Saturday, December 31, 2011

Boise Bankruptcy Lawyers (208) 472-2383 - Chapter 13 Banrkuptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Our Boise Bankrutcy Lawyers regularly field calls about individual Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  This is probably the area of bankruptcy most recognized by the general public.  However, you have undoubtedly seen the title Chapter 13 as a type of debt relief action.

So what is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?  As always, the "Chapter" referred to in Bankruptcy Law has to do with the location of the Code Section in the Federal Bankruptcy Law.  Chapter 13 is a form of individual bankruptcy (not for businesses or legal entities such as corporations).  Whereas Chapter 7 allows an individual to discharge their debt, Chapter 13 essentially allows an individual to create a new payment plan.  If, for example, you have a secured loan on a boat or your home and you are behind on these payments, instead of loosing the property and discharging the debt Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to cure any default, reamortize and set up a new payment plan.

Why would an individual choose Chapter 13 Bankruptcy over Chapter 7?  To qualify for Chapter 7 you must meet an income test.  If you have income that exceeds the income threshold (basically you have money left over and that can be imputed to you after considering your income exemptions and after paying your monthly bills) you will not qualify for Chapter 7.  Chapter 13 lets individuals struggling with debt, despite having adequate income, to get back on their feet by creating a payment plan that works for them.

If you are considering Bankruptcy and need a Boise Bankruptcy Attorney who can help you get out of debt quick, give us a call (208) 472-2383, and see what we can do for you.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Possession of Marijuana - Boise Criminal Lawyers (208) 472-2382

Are There Exemptions to the Crime of Possession of Marijuana In Idaho?

In 2007 a Boise man, Cary White, was arrested for possession of marijuana. With the aid of a public defender as his criminal attorney, he plead not guilty, took his case to trial, lost and subsequently appealed his case.  He recently lost his appeal but vows to take his case to the Idaho Supreme Court.

Upon what grounds did he contest the illegality his marijuana possession?  It wasn't upon the recently popularized medical marijuana grounds, rather it was upon the grounds of free exercise of religion. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Free Exercise of Religion Act (FERPA), Idaho Code section 72-401, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (the federal counterpart to the Idaho FERPA) protect individual rights to practice religion without unreasonable or justifiable interference.

How would a Boise Criminal Lawyer go about showing that practice of religion was unreasonable or unjustifiably impeded?  The Idaho Court has held that it is the burden of the defendant to show that Idaho's controlled substance statute substantially burdens his or her exercise of religion.  The defendant must show, firstly, that it is an actual "exercise of religion" that is being burdened.  Secondly, the criminal defendant must show the burden is a "substantial burden".

In the case of Cary White, he did not claim to be a member of any recognized religious community.  There are recognized religious organizations whose use of marijuana or other ordinarily illicit drugs are recognized as "sacramental" use and therefore protected.  For example, the use of marijuana or peyote as a sacramental drug by members of the Rastafarian Movement, members of the Church of Cognitive Therapy or members of Native American Medicine is considered a free exercise of religion.  White's criminal defense attorney didn't claim he was a member of any organized religion, rather he supported exercise of his freedoms including choosing not to belong to a religious organization.  In effect, White's criminal lawyer failed to meet the first requirement of the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act and in failing to do so, he failed to meet his prima facia case.  As a result, his argument was not considered beyond that.

Could White have made an argument that would exempt his marijuana from being illegal?  Yes, but for his argument to have been fully considered he would have actually been a member or a recognized religious community which uses marijuana as a religious sacrament.  In addition, he would have to show that criminalizing his use of that marijuana would substantially burden his practice of religion.  Without that, there is no violation of his civil rights, at least according to the law as it now stands.

Framing the issue for an Idaho Court is critical to the success of your case.  This is what it means to be an aggressive Boise Criminal Lawyer.  Cary White's criminal defense attorney failed to frame the issue in a way that would benefit White and afford him the protections he needed to be found not guilty of possession of marijuana.  If you have been arrested for possession of marijuana and need an aggressive Boise Criminal Attorney who can defend your rights, give us a call and see what we can do for you. Call today, (208) 472-2383, you will be glad you did.

Marriage of Limited Duration

I have long advocated marriages of limited duration with an option to renew. This seemed farfetched to most people but Mexico is actually considering it. A recent article from Reuters by Alex Leff says, “Mexico City lawmakers want to help newlyweds avoid the hassle of divorce by giving them an easy exit strategy: temporary marriage licenses. The proposed a reform to the civil code would allow couples to decide on the length of their commitment, opting out of a lifetime. The minimum marriage contract would be for two years and could be renewed if the couple stays happy. The contracts would include provisions on how children and property would be handled if the couple splits."You wouldn't have to go through the tortuous process of divorce. The church criticized the proposed change. This reform is absurd. It contradicts the nature of marriage," said Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Mexican archdiocese.”

This would not put Divorce Mediators out of business. Many of us also do Marital Mediation which in the case of a marriage of limited duration could be used to help the marriage or problem solve the renewal of the marriage.

Under this law we would not only have quickie Mexican divorces but quicke Mexican marriages.

In contrast to this Malta held a divorce referendum in May to consult the electorate on the introduction of divorce which resulted in a majority of the voters approving legalization of divorce. This will be the subject of a future blog.

I don’t think this is a bad idea. The person you marry is not always the same person you divorce. People and circumstances change and this would avoid the agonies of divorce. It may also actually make the people work harder on the marriage because otherwise there will not be a marriage.

As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(241) 12/26/11

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Recession fears fuel rise in 'HP Divorces'

The media, it seems, is constantly full of the threat of a new recession.

As all of us have witnessed that economic downturn has consequences not just on the financial markets but in families too.

Family law solicitors at Pannone have reported a growing trend in the structure of divorce settlements influenced not only by the effects of the 2008 slump but by fears that Britain is about to plunge into the second half of the dreaded 'double dip' recession.

Partner Ed Kitchen has written a fascinating article on the topic for the Huffington Post

The issues Ed discusses make it all the more important for you to obtain divorce advice before agreeing the terms of a financial divorce settlement.

For more advice on divorce read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Clamp down on new dads?

The government is considering a number of proposals designed to force new dads to sign their children’s birth certificates, it was reported in The Telegraph today.  Surprisingly, around 50,000 babies born each year in the UK do not have their fathers named on their birth certificate.

Currently, only mothers are required to be registered, despite the 2009 Welfare Reform Act which states that mums must provide the name of the baby’s father, risking a £200 fine and imprisonment for perjury if they fail to do so.  Since the coalition government came to power this requirement has not been enforced, despite David Cameron’s well publicised attack on absentee fathers, whom back in June he likened to ‘drink drivers’.

Forcing fathers to sign birth certificates could help to ensure new dads fulfil their responsibilities to their children, including financiallyAll parents who are registered on their child’s birth certificate automatically have Parental Responsibility.  Along with certain responsibilities, this also affords rights which may otherwise only be acquired by agreement between the parents, or court order.

Signing your child’s birth certificate can therefore be a crucial passport to greater involvement in the arrangements for your child’s care.  If you are at all unsure about your parental rights and responsibilities you should speak to one of our expert Family Law Solicitors today. 

For more advice on issues involving children, or for Divorce Advice, follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Don’t Be Fooled When Eating Cereal or Getting Divorced

While eating breakfast this morning I tried a new cereal. As I am getting older I try to eat low calorie, high fiber low sugar cereal with low fat milk. This has leaded me to compare the different cereals. I use to just look at the number of calories in a portion but then I noticed that each box of cereal defines portion differently. I think to keep the calorie number lower. Sum portions are a cup, 2/3 of a cup, 3/4 of a cup or 1 and 1/4 cups. This is like the candy bars which get smaller and remain the same size or the big box with less contents. The moral of the story is you must read the fine print and do a comprehensive comparison. What does this have to do with mediation and divorce? As my younger daughter says, I can find a blog or tweet about mediation in anything! When coming up with settlement options you have to do a comprehensive comparison. For example, if you are getting stock don’t just look at the current value but look at the basis so you know the capital gains. 100 shares of Coke with a value of $100 and a basis of $100 and 100 shares of Pepsi with a value of $100 and basis of $50 when sold and capital gains taxes paid are not equal. Money from and IRA and money in a saving account are not equal because of taxes and penalties. So be careful!

As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(241) 12/19/11

Friday, December 16, 2011

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

Idaho Child Support Issues

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I often get calls concerning child support. There are many issues surrounding child support. They can revolve around  a divorce or a custody proceeding or any other variety of scenarios. A frequent situation that I am involved in as a family law lawyer is in regard to Medicaid or other state assistance.  Where child support monies go when a person receives State assistance is always an issue or a concern for the person receiving child support or paying it.

When a parent is receiving state funds or insurance through TAFI, or aid to needy families, there are certain rules that apply to child support. If you are receiving aid you are required to assign your right to child support payments to the state. Any monies you are owed pursuant to a divorce, custody or paternity order must be paid to the state in exchange for the support they are providing you in relation to TAFI.

This is an important point because as a Boise Divorce Attorney I often hear disparaging comments from people insinuating that a party is receiving child support from them and Medicaid or food stamps or the like. This simply is not the case.  That would be double dipping and you can bet the State of Idaho will not allow that.

If you have a child support issue and would like to speak to a Boise Family Law Attorney, please give us a call at (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Getting tough on Parental Child Abduction

Today's Daily Telegraph reported a call by the Lord Chief Justice for tougher sentences to be imposed on parents who are convicted of abducting their own children, opening up the possibility that they should be charged with the  serious offence of kidnap which can carry a life sentence.

The Lord Justice described abducting parents as causing 'unspeakable cruelty' and referred to the increase in cases where abducted children are taken abroad, sometimes for very long periods - a reflection no doubt of the 'global village'

Hopefully this will act as a deterrent but in addition to the criminal law, families who find themselves in this heartbreaking situation can also turn to Family Law Solicitors for help.

Specialist Family Law lawyers in the field of child abduction can act very quickly to ask the court for an order for a child to be returned from abroad under the terms of an international treaty.

For more advice on family law follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


It is reported in the Mail and other papers today that an unhappy wife has announced her desire for a divorce from her husband by putting a homemade banner near to the M4 announcing “For Xmas Dan, Jude wants a divorce”.

We frequently see on roundabouts and other prominent positions, birthday greetings and other forms of congratulation but it is more unusual to be so public about your unhappiness.  Having said this, Jude will not be the first person who has sought to shame her partner and make public a desire for a divorce.  There have previously been complete billboards referring to the other spouse’s infidelities.            

The question in the Reading area will no doubt be ‘who is Jude’, ‘who is Dan’ and ‘what exactly has Dan done ?’

Most people do not seek to ‘go public’ about the breakdown of their marriage as for most people it is a very personal situation.  People seek the advice of friends and family who can provide huge moral support and advice.

However, if you are in a situation where you see your relationship as at an end and you want divorce advice, you should contact a family law Solicitor.

For more advice on divorce, follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @divorce_experts.

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Op/Ed Divorce Style Mediation and Political Disputes

My first and maybe not last op/ed.

Divorce-style mediation might have a place in political disputes Walter Marcus Special To The Arizona Daily Star

Listening to the Republicans and Democrats of the supercommittee blaming each other instead of problem-solving sounds eerily is like listening to parties to a divorce.
As a mediator who has successfully mediated hundreds of cases, I believe that legislative disputes can be resolved (or at least improved) by using the tools of facilitative mediation.
Here's how I would approach "the case": With everyone present in one room, each side would designate a spokesperson. After reviewing the mediation process and ground rules (respectful listening, no interruptions, no threats, no ultimatums, confidentiality) the first agreement from both sides would need to be that information from the mediation process would not be used in the future.
The process then begins with each side providing the factual basis for their interest. The process cannot proceed until the parties agree on the underlying facts. The supercommittee never agreed on the underlying facts, which doomed the process.
The process continues with the parties articulating their goals. It is essential that the real interest come out. In the supercommittee case, it would appear that the real interest is for each side to win the next election. If the real interest is winning the next election, each party must be convinced that the resolution won't hurt them at the polls.
With all this on the table, we get to the tough part of the mediation - getting the parties to brainstorm, think outside the box and come up with a win-win solutions. Ironically, a solution endorsed by both sides and an agreement not to use it as a club in the next election could be one path toward a resolution.
Mediation is not a silver bullet, but it can be an effective process and just might work. Often it happens in mediation that the parties learn to communicate better without a mediator and so strengthen relationships, which helps with the inevitable future conflicts. Why not give it a try?

As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(241) 12/12/11

Common Law Marriage in Idaho - (208) 472-2383 - Boise Divorce Attorneys

Common Law Marriage in Idaho

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I work frequently within the world of the Idaho Family Law Statute. Idaho Code Chapter 32 deals with Domestic Relations. It covers everything from marriage, illegal marriage, divorce and the grounds for divorce to the parent child relationship in terms of custody and visitation as well as community property.

The Family Law Statute has changed over time. One specific example of this change has to do with common law marriage. At one point in Idaho history, the state recognized common law marriage. As of January 1, 1996 Idaho no longer does. If you were common law married before that date, meaning you put yourself out as a married couple a court would still consider you married and you can file for divorce in Idaho and have your property and debt which were acquired during marriage be treated as community property.

What does it mean to put yourself out there as being married? A Boise Divorce Lawyer would present evidence to the court that showed you treated your relationship as one of a marriage, not just co-habitation. Examples of evidence an attorney might use to prove this might be filing joint tax returns, being claimed as a spouse on health insurance, purchasing a home together or telling people that you were married. However, having children together and co-habitating do not necessarily reach the level of evidence needed to prove marriage.

Why would your divorce lawyer want to prove that you were married? That family law statute that I mentioned above provides protection for married couples called community property. If you were living together, but were not married and one party worked and the other stayed home and the one that worked used their money to pay for the house and to pay for the car and all the other goodies, if they ever split up the person who paid for everything would get it all. Now that may be fine for the person who worked but the person who stayed home and took care of the house and the kids would get nothing.

Community property recognizes that it is a community effort to build the community and therefore it rewards each individual equally in terms of value.

If there were children to the common law marriage how custody and visitation would be determined for those children would be the same whether it was ultimately decided that a common law marriage did or did not exist. The parties would be ordered to mediation and if they could not agree on a custody arrangement both divorce lawyers would present evidence to show why their client is the party best suited to be the custodial parent or why it would be in the best interest of the child to have primary physical custody with one parent or the other. Ultimately, using requirements outlined in that family law statutes I spoke about above, an Idaho judge would determine what is in the best interest of the child.

Ultimately, if you are married and are going through divorce in Idaho or you are going through divorce in Idaho and have children or simply have children together in Idaho and are splitting up, you too will enter the world of the family law statute.

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

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Nuclear Doom

The Daily Mail has reported findings from a new think tank that show that only 1 in 6 people now consider themselves to be part of a “traditional” family structure. They explain that people living in nuclear families with married parents and siblings are now in the minority.

Whilst these findings have come under heavy criticism from other analysts, statistics do indicate that more and more people are choosing not to marry. The reasons why individuals are less inclined to marry will vary but a fear of divorce is likely to be a common theme.

There is lots of misunderstanding about divorce law and in particular divorce settlements. Family Law Solicitors can offer advice regarding all types of relationships including: marriages, civil partnerships and cohabitation.

For more divorce advice follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts".

Monday, December 05, 2011

Divorce, Marriage, and Mediation License Plates

Surprised I have not done this before but below are the license plates I have found. Send in pictures you have found. As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(238) 12/5/11

Surprised I have not done this before but above are the license plates I have found. Send in pictures you have found. As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(238) 12/5/11

Will Divorce Lead to More Sex in the City?

It has been reported in the media that Candace Bushnell, the author of Sex in the City, is to divorce her husband of nine years. Candace is likely to be one of a growing number of women who are wealthier than their spouse and as a consequence may have to pay money to her husband as part of their divorce. There is likely to be speculation about their financial settlement including whether they have a pre-nuptial agreement. Pre-nuptial agreements may not be considered romantic, but they should be given serious consideration by the financially independent women, who are portrayed in Sex in the City, if they are planning to marry. At least Candace will be able to recoup any financial loses caused by her divorce by writing about her experience.

For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts".

Parenting Styles

Last month I talked about two children who were beaten to death by their parents. Each of the parents had a copy of the book on parenting, advocating the use of corporal punishment, by Michael and Debi Pearl, founders of “No Greater Joy” ministries. As promised, this article will discuss parenting techniques that research indicates contribute to raising healthy, productive children.

For years the literature has discussed 3 main parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive which comes out of the work by Diane Baumrind (1978) and colleagues. Baumrind identified two main dimensions of the parental role: parental acceptance and parental control. It was out of these two dimensions that the parenting styles of authoritarian, authoritative and permissive were identified.

There have been many studies over the years conducted on parenting styles and how this relates to children’s behavior and overall mental health. Again and again research indicates that an authoritative parenting style is the most effective in producing healthier children who exhibit less behavioral problems and have better overall mental health.

Parents with authoritative styles exhibit warmth, are responsive to the needs of their children, provide structure and set appropriate limits. These parents also grant their children age appropriate autonomy. Children raised in homes with authoritative parenting styles exhibit more social competence and have less behavior problems than children whose parents used an authoritarian or permissive style of parenting.

It is not just parenting style however, that predicts children’s adjustment and well-being. Studies now focus on the importance of family relationships and the impact this has on the child’s development and later behavior. Families with poor communication, high levels of conflict and poor affective ties are at an increased risk of having teens with behavior problems.

It’s no wonder some parents use an authoritarian or permissive style of parenting; there is a lot less thinking and work involved. It is much more difficult to parent out of thoughtful behavior than it is to merely react, or in the case of permissive parents, ignore what is going on.

Copyright © 2011 Divorce Communications. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Divorce Communications: Making Divorce Palatable

Divorce Communications is making parenting post-divorce more palatable. Check out our latest YouTube video at and put a little humor in your day.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Spousal Support Reform Coming Under Criticism

Everybody knows that spousal support is basically a monthly sum of money paid to a spouse by the higher earning spouse for a specific period of time. The amount of support is either agreed upon or based on the earning spouse's ability to pay and the needs of the non-earning spouse.

According to the article, due to changing times there are more wives and mothers who work. As a result many states have trimmed back on the amount and duration of spousal support payments. Some states have even developed a formula for the duration of the payments based on the length of the marriage. There are negative consequences to a one size fits all apporach to spousal support.

An article I found online outlines some interesting points regarding spousal support in Virginia.

1. Negative Impact on Stay-at-Home Moms
Each case is different and while guidelines provide much needed consistency, the needs of a parent and children are not the same for all cases. Mothers who have not had college education or careers in order to raise a family are highly affected by this. They may receive spousal support for a certain period of time and be forced to work with little to no experience.

2. Virginia Spousal Support
In Virginia, if spouses do not agree on specific support amounts and time lengths, the courts are empowered to determine the amount and duration of support based on a family’s circumstances. The following factors are considered: the financial needs, resources and assets of the spouses, the standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, the spouses' earning capacity.

The thing to note is that spousal support in California has not fallen to a formula. Spousal support is a multi factor analysis that provides the court with discretion to analyze and hopefully determine based upon the specific needs of the individuals.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

California Courts Open to Out of State Same Sex Divorces ?

According to a recent article out of state residents may be soon able to file for divorce in California. One of the legal obstacles facing same sex partners is the lack of access to courts to dissolve their relationship once the partnership ends.

Apparently in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Rhode Island judges have refused to grant divorces to lesbian or gay couples who went elsewhere to get married or have relocated with the reasoning that granting a divorce would constitute a form of official recognition of their marriage. Most of the couples were not asking a judge to grant them any property or support based upon their marriage, but just wanted to receive an order of dissolution.

The legal origin of these problems stems from what is referred to as the "domicile" rule, which means couples can only get divorced in the state in which they reside at the time of their break-up, regardless of where they lived when they got married. While this makes sense for heterosexual couples because they can receive a divorce in whatever state they live in, it doesn’t make sense for homosexual couples who can’t get divorced if they live in a state that won’t allow it.

California legislature has very recently passed a bill that can help couples who came to California in 2008 to get married, as well as those who marry in California in the future if Prop. 8 is repealed.

According to the article, starting on January 2012. If a couple got married in California but lives in a state that won't grant them a divorce, basically then California court will have jurisdiction to grant a dissolution. The divorce can proceed in the county where they got married.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Grandparents Visitation Rights

Recently, an article concerning the Connecticut Grandparents Visitation Rights Task Force began drafting legislation that will help grandparents gain more rights in Connecticut. The Task Force is comprised of representatives from the Aging, Judiciary and Children’s committees of the state Legislature, representatives from the Department of Children and Families, and included judges and lawyers who work in related fields.

The body of lawmakers and professionals met to hash out legislation to address the issue of grandparents and their rights to visit with grandchildren. The article states that when there is a stable marriage, often the grandparents have their time with their grandchildren. However due to modern strains of divorce and separation, grandparents are often left out after this family law event.

The article states that the members of the task force had difficulty determining whether the third party rights would be specifially attached to grandparents or would it cover relatives such as aunts and uncles or siblings. Currently, it is undecided at this time as to whether or not the task force will draft one piece of proposed legislation that covers all third party visitation or one that specifically addresses grandparents.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Oklahoma Fatherhood Programs

A recent article I read concluded that Oklahoma needs more programs geared towards helping inexperienced fathers make support payments and generally preparing men for what comes with being a father. There are many unknowns one faces when becoming a father for the first time to an unmarried woman, or to being a father in the midst of a divorce.

The article stated that many men don't have the community support to learn to be good fathers (married or unmarried) and the state should have a fatherhood network to help men prepare for the emotional and financial stress of being a father. The article was quoted as stating that policy should be changed so fathers should be at poverty level before child support payments are determined.

Fatherhood does bring a lot of challenges when going through a family law event. However, that does not mean that Father's have no rights during a family law event. Father's under the laws have equal rights to the courts and equal rights to their children.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

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

Criminal Law:  Procedural Law v. Substantive Law
What is the difference and does it matter?

Undoubtedly, you have heard the statement "it was a travesty of justice!"  These are stories of people, who were clearly guilty of a crime, but who got off scot-free.  These stories are not urban myths.  These are true stories which illustrate the impact of criminal procedural and the importance of having a criminal defense attorney who knows criminal procedure.  Everyone charged with committing a crime would love to get off on a technicality and it is because of procedural law that this is even a possibility.

The substantive law tells you what acts constitute a crime and what the punishment for that particular crime is.  For example, you would find driving under the influence or DUI in the Idaho Code.  Here it would tell you that if you have a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater and you operate a motor vehicle or are in actual physical control of a vehicle you will be charged with a DUI and it will go on to tell you what the punishment is for a first time DUI, a second time DUI, a third time DUI, an excessive DUI and so on. 

Procedural law, however, tells you what is a violation of your constitutional rights.  It tells the police when they can pull you over, when they can search you, what evidence they can take, which witnesses can be investigated and the like.  Procedural law includes your Miranda rights; "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you".

When procedural law is violated, you can exclude the evidence obtained by the violation and by excluding it you may, in effect, remove that evidence leaving the prosecuting attorney with no evidence to convict you.  That's what it means to get off on a technicality.

Does it ever happen?  You bet it does.  It happens everyday.  If the police pull you over because you are driving a 1970's Duster and they think that you look like a criminal and they later discover evidence of drugs in your car, that evidence can be excluded on the basis that there was no probable cause to pull you over in the first place.  If the police have pulled you over because they suspect you have been drinking and they search your car without your permission or a warrant and they find counterfeit money in you glove box, that evidence can be excluded on the basis of an illegal search.

There are many scenarios like these.  Whether they are a travesty of justice, however, is a matter of opinion.  What kind of country would it be if someone was convicted of a crime and evidence was secured, but in the process their constitutional rights are violated? 

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

Is the tax man going to be collecting more than just your tax....?

Child maintenance may be deducted directly from a parent’s earnings by the taxman, under proposals which have been announced by the Government. The Work and pensions minister Maria Miller has suggested that the new scheme would make it harder for ‘wayward parents’ to avoid paying for the upkeep of their children.

In addition payments would ordinarily be based on the non-resident parent's gross income from the most recent tax year, which could be obtained directly from HM Revenue and Customs. This would, in the Government’s view, make it harder for a non-resident parent to avoid payment by not disclosing their full income.

The proposals are likely to be music to the ears of those parents who find their former spouse or partner attempting to avoid their financial responsibilities. Although it will not answer the problem of self employed business people who want to avoid payment. Others will also no doubt wonder whether the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission which replaces the CSA can be trusted not to make mistakes?

For more advice on child maintenance or issues surrounding separation and divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @divorce_experts.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Divorce advice: the straw that breaks the camel's back

The Daily Mail has recently reported that some women endure years of infidelity and cruelty before calling time on their marriage over something which seems far less significant in comparison.
It follows news that Anne Sinclair - wife of former International Monetary fund MD Dominique Strauss-Kahn - is allegedly considering divorce proceedings following claims linking him to a call-girl network, despite previously standing by him when he was accused of sexual assault on a New York hotel worker earlier this year.
A similar story emerged about Demi Moore's decision to divorce Ashton Kutcher - not after his infidelities first came to light - but after claims that he spent their sixth wedding anniversary in a hot tub with another woman.
I frequently advise clients on grounds for divorce when there have been problems in the marriage for many years but it is one recent incident - relatively nondescript in comparison - which ultimately leads to the decision to divorce.
For more advice on divorce and financial settlements, follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_Experts

Monday, November 28, 2011

Divorce, Gandhi and Satyagraha

I recently saw the very creative production of the opera, Satyagraha, by Philip Glass and presented live by the Metropolitan Opera on HD in movie theaters. The opera is about Gandhi and his early efforts in South Africa. Satyagraha is a word he coined which roughly translated means force of truth. It was the name of Gandhi’s newspaper. It is derived from Satya - truth; implying openness, honesty, and fairness, Ahimsa - refusal to inflict injury upon others and Tapasya - willingness for self-sacrifice. I have always been fascinated by Gandhi but never thought of his principles and how they relate to mediation. It is obvious that the core principles of Satyagraha and mediation are the same. It is what I strive for in my mediations. I am now inspired to read more. There is a encore performance of the Opera on December 7, 2011 and you should consider seeing it. As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(237) 11/28/11

Friday, November 25, 2011

Botham's son on a sticky wicket?

It is story the stuff of which headline writers dream.

Liam Botham, son of a cricket legend, is going through the divorce process. A dog belonging to his new girlfriend, whose company runs 'adult parties', disappears while at the property occupied by his estranged wife and their 3 children.

Mr Botham must seek advice from his divorce solicitor and take care before making any accusations, particulary as there are children involved who would no doubt be upset to read any hostile comments made by him about their mother.

His divorce lawyer may suggest changing arrangments for the children who the story report he currently sees at the property, which is owned by his father Sir Ian Botham.

If a financial divorce settlement has not been reached and Mrs Botham is found to have taken the dog it may impact on her credibility if the case goes to court.

For more advice on divorce law follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hands off my assets

Today's Daily Mail reports the extreme steps taken by Karen Flook to prevent her ex getting a share of her lottery win as part of a divorce settlement.

Karen and her husband had separated but not started the divorce process when she discovered her £130,000 win. She heard the myths of divorce and sadly instead of taking expert divorce advice about financial divorce settlements she decided spend the lot.....and more!

The story tells of 2 Mercedes, 5 star holiday, Cartier watch...and 5 breast enhancements (to name but a few) which put the money literally out of her ex's reach when they did divorce. She, however, has been left owing around £60,000.

A specialist divorce solicitor would have been able to advise Karen on divorce law and the less extreme steps which she could take to protect her assets.

For more advice on divorce law follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The dangers of living and working together

It is reported from Scotland that the former partner of businessman Alan Savage is seeking damages from him because she gave up her job to come and live with him.  Since the relationship ended the lady in question has entered into a civil marriage in the USA, but has been unable to secure similar employment. 
The case is taking place in Scotland and the couple were not married.  The law on cohabitation in Scotland is also different to English law.   Nevertheless it highlights the issue of whether, on divorce or the end of cohabitation, one "spouse" can seek compensation from the other in respect of earnings for career prospects that have been damaged or put on hold directly because of the relationship.  In many cases, this will be because one partner, often (but not always) the wife, will have given up work to look after the children.
When considering financial settlements on a divorce, the concept of maintenance can often take this idea of compensation into consideration.  However, if a couple is not married, there is no legal requirement for maintenance and one party to the relationship can be seriously disadvantaged.  Despite calls from family lawyers to modernise the law in this area, the Government still has no plans to introduce legislation protecting unmarried couples when their relationship breaks down.
One possible form of protection that couples should consider is a cohabitation agreement which both can sign, regulating their affairs whilst together and if they separate.   For more advice on these and other related family law issues follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Demi and Ashton - the end of something sacred?

News has filtered through that Hollywood stars Demi Moore and Ashton Kuchar are to divorce, so ending their 6 year marriage.  The split is announced amid rumours of Mr Kuchar's infidelity and comments attributed to Moore about sacred vows and values.  Whilst it is unlikely that either will be financially prejudiced as a result of the split, Moore's reported comments will resonate with many separating couples.
In England, unless a couple has been separated for a period of at least 2 years, divorce proceedings can only be started if one spouse "blames" the other, either for their adultery or unreasonable behaviour.  Despite attempts to introduce a culture of "no-fault" divorce, the law remains as it has done since 1973.  Many divorce lawyers think this a shame as it often adds unnecessary levels of tension and emotion to a situation that is quite difficult enough for the families going through it.
Another consequence of the "fault" based divorce process is that it can extend the myth that the reasons for the breakdown of the marriage will in some way be recognised in any arguments over divorce settlements or how much time the children will spend with each parent.  The reality is that only in very, very extreme circumstances will behaviour be a factor in determining these issues.  The philosophy is, effectively, that there are two sides to very story and, simply, a court does not have the resources to investigate allegations.  Still less is there a "tariff" system for penalising either spouse. 
Decisions over divsion of financial assets and children remains the subject of fairness and what is in the best interests of the children.  Where possible, couples should try to work together on these issues as it will save them time and money as well as providing a more stable platform for their children.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rashomon and Divorce Mediation

One of my favorite movies is Rashomon. It is an Akira Kurosawa in which a crime witnessed by four individuals is described in four mutually contradictory ways. The film is based on two short stories by RyĆ«nosuke Akutagawa. The word Rashomon is now commonly used to describe the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it. I just heard it used today on NPR and I made my daughters watch the movie so they would understand the word. It is seen often in popular culture and has been used on All in the Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Happy Days, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and many other TV shows. I once tried a case where a women was hit by a car as she was walking in a cross walk. There were three witnesses and each saw a different color traffic light. I am surprised I have not blogged about the Rashomon Effect before because it happens all the time in marriage and divorce. There is not much a mediator can do about the Rashomon Effect but recognize the effect and to have the parties agree to disagree. Neither party will ever convince the other party. They must Accept and move on.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(236) 11/17/11

My Space or Yours?

A judge in Connecticut has ordered a husband and wife to swap passwords for their Facebook, My Space and online dating sites as part of their divorce proceedings.  The couple’s divorce solicitors can then hunt for online evidence of cheating and, if anything is found, it may be ammunition for a more favourable divorce settlement.

With more and more of us using social media to post photos online and get in touch with old friends, colleagues and classmates it’s no surprise that spouses are increasingly finding evidence of their other half’s indiscretions online.  If you live in England, rather than America, what impact will this evidence have on the divorce advice you receive?  Is it grounds for divorce?

In England the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.  This is proven by relying on one of five facts, including your spouse’s adultery.  If your spouse refuses to admit to adultery the only options are to change your divorce petition or to prove the adultery, which is easier said than done.  A family law solicitor can advise you fully on your options and help guide you through the divorce process.

For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @divorce_experts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Boise Divorce Attorney (208) 472-2383 Family Law Lawyers, Domestic Relation

For an experienced Idaho Divorce attorney, located in Boise call (208) 472-2383, divorce, criminal law, DUI, bankruptcy, personal injury, probate, estate planning and business law.

Can you be your own lawyer?  This is a common question people ask me everyday.  The answer depends upon many factors, many having nothing to do with intelligence!  Seriously, though, can you be your own lawyer?  Many people represent themselves in Idaho courts everyday.  This, however, doesn't mean they are successful.  While it is true that no one knows your case better than you do, it is also true that you might not no or understand rules of evidence.  You may not know how or where to file court documents or in a timely manner.  You may end up making matters worse for yourself.

I am a Divorce Attorney, a criminal lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer and so on.  It is what I do day in and day out.  Am I a plumber?  No I am not.  While I can read books on plumbing and even try my hand at it, I often have to redo the project several times and I often make matters worse.  Likewise, I am not an electrician, but I can read books on how to wire my house.  The problem is, I don't really understand electricity and how to wire and because I don't I will end up getting shocked.

If you need to get a divorce or file for bankruptcy or have a criminal matter pending against you - don't get shocked. It really makes sense to get an attorney who is experienced and knows the rules of evidence, knows the deadlines and knows the law.  It will cost you some money but in the long run you may end up saving money by having it done right the first time.

If you would like to speak to an attorney, please call (208) 472-2383.  You will be glad you did.

Friday, November 11, 2011

No 50:50 Split for fathers

A recent government report has rejected the suggestion that after a divorce children should divide their time equally between their parents.
Where children are involved a crucial element of any Divorce advice will relate to their welfare and how their best interests should be protected in any divorce settlement.
The law puts the childrens' best interests first and looks at each case on its unique facts - no one solution, such as dividing the childrens' time equally between the parents , will suit all families. The current law provides a checklist to help the courts make what can sometimes be extremely difficult decisions about a child's future if the parents cannot agree.
Family Law Solicitors  can provide advice and support relating to child issues  both in helping to reach an agreement or if this is not possible in dealing with the court process in this important area of family law. 
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Divorce Mediation and Good Behavior

After a mediation, I often see the couple speaking in the parking lot of my office. This happens so often that I now offer them the opportunity to talk in one of our conference rooms which is at least cooler. They often look different in the parking lot. More angry and agitated. I also recall that many years ago, I was doing mediation and for about 20 minutes, the couple spoke to each other and I said nothing. I suggested that they did not need me and they said something which helps explain the parking lot conversations in reverse and another use of a mediator. What the couple said was they needed me because they were on good behavior when I was there. I have thought I could make money and couples could save money if I could sell them a blow up doll version of me. I think the dynamics of this is that people behavior is better with strangers. Once you cease to be a stranger which happens after a while in mediation this is no longer the case. What is happening in the parking lot is that I am not there and they don’t have to be on good behavior and can say things unrestrained. That is why I have always felt there is a window of opportunity to resolve a case. Couples need to take advantage of this opportunity.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(235) 11/10/11

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Recent divorce settlement - beyond reasonable?

There has recently been much press coverage in respect of the financial settlement awarded to Mrs Grubb by the Court of Appeal following her divorce from Mr Grubb.
The Telegraph Newspaper questioned whether the £4.4 million divorce settlement was beyond Mrs Grubb's reasonable needs and provided detail of the 9 bedroom country home which she would retain as well as a lump sum payment and child maintenance provision.
Although I have not yet been privy to the full details of this case, it is apparent that this was a lengthy marriage - some 26 years and involved considerable wealth in the region of £12 million.
In England the Court has a wide discretion and the family law judges have a list of factors that they must take into account and apply to each case before them.  Those factors, amongst others, include the income and financial resources available to the parties now or in the foreseeable future, the standard of living enjoyed by the family during the marriage and the length of marriage.
Therefore in many circumstances, what may appear as a settlement beyond most people's wildest dreams it will of course be relative to a couple's own personal circumstances.
The so called big money cases will invariably get much press attention but they will often have little impact, if any, on the average divorcing couple.  Each case needs to be considered on its own facts and therefore expert divorce advice from a specialist family law solicitor.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @ Divorce_experts.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Effect of Divorce on Bankruptcy in Idaho - Boise Divorce Attorneys - Idaho Bankruptcy Lawyers

What effect does Bankruptcy have on divorce?  As both a Boise Divorce Attorney and an Idaho Bankruptcy Lawyer, I hear this question frequently.  Although there is a fairly simple answer, it is actually a two part question.  First, what happens if you are seeking divorce and have filed or want to file for divorce? 

If you have been in serious financial straights during your marriage filing for bankruptcy might be a sensible solution.  During a marriage your debts are generally community debts with an obligation of the community to pay them.  For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if you wait to finalize your divorce (as far as debts are concerned) and file for bankruptcy together, you may be able to discharge a large portion of your debt, thereby making the debt division simpler and less financially straining.  You can also wait until after the divorce to file for bankruptcy but then you will incur a double bankruptcy fee as well as one party or the other may not meet the means test and therefore not be allowed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (the means test takes into account your family size to determine income limits for Chapter 7).

The second question is what happens if neither party files for bankruptcy until after the divorce?  Once you are divorced the community debt that has been assigned to you becomes your separate debt and each individual is obligated to pay that debt and is solely responsible for it.  So, if your ex-spouse files for bankruptcy you don't have to worry about a dischargeable debt becoming your responsibility.  Where bankruptcy after divorce has important issues is for spousal support, or alimony and child support.  Ordinarily a debt is given priority in bankruptcy if it is recorded and once recorded it's priority is based upon "first in time, first in right".  The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of  2005, however, gives priority for unpaid spousal support and child support over all other creditors, even tax debt.  This prevents using bankruptcy from a way of getting out of paying alimony or child support. 

If you have divorce or bankruptcy issues and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney or an Idaho Bankruptcy Lawyer, please give us a call at 208-472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Friday, November 04, 2011

Is Hugh Finding Out How Expensive Children Can Be?

It has been reported in the media that Hugh Grant's former girlfriend, Tinglan Hong, has recently given birth to their daughter. Given that they were not married, Ms. Hong has limited financial claims against Hugh. She is not entitled to the equivalent of a divorce settlement for herself. The only claims that she can make are on behalf of their daughter. However, not only will Hugh be obliged to pay generous child maintenance for his daughter, Ms Hong could apply to court and request that Hugh provide a house and a car and meet other expenses until their daughter is an adult. Hugh may well have taken legal advice, as it has recently been reported that Ms Hong is now living in a £1.2million house owned by Hugh's cousin and has recently acquired a £40,000 Mercedes. Although Hugh is no doubt delighted to have become a father, he may now be finding out just how expensive having children can be. Read more divorce advice on our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts.