or both parents is unemployed the court will not figure them at zero income. The court will impute an amount.  This is generally based upon one's historic income or, if there is no history of income, on minimum wage.

Child Support can be modified  if there is a substantial and material change of circumstance which would warrant a change.  Simply quitting your job or taking a lower paying job, however, will not qualify.

Modifying the Divorce Decree

I often get calls from people seeking to reduce their child support payments.  They often want to modify their divorce decree to give them more time with the child.  Their thinking is that the equalization of time would mean they won't have to pay anything.  The courts do not look kindly on this attitude.  The court can and will modify the original decree when it is shown that there is a warranted change in circumstances.  The court will even equalize or change child support but only for good reason.

Child Support is not a punishment.  It is meant to provide your share of support for your child.  The thing that people fail to understand is that usually the custodial parent spends much much more money on the child than what child support covers.  If you seek to equalize support by increasing your visitation, you will soon find out that you spend more on your child when the child is with you.  My best advice as an experienced divorce lawyer is spend your time and effort making the time you have with your child the best possible experience for them.  If you have a substantial change, go ahead and modify your divorce decree, but never seek the court's assistance out of spite or hard feelings toward your child's other parent.

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