Friday, August 4, 2017

The Anatomy of a Divorce Trial


The Great Unknown

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

The Typical Divorce

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

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

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

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

The Divorce Trial or Trying the Issues

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

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

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

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


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Divorce and Temporary Orders

Aren't All Divorces the Same?


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

Divorce and Temporary Orders


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

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

But Who Wants a Judge to Decide?


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

Should You Avoid Temporary Orders?


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

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

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Boise Divorce Attorney Discusses Discovery, Tax Returns and Comingling

Community Property, Taxes and Hiding Assets in Idaho

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

How to Find the Goods

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

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

Hidden Assets

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

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

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