Saturday, July 30, 2011

Divorce and the Innocent Spouse

I have always loved the term “innocent spouse.” Its usual context in a divorce case is tax delinquency. Married tax payers who file a joint return with their spouse are generally liable for the taxes of their spouse. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The following are the general requirements:

You must have filed a joint return which has an understatement of tax;

The understatement of tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse;

You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understatement of tax;
Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax; and

The IRS has recently made changes to the requirement that you must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you. See AP story in July 26, 2011 AZ Star
When mediating we generally have language that spells out the parties tax liabilities but the IRS does not recognize this and will go after both parties. Hold harmless and indemnification agreement helps but still requires action to collect. Having “innocent spouse” status helps a lot.
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(225) 7/27/11

Friday, July 29, 2011

Why your friends and family are sometimes the worst support during your divorce

Although your friends and family are an important part of your life, you may find that they’re ill-equipped to support you through your loss. I found that even though my friends and family were well meaning, they often said or did things that were inappropriate.
Whenever we hung out together, my friends would try to distract me from the pain I was feeling, invalidating my emotions and my right to feel lousy. I’d leave feeling superficially better but also feeling as if I’d moved 2 steps backwards. I soon realized that I’d have to get divorce support elsewhere.
Before you chuck up this well-meaning lot, remember that although they’re trying hard, they’re just not equipped or trained to help you. Society has conditioned them to deal with loss in a particular way. It’s not their fault. They love you very much and they hate to see you suffering. They’ll try to take the pain away and will do whatever they can in the moment to achieve this.
Here are some points to bear in mind about some of your friends and family (you’ll probably recognize some of these points):

They are afraid of our feelings

It’s not popular in today’s society to express negative emotions in public. This represents being ‘out of control’ and can be interpreted as a sign of weakness. Friends and family may feel uncomfortable when we express strong emotions. Expect comments like:
  • “You can’t fall apart.”
  • “Be strong for the children.”
  • “Keep a stiff upper lip.”
These are attempts to take the pain away, moving you ‘out of’ your emotions and intellectualizing your experience. You’re left with a sense that it’s not safe to display your emotions. This is unhelpful and damaging to your overall healing. Remember that in our society we’re taught that emotions are unpredictable, feared and need to be controlled.

They offer intellectual theories and want us to stay positive

Common intellectualizations include:
  • “Thank goodness this happened before you had children.”
  • “God will never give you more than you can handle.”
  • “You’ll find someone else.”
  • “There’s someone special out there for you.”
  • “It’s better to have loved and lost than not loved at all.”
  • “Be grateful you were married and knew love once.”
  • “Now you are free to relive your teenage dreams of being single.”
These are awful platitudes designed to make you feel better. But they don’t! Intellectualizing the situation will not encourage your healing.
They have no idea what to say, so they change the subject or pretend to not hear.
When I was young I attended my best friend’s mum’s funeral. I felt so awkward. I was standing next to my friend, both of us in black and her face was a picture of despair and grief. We’d been playing dolls a week earlier and now I had no idea what to say. I stared at my shoes. I couldn’t wait to get out of the church and away from the coffin and her pain. I looked at her and cracked a joke, trying to lighten the atmosphere. She didn’t look up. She simply turned and walked away.
You’ve probably experienced this with one or 2 of your friends. When you talk about your divorce, they change the subject or, pretend not to hear you, or crack a joke. They do this because they love you, they want to make things better for you, but they have no idea what to do.
Understand their ineptitude!

They don’t want to talk about divorce

After a while you’ll realize that some of your friends and family simply don’t want to talk about your divorce and will encourage you to do things to ‘get over it’ so that hanging out with you is fun again.
The bottom line is: You need to talk. You need to be heard. You do not need fixing. There is nothing wrong with you or the fact that you’re emotional or struggling.


They are afraid of ‘catching’ this disease called divorce


I remember coming home after a night out with a girlfriend, feeling awful and deflated, like an insect that had been squashed and scraped across a pavement.

I had just recounted my divorce story (OK, it was the second time) but halfway through, she looked out the window, absorbed in her own world. I was shocked. Had I said something wrong? Was I boring her? Was she disinterested?
She then changed the subject.

While I sat listening to her rattling on about her cat, the conversation in my head went something like this:

  • It’s OK for everyone that I feel the pain, but I cannot appear to be floundering
  • I am expected to discuss the divorce with my friends only once (don’t overdo it as no one wants to hang around with a basket case).
  • I mustn’t mope around because it’s not ‘healthy’. It also makes people feel awkward.
  • But while falling apart I can’t seem ‘too happy’ either. That would brand me as ‘insensitive’ or ‘immature’.

I realized that I was alone in my divorce. I had ‘caught the disease’ called divorce and this made me persona non grata.
When I mentioned my ex husband’s indiscretions, I knew she was wondering about her own husband. I could see that all she wanted to do was go home to check that they were OK. (Months later she admitted this was the case.) I excused myself and gave her the opportunity to do that.

Friends are fantastic, but all have their own lives and issues. I was the only one that could help me.
I know my friend felt awkward. She wanted to help but didn’t know what to say. I remember the same feelings of inadequacy at my friend’s mother’s funeral.
Here are some common phrases that my clients have told themselves in the past or have heard others say:

Give your family and friends a ‘Weirdness Pass’

Give the people in your life a Weirdness Pass. This is a ticket allowing them to say weird or inappropriate things while you’re dealing with your divorce.
They don’t know any better and no one trained them how to deal with the situation.
NOTE: Remember not to take on board anything that they say. Remain aware of what they are saying, and of the myths and possible generalizations in their comments, to guard against becoming enrolled in their intellectualizations.

Till next time

Lots of hugs!

Boise Criminal & Divorce Lawyers - Idaho Family Law Attorneys - Criminal Defense Lawyers

Boise Criminal Lawyers and Boise Divorce Attorneys, call (208) 472-2383.  Idaho Family Law and Criminal Defense - call now for your free consultation.

The old adage, "think before you speak" has never been so apropos especially for Boise Criminal Lawyers and Boise Divorce Attorneys dealing with evidence in divorce and criminal law cases.  With social media "out there" for everyone to post everything about themselves and their lives, if you are involved in a divorce or custody case or in a criminal law matter, you really really need to think before you speak.  Judges in Idaho routinely accept facebook or twitter evidence as a statement by a party opponent.  What you say on your facebook can and will come back to bite you.

If you are involved in a divorce, custody or criminal law matter you might take my advice and keep your posts tame.  The real problem comes in when you make the posts before you get involved in family law issues or criminal defense matters.  It might seem odd that a recreational tool like facebook or twitter can result in the use of evidence against you.  The policy behind it is that you were the one that made it public and you clearly are the one who said it.  If you are prone to exaggeration or hyperbole on your social media outlets, you might want to consider the consequences.

If you have family law issues or need a good criminal defense attorney, give us a call.  Our lawyers are here to help you and we always offer a free consultation.  Give us a call today, you will be glad you did.

Personal injury damages and divorce settlements

A 41-year old accident victim has lost his appeal against an earlier court decision awarding his ex-wife a large proportion of personal injury damages he received before the couple met.  It is reported that Kevin Mansfield was ordered to pay his ex-wife £285,000 from compensation of £500,000 to enable her to purchase a house suitable for her and the couple’s two children.  It is understood that Mrs Mansfield must, however, pay back £95,000 when and if she remarries or when their youngest child reaches a certain age (some 14 years hence).
When deciding a divorce settlement, the court will look at all the available financial resources, including the parties’ income, savings, property assets and pensions.  Personal injury damages are not given special treatment and the funds will be as relevant as the equity in a property or the balance of a bank account.
This does not mean that compensation monies will be always distributed equally.  The court will look at the specific circumstances of each case and try to balance the needs of both parties, with a particular focus on the needs of any children, as appears to have happened in Mr Mansfield’s case.
Mr Mansfield’s situation is an extreme one but the case does not change the law so much as clarify the divorce advice family law solicitors have been giving their clients for many years.  The case highlights the need to take family law advice when going through a divorce, contemplating marriage, or considering entering into a pre-nuptial agreement, especially if personal injury damages have been paid out or are awaited.

Should divorce be a blame game?

It is reported that there has been a 12% increase in divorces in New York since their Divorce Law was changed in October to allow no fault divorce. Some may suggest this means getting a divorce is too easy.
In England the grounds for divorce require fault unless you are prepared to wait 2 years for your divorce. Waiting that long can prevent people from moving on with their lives and also means the financial divorce settlement  cannot be finalised. This can put people at risk.
The need, however, for someone to be blamed to get a divorce is often incredibly unhelpful particularly when children are involved. Inevitably it can increase hostility at a time when divorce solicitors are trying to keep things as amicable as possible. If the divorce lawyers have to argue about who is to blame it also increases costs.
Many family law solicitors therefore believe that no fault divorce law should also be introduced in England.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Celebrities can suffer abuse too

Celebrities are not exempt from enduring domestic abuse when their relationships break down.

Taylor Armstrong who has recently petitioned for divorce alleged during an interview with People that she was verbally and physically abused during her marriage to Russell Armstrong. We witnessed a flavour of their matrimonial difficulties on the TV show 'Real Housewives of Beverley Hills'.

Unfortunately, allegations of domestic violence are common when parties are considering their divorce and subsequent financial settlement.

Despite the difficulties both parties are now focussing on the care of their daughter which is a sensible way forward.

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Boise Estate Planning Attorneys - Probate Lawyers - Wills, Trust Attorney

Planning your estate is a very important element of planning for your future.  Call (208) 472-2383 to speak to Boise Estate Planning Attorneys at Kershisnik Law today.

People often think that the elements of estate planning only consist of writing your will, creating a trust and establishing a personal representative to direct and administer your estate during probate.  While these are important elements of estate planning, it is also critical to think about your future in terms of elder law issues.

What I mean by elder law issues is will you be cared for in a nursing home, hospice or will you stay in your own home?  While we may all want to stay in our own homes, ultimately we may not be able to do that.  We may have to go to a nursing home.  Nursing homes can be very expensive and can drain the value of your estate very quickly.  While this sounds frightening, it can be prevented.  There are insurance policies available for long term care in a nursing facility.  They can include care for assisted living as well as more round the clock care as is provided in a traditional nursing home.

Estate planning is designed for wealth preservation, however, you cannot preserve your wealth if you need to spend any length of time in a nursing home.  Estate Planning Attorneys sometimes overlook this obvious detail of estate planning.  No one wants to spend a ton of money on insurance but insurance can be a very important factor in wealth preservation.

If you need to plan your estate and want to speak to a Boise Estate Planning Attorney or if you need to probate an estate and want to talk with a Boise Probate Lawyer, give us a call today, (208) 472-2383.

The Russian Wife who clearly received excellent Divorce Advice

There has been tremendous media attention over last few days regarding the divorce settlement which Ms Besharova’s divorce solicitors have secured on her behalf following her divorce from Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. It is reported that the settlement is in excess of £100 million. A record in Britain.

It is not only the amount, however, that is interesting. Ms Besharova and Mr Berezovsky only lived together for 2 years of their 18 year marriage. Under the divorce law in this country, however, this would still be considered a long marriage and entitle a wife to a substantial share of her husband’s assets.

Although the couple are both Russian because they live in England they have grounds for divorce proceedings here. It is likely the divorce advice received by Ms Besharova would have been that a financial settlement in England would be considerably greater than that which she could secure in Russia.

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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Permanent Spousal Support and Self Employed Business

Here’s a recent article regarding the Court’s process of estimating support.

In many divorce cases the Court has to estimate the future income of the party who will be paying spousal support in order to determine the amount of support to be paid. When a person has been employed for the same company for several years, it can be fairly easy to estimate that person's future income. However, it is difficult to estimate if the party is self-employed and the monthly rate of income fluctuates.

The article cites a case where during the marriage, the husband and the wife owned a real estate and development business. Several years before the divorce, the wife estimated that the parties earned income of about $30,000 per month. The husband claimed because of the uncertain real estate climate, he wanted to retire and live off the income of a farm the parties owned in Alabama (net income for the farm was approximately $25,000 per year).

In the end, the court awarded $4,000 per month in spousal support to the wife. The trial court based its award on income that the husband stated was from a one-time sale of real property property.

The husband later appealed the trial court's decision. The Court of Appeals agreed with the wife that an award of spousal support was appropriate because of her health and because of the husband's greater earning capacity, but the court agreed with the husband that $4,000 a month was too approximate an amount. The court stated that, "in order for the court to make an award of support, there must be evidence of the obligor spouse's future earning potential and ability to pay."

Speculation was an important issue that the appeals court raised. They determined that it was speculative to find that the husband could earn that much income in the future and there was no evidence to support that finding. According to the article, it cites that it's very important to provide the court with enough information so that there is evidence to base any decision of spousal support upon.

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.

Wyoming and Same Sex Marriage

A recent article states that Wyoming has reversed a lower court's refusal to hear a petition by a lesbian couple seeking to end the marriage they entered into in Canada. Trial court had ruled that since Wyoming does not allow same-sex couples to get married there, they could not grant a divorce.

The state Supreme Court, however, did not see it the same way as the trial court. In their ruling in the case of Christiansen v. Christiansen (S-10-0252, issued June 6, 2011), the court found that the ordinary rule that requires their state courts to honor out-of-state marriages should apply.
The wording of the court’s opinion does not give a clear answer on the issue of property division or spousal support, but according the article, the general wording makes it appear that the court would do so.

Many states do not recognize the legal partnerships or marriages of same-sex couples even though a good chunk of these couples will likely want to dissolve the relationship in the coming years. There is hope that other states will follow in Wyoming’s footsteps when this does happen.

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 and Visitation Rights

Many people are confused or don’t realize that grandparents have rights for visitation with their grandchildren. There are many resources available on the Internet. Here is a brief summary of an article I found regarding grandparent’s rights to visitation.

According to the article, grandparent visitation is governed under California Family Code Section 3100 et seq. The law supports what is considered "the best interest" of the child. That is an ever evolving societal concept, now that family units are no longer traditional nuclear families. One argument is that it is in the best interests of the child to spend with their grandparents.

According to the article, California law supports the best interest of the child, and that often means spending time with grandparents. Grandparents play a significant role in the daily operation of a healthy family, and can have a tremendous impact on the lives of their grandchildren.

To have legal rights, grandparents must file a petition with the court to join the action. The grandparents can file a petition for visitation rights if the legal parents are currently involved in a marital dissolution proceeding, or if either legal parent have passed. According to the article, they cannot file for visitation if the legal parents are married and are living together on a permanent basis, have not been absent for more than a month without the other spouse knowing the whereabouts of the absent spouse, or are currently residing with the child and the child has not been adopted by a stepparent.

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.

Cornerstones of Success

Remember the experiment that you did in the first or second grade? You take two plants and put them in a closet. One gets water and one doesn’t. You put two other plants on a windowsill in the sunlight. One gets water and one doesn’t. The only plant that survives will be the one that gets everything it needs: water and sunshine. Just water doesn’t cut it. Just sunshine doesn’t cut it. And of course, as every gardener knows, if you really want a healthy plant, you need to add the right amount of nutrients.
It is the same with the naked divorce – all 7 components work in tandem, supported by the naked divorce cocoon.


Component #1: The naked divorce cocoon – the backbone of the program

For the 21 day program, you need to build a support structure around you I call the naked divorce cocoon. Much like a caterpillar who has to be encased within a cocoon before it can transform into a butterfly, human beings need to have a structure to contain them before they can transform themselves.
The naked divorce cocoon is your rock, your foundation and support to return to whenever you feel life is getting on top of you. No matter what happens, you can return to the 7 aspects of the naked divorce cocoon which will help you feel safe and grounded once more.


Component #2: Managing your health, diet and hormones

The second component will support you in your healing work by ensuring you eliminate foods and drink which aggravate your hormones, interrupt your sleep patterns or interfere with your ability to concentrate. With the correct habits in place, your emotional highs and lows will normalize, your stress levels will decline and healing will be ethical and healthy for you.


Component #3: Harness your emotions in a positive way

People often avoid feeling their emotions by keeping busy or numbing them with alcohol or S.T.E.A.T.s. This is largely because inherently human beings fear emotions and are unsure of what to do with them. For most of us, we don’t understand our emotions, how they work, how to tame them or what we can learn from them. Additionally with the dawning of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ concepts in the workplace, we are encouraged to keep our emotions under wraps, be calm, peaceful and intellectualise them away.
Ignoring our emotions can lead to destructive and entropic disintegraton hence why it is curious to note that since the dawning of the ‘Emotional Intelligence’ age, the worldwide divorce rates have increased.
When there is healing to be done, emotions are our greatest teachers and if harnessed, emotions can carve out powerful new ways of being. Within the naked divorce, there is a structured process for how to listen to your emotions, work with them as partners and harness their power as a catalyst for transformation. Thy key is to keep your heart open whilst feeling your emotions and I will show you how to do that. Learning the techniques of working with your emotions can transform your life in many beneficial ways.


Component #4: Stay focused at work

It’s key to remain focused on your work and keep your head in the game. There are several techniques to follow to ensure that you have high energy and focus at work whilst at the same time you are being authentic in the processing of your emotions.


Component #5: Set yourself up for success

Maintaining a civil and courteous relationship with your ex is critical to the success of your divorce, especially if you have children. This component will give you some clear tips on ex etiquette whether or not you have children. Additionally there are also many ideas on how to support your children through your divorce.


Component #6: The naked divorce buddy

Every successful athlete has a coach, a buddy who is rooting for them from the sidelines. It is very tempting to burden your friends with your divorce troubles but as you will see within this section, those closest to you are often a hindrance to your healing without even knowing it. Bless them, they try their damndest but often because they love you, they will let you off the hook. What you really need is someone who will hold you accountable. Someone who will hold your hand and kick your butt if required. You will have an opportunity to choose your naked divorce buddy carefully.


Component #7: Commit to the structure of the program

It does not matter if it takes you 21 days or 21 months to complete the program, the most important point is do not skip any steps. There is an intended structure for following the naked divorce and skipping steps is you simply doing the program your own way. There is nothing wrong with doing that, but then do not expect the breakthrough results. For a complete transformation of your life and breakthrough results, I request you follow the structure of the program.

For some of you, this will mean surrendering to the structure of the program!

Failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s critical to plan for the naked divorce and ensure you have adequately prepared for the 21 days of work ahead of you. Clear your schedule, ensure you have the items on the shopping list and logistics list, clear your weekends. This component covers the preparation for the program so you ensure your success. Treat yourself like an athlete on this program, ensuring you have everything you need to guarantee success.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Privatization of Divorce

With all the controversy over government taxes, expenditures and regulation, the possible solution of privatizing certain government functions arises. This is not a new idea. There was even a 1988 Presidential Commission on Privatization – Toward More Effective Government. See report at The commission’s report did not deal with the judicial system but my research did find Privatization of Judicial Services an article by Doris Marie Provine and Carroll Seron in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART
Vol. 1, No. 3 (Jul., 1991), pp. 319-336. There are many more articles. What I have thought about recently is whether it is possible and desirable to privatize that portion of the judicial system that is concerned with divorce. This was prompted by watching a recent story on television discussing the layoff of court personnel in the California Judicial system and the expected resulting back logs. It might take years to hear a divorce case. Privatization could reduce some of the cost of the judicial system and speed up the process. Ironically, we actually privatize marriage. A couple obtains a license and the a private party can marry them. The private divorce system might look like this. A couple could get a license to divorce. They would resolve their case with attorneys or mediators and then submit the settlement to a person licensed to grant a divorce. The person does not have to be a lawyer in a therapist may be an excellent person to be licensed to grant divorces. Contested cases or post judgment issues could also be heard by a person licensed to grant a divorce. The couple would pay the person licensed to grant a divorce. Once the divorce was granted, the terms would be filed with the license. 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(224)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Boise Family Law Lawyers - Criminal Attorneys - DUI, Criminal Law, Divorce and Custody

Kershisnik Law, (208) 472-2383, Boise Attorneys handling Family Law, Divorce, Criminal Law, DUI and juvenile matters in Boise, Idaho.  Call now for your free consultation.

Anonymous tips and DUI in Idaho:

According to the Idaho State Police DUI accounts for 39% of all fatal traffic collisions in Idaho.  The number of drivers who are cited for DUI in Idaho is staggering.  Over 10,000 drivers a year are arrested for DUI in Idaho.  The Idaho State Police have an ongoing campaign aimed at deterring and stopping driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Part of the campaign is aimed at the general public.  It is called REDDI (Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately).

The REDDI campaign asks that every citizen who witnesses a drunk driving incident report it immediately to the police.  They ask that the location and direction of movement, be reported along with the vehicle description, license plate number and number of people in the vehicle.  What the REDDI campaign fails to ask, however, is that you also give your name.

Why is it important for you to give your name?  Well, firstly, whenever you call into the police they ask for your name.  You don't have to give your name, but then your tip becomes anonymous.  This is all important because if the driver of the vehicle has stopped driving the car by the time the police arrive, there needs to be credible evidence that that person was actually operating the motor vehicle.  If the police have received an anonymous tip, then there is no eyewitness to give testimony about the driver.  If there is no credible testimony about the driver being drunk, then they cannot be convicted of DUI.

If you are an adult, there is no law against being drunk in your own home.  If the police, operating on an anonymous tip, arrive at that person's home and find them drunk, unless they are doing something illegal like disturbing the peace, there is nothing they can do.  If they did not witness them operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, they cannot arrest them.

This type of case has been heard repeatedly by the Idaho State Supreme Court and the Court has unheld the decision that a DUI arrest cannot be made pursuant to an anonymous tip.  While to some this may seem arbitrary and letting a criminal go, it is critically important to the criminal justice system.  It helps to protect your rights.  The last thing anyone wants is to be convicted of a crime based upon unreliable evidence.

People often ask if you need an attorney to represent you for a DUI or other criminal matter.  This is a prime example of why it is so important to have an experienced DUI Lawyer on your side when you are charged with a DUI.  If you don't have a criminal attorney representing you how will you know if the police received information about you driving under the influence from an anonymous tip?  Would you even know to ask that type of information?  This can make the difference between a conviction and a lesser charge or even going free.  There are all sorts of evidence hoops that you will not know about and you can be certain that the prosecuting attorneys won't tell you.

If you have been charged with a DUI and need to speak to a Boise Criminal Attorney or a Boise DUI Lawyer, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383.  We always offer a free consultation.  Call now.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Divorce, Mediation and the Earth's Children

I have been listening in my car on CD’s to The Land of the Painted Caves (Earth Children #6) by Jean Auel. All 29 CD’s. Since the CD’s were on reserve I could not renew them and had to take them out a few times. I thought I had read all the others in the series but it turns out that I did not read yet The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children #5), and The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children #4). I did read The Mammoth Hunters (Earth's Children #3), The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children #2), and The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children #1). The series started in 1984. I have enjoyed the series. The current books seems to be anthropology text. Auel spends a lot of time talking about these ice age people. I of course was fascinated by her descriptions of marriage and divorce on disk 22, track 12. I also was surprised that she mentioned mediation of a dispute on disk 29, track4. It seems that mediation is older than I thought! 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(223) 7/16/11

Friday, July 15, 2011

Considering being born again by changing back to your maiden name after divorce? Think again!

Now that you are divorced, you may have developed an allergy to your married name. However, before you run to the deed poll office or passport office to discard your old tarnished-self and restore yourself back to your maiden name: think again.
It’s more involved than you can EVER imagine…
The problem with your new name is – IT’s NEW.
No one knows you.
And when I mean no one – I mean the world out there (credit agencies, banks, lenders, airports, driver’s license authorities, health services and passport services etc.) doesn’t know YOU exist under this new name.
I was about to trudge off to the passport office one Tuesday and had even declared all across my Facebook network that I was
changing my name until the passport clerk asked me if I had any flights booked under my married name any time in the future. Dammit. Turns out I did. When I called the airline, it turns out my tickets were non-changeable and non-refundable. The clerk then asked me if I had a mortgage in my married name. Dammit. I sat in the corner growling whilst I casually made an enquiry with my mortgage lender. Apparently gracing my mortgage with my shiny new name would incur a £2450 charge for the privilege. Changing my mortgage would not only incur an
admin fee but it would impact my interest rate as apparently some actuary calculated that divorced was riskier than married. I would love to meet this individual and give him a piece of my mind. LOL.
After 6 hours in the passport office, several tears and a hefty mobile bill later, the passport clerk Lolly Taylor came over to me. She was
going on a break and said “Come with me Mrs Muzik, let’s have a coffee”.
Mrs Muzik. Am I actually expected to have this name forever? I WANT TO BE BORN AGAIN.
She explained that she saw this problem all the time and that women just were not told how complicated it was to change one’s name. She
said she even had people come back trying to reverse what they had done because the costs incurred in changing their names were unknown. She saw it as her personal duty to inform all these women before they pushed to be BORN AGAIN under their new identities.

She gave me some questions and considerations which I will share with you:
  • Are your children keeping their married name and how will you feel about them having a different name to yours?
  • How long have you worked in a particular place with everyone knowing you by your married name?
  • Is your professional reputation built on your married name?
  • Do your recruitment agents know you by your married name?
  • How will you feel about explaining to colleagues and clients that they should now refer to you by your maiden name? Are you ready to have THAT conversation?
  • Social networking sites – are you on them? Can you change your name with ease or do you need to reinvite everyone again?
  • Do you want two identities? One for work and one for personal?
  • Do you have any flights booked in the future in your married name? If you change your passport without changing your flight booking, it may impact your ability to leave the country on the said date
  • When you change your passport, you will not be able to leave the country for a while whilst the change is being made (unless you pay the premium for the speed service)
  • Is your mortgage in your married name? If you change it, is there an administrative fee associated with that?
  • If you change your name, will the mortgage company assume you are divorced and thereby penalise you with an increase in interest rate?
  • The costs – there are costs associated with changing passport, drivers license, registration details of your car and all assets you owe. You may need to get new passport photographs, take days off work to stand in queues to get things done. Have you priced that up?
  • Insurance – your no-claims bonuses are all stored under your married name. Can you transfer those details across?
  • You will systematically have to go through all of your mail and write a letter to change your name with every company you know
  • You have to start at the right place (passport – so other name changes are easier)
  • Be careful where u do use your maiden name – one day they may ask for ID then you don’t have it!
The thing is, you cannot half do it as this can cause issues. If your passport is in your maiden name but your driver’s license is not, it can cause problems for you in the future. Once you choose to change your name, you need to change it everywhere.
Telling the world that you are born again is a bit of a palava so allow me to assist in a small way with some memory joggers. These are some things to think about:
  • Driver’s licence
  • Vehicle permit and vehicle registration documents
  • Health card
  • Passport(s)
  • Citizenship card
  • Tax and National Insurance records
  • Bank account(s) provided that “documentary evidence” of a change of name is provided
  • Credit card(s) provided that “documentary evidence” of a change of name is provided
  • Bills and anything with your address on it (go through ALL of your mail)
  • All your internet log-in information and details. Keep track of these changes in a password file.
  • Social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
  • Notify your friends, family and colleagues in an email or letter
NOTE: Documents such as birth, marriage and educational certificates cannot be changed because these documents are “matters of fact”, which means that they were correct at the time they were issued.

Changing your name


Choose your new name carefully. Practice signing with it. Have a few people close to you call you by that name, and see how you like it. You can change your first name, middle name, last name, or all of the above. Just make sure your new name doesn’t imply “fraudulent intent” or is not in the public interest by:
  • avoiding bankruptcy by pretending to be someone else
  • violating a trademark
  • using numbers or symbols (except Roman numerals)
  • using obscene words
Contact the appropriate local government office to determine the rules and paperwork you’ll need to change your name officially. Get the forms to fill out, which typically include:
  • a petition (sometimes called a ‘deed poll’) for change of name in the UK
  • an order granting change of name
  • a legal backer form
  • a notice of petition to the public
  • an affidavit of consent (if applicable)
  • an affidavit of service of notification to authorities (only if you’re an alien, ex-convict or attorney)
  • Get the forms notarized, or signed by court clerk.
  • Make copies for your own records.
Submit your paperwork to the appropriate office.
Wait for approval. If your name change is not immediately approved, you may need to go to court and defend your reasons.
Put an ad in the newspaper announcing your name change. This gives the public a chance to object to your name change if, say, you owe debt under your current name. Some states allow you to simply post in a public place such as a designated bulletin board at the courthouse.
Fill out the affidavit and return it to the court clerk.
Wait for your Order Granting Change of Name, which will be your new I.D.
Take this with you to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Administration, and the Bureau of Records or Vital Statistics in the state you were born so that you can get a new driver’s license, social security card, and birth certificate, respectively. You will have to go to the Social Security office before you go to the DMV. If your SSN doesn’t match your new name when you apply for a new driver’s license, they won’t issue it.

Some links which may help you:
After two cups of coffee with Lavern and copious notes later, we determined that it is worth it to be born again under one’s maiden name – HOWEVER you have to surrender to the process. It’s about timing and patience. It’s a journey, not a overnight success story.

Good Luck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Divorce in Idaho - Boise Divorce Attorney Answers The Question, "Can You Do It Yourself?"

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I regularly get calls from individuals wanting to know if they can do their divorce by themselves.  I always give an anecdotal account of my ability to do task by myself in which I am not trained.  What I mean by that is, I am not a plumber so, how well can I do plumbing myself?  Or, I am not an electrician, so how well can I wire the lights by myself?  That having been said, I will ask you, if you are not a lawyer, how well can you do your divorce by yourself?  These are really the types of questions you have to ask yourself if you want to do your own divorce.

There are lots of resources for do-it-yourself or cheap divorce kits in Idaho.  Some are valid and some just want your money.  The Idaho Supreme Court provides a website that has many do-it-yourself forms on-line.  If you have not been married very long, have not acquired much property, you don't have children or custody issues, and you understand the difference between community property and separate property, you may do fine doing your own divorce.  The difficulty arises when you have more complex issues such as retirement division or equalization of community property.  Custody arrangements can also be tricky if you don't know what the law allows or requires.  Not to stray to far from the issue, but it is like a probate case that becomes a gigantic headache for the survivors because the testator of the will decided to use a do-it-yourself will kit and marked the wrong boxes, in effect, nullifying the law and passing his or her property to a party they never intended to give it to.

If you want to save money by not hiring attorneys to do your divorce or custody issues, it is probably better to save money by hiring lawyers who are experienced in family law.  Also, you can reduce your total bill by not incurring unnecessary charges, such as for calling your attorney to tell them that you have been fighting over the bills with your soon to be ex.  Make certain your calls to your attorney are about necessary and important issues.  You can also reduce your legal expenses by being active in your case.  What I mean by this is, gathering important documents, weeding out superfluous documents and by providing your divorce lawyer with all the relevant materials they have asked you for.

If you are looking for an experienced Boise Divorce Attorney who provides affordable and excellent legal representation, call (208) 472-2383.  Kershisnik Law always provides a free consultation, so give us a call today and see what we can do for you.  You will be glad you did.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Boise Criminal Attorneys - Juvenile Law Lawyers - DUI Attorney - Crime in Idaho

Boise Criminal Attorneys often handle juvenile law matters.  Call (208) 472-2383 to speak to a criminal lawyer who knows how to handle crimes involving minors now.

Is there a difference between juvenile law and adult law?  There certainly is.  It is important to have a Boise Criminal Attorney experienced in juvenile law handle any case against your minor child that is brought before a court of law.  There is no jury in juvenile court and so the fate of your child is in the hands of the judge.  If is extremely important to approach the judge in juvenile court with respect and with an attitude of responsibility and desire for change.

Juvenile Court, while it is a court of law and while attorneys are involved, is in someways more lenient that an adult court.  For example, a juvenile court's aim is to protect and direct a juvenile rather than punish them.  The court will instruct your minor child on learning what is right and what is wrong and the importance of making good decisions.  This having been said, it is still important to have counsel protect the rights of your minor son or daughter.  Whether they have been charged with drug possession, minor DUI or any other juvenile crime you need to have a lawyer who has been through juvenile court and understands how it works.  It is critical that your child's rights be protected on all levels, especially considering they don't have the opportunity for a jury trial.

One very important thing to keep in mind about juvenile court is that your minor child could have their probation extended until they reach 21, however, they will be eligible for automatic expungement of their record once they have served their sentence.

If you need to speak to a Boise Criminal Attorney who has practiced extensively in juvenile court, give us a call today, (208) 472-2383 - You will be glad you did.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The naked divorce Philosophy

The naked divorce philosophy is making the world of divorce a better place.

It might make us sound a bit like a Miss World contestant, but we want to leave things a little bit better than we find them. We strive to do business in a more enlightened way, where we coach people to take responsibility for their divorce and the impact they have on the world around them, and move these impacts from negative to neutral, or better still, positive.
Think of it as enlightened, collaborative or ethical divorce where you leave the relationship a better person – a healed person who learnt valuable lessons for the future.
It’s part of our quest to become a world-class transformational business, where we have a net positive effect on the wonderful world around us.

The naked divorce Core Essence is: 

RENEWAL - you leave the program with a renewed lease on life

The naked divorce Promise in everything we do is:

YOUR NEW LIFE – if you follow the steps of the program, you WILL have a new life

The naked divorce Guarantee:

The naked divorce programs are not about “satisfaction” – they are about changing your life forever, giving you a completely new perspective on life after divorce and a powerful response mechanism that allows you to bulldoze life’s problems with a thousand volts of energy and enthusiasm. Your life will be changed forever — that’s my personal assurance and money back guarantee.
That said, here’s what I’m going to do to make sure that you are totally happy: When you buy any of my products, you’ll have an entire year to use the program and change your life. At any point during the next year, if you are not completely blown away and if your life is not completely transformed — then just send me back the CDs and I’ll issue a full refund (please see the refund policy)

The naked divorce programs have been honed and perfected to have nearly a 100% success rate. Together with my complete one year return policy, you have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose.

Naked Divorce Homepage

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Boise Family Law Lawyer - Divorce Attorney - Criminal Lawyers - Probate Attorneys

If you are looking for a Family Law Lawyer, Divorce Attorney, Criminal Lawyers, Probate Attorneys in Boise or the surrounding area, call (208) 472-2383 for experienced and exceptional legal representation in many areas including divorce, custody, family law, military divorce, criminal law, DUI, probate, bankruptcy, employment law and small business law.

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I deal regularly with Military Divorce. Military Divorce has certain rules and characteristics different from a civilian divorce.  What strikes me most as a divorce lawyer, however, is not the differences but the rate of divorce in the military. 

According to the Pentagon, the rate of military divorce has increased despite efforts by the military to provide resources for military couples.  An even more harsh statistic is the effect of deployment on female soldiers.  Women in the military experience divorce at twice the rate of male soldiers.

Having an absent spouse, suffering from post traumatic distress disorder, being a young couple and one partner being away from a new marriage, or simply living under extremely stressful situations are difficult on any marriage so it is no wonder why those individuals in the military are experiencing such high divorce rates.  The Pentagon places the overall divorce rate at 3.7%.  It is not uncommon, however, to see units, particularly those that have had more than one deployment, to have upwards of an 80% divorce rate.

While the military resources aimed at curbing the divorce rate and effects upon military family law and families have not been extremely helpful, what can be done in terms of family law for a military family?  Divorce Attorneys who have experience dealing with military divorce and custody are your best resource to have your family law issues dealt with.  Knowing the anatomy of a military divorce can make all the difference in settling issues intricately involved with the military.  It is not just the divorce but there are many other aspects particular to the military which much be considered such as custody, retirement, outstanding debt and a whole slew of other issues.

If you are in the military or are married to military personnel and you need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, please give us a call at (208) 472-2383.  Our attorneys can help you understand what is at stake and help you get going along the right path.  We always provide a free consultation so don't hesitate, call now.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Boise Criminal Lawyers - DUI Attorneys - Divorce Attorney - Family Law Lawyer - Probate - Boise

Boise Criminal Lawyers, DUI Attorneys, Divorce Attorney, Family Law Lawyer, Probate call (208) 472-2383

As the 4th of July weekend 2011 comes to a close we read in today's paper about the numerous DUI arrests made over the weekend.  This year in Boise there were 17 DUI arrests.  Boise Criminal Lawyers are very busy this time of year.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the 4th of July weekend is one of the deadliest times of year as far as traffic fatalities.  There are many factors which play into this statistic.  Firstly, it's summer and people are our enjoying the warmth and sunshine.  More people on the road means more accidents.  Of course, the most obvious reason for the high rate of accidents is alcohol.  It is a holiday, people are drinking and they are driving under the influence.  The NHTSA reports that over the past 25 years half of the fatal crashes on Independence Day have involved alcohol.

While this startling statistic gives Boise Criminal Lawyers and DUI Attorneys plenty to do, it can ruin someone's life.  If you are charged with a DUI it can impact your entire way of life.  No only do you have to deal with the consequences of the DUI arrests which have a huge personal impact, but if you have harmed someone in an accident caused by driving under the influence you may be responsible for a personal injury action against you or worse, you may be responsible for the death of another person.

What can you do to prevent the consequences of a DUI?  The first answer is obvious - don't drink and drive.  However, if you have found yourself in that situation (which we know from the recent news coverage of Senator McGee - it can happen to anyone, even those you would least expect), it is very important to follow all the recommendations of the court and the advice of your criminal lawyer.  Your attitude in presentencing requirements and in a DUI sentencing can make a huge difference for you and your family.

If you have been charged with a DUI and need to speak to a Boise Criminal Lawyer or DUI Attorney, please give us a call (208) 472-2383.  Find out what we can do for you.

Focus on Communication

As most family law attorneys know, working with the divorcing client can be quite challenging. Even in cases where the soon to be ex-partners are trying to part ways amicably, communications can break down and emotions can begin to rule the day. It isn’t easy to focus an individual who is fueling her behavior, actions and communications based on emotions. Here are some guidelines attorneys can use to help improve communications between each party in a divorce.

Be aware that going through a divorce causes a multitude of changing feelings. Among the challenges that the divorcing person is going to face is a change in life roles. No longer will the person be the wife or husband of so-and-so. With the end of the relationship comes an adjustment period where the individual has to figure out his new identity. When communications appear to be moving towards the irrational, try focusing him by acknowledging the transition he is going through and reminding him that it will be easier to get through if he keeps his integrity intact throughout the process.

Do not believe that allowing the person to engage in vengeful, negative communications will benefit anyone, including you. The person will end up continuing down the wrong path and you as a professional will be stuck with a client you can no longer deal with effectively. Stress the need to focus on what “is” and not allowing your client to speculate about the ex-partner’s motivation.

You may need to frequently remind your client that dealing with her hurt feelings and anger isn’t accomplished by giving these emotions free rein. It is important to work towards letting go of the hurt and anger. You may find it helpful to suggest a few sessions with a counselor to help get her through this transition.

Keeping communications between ex-partners objective is one of the main ways to focus individuals. Focusing communications on the task at hand does not allow side tracked communications that are no longer relevant. When children are involved this is more important than ever. Study after study details the negative, lasting effects of parental conflict on children. Remind the parent of the damaging effects of conflict on children. Stress that a child is not to be used as an intermediary with an ex-partner. All of these behaviors have lasting detrimental effects.

There are many divorce tools available to assist professionals and the divorcing couple. This runs the gamut from software that helps figure out the finances, assists in developing parenting plans, and tracks expenses. Professional services are offered to provide emotional support, give guidance on working with high-conflict couples and detail basic communication strategies, including how to write an objective email.

It is important to strongly encourage the couple to use an objective divorce communication tool, which helps meet the needs of the children. This includes ensuring that communications cannot be changed, altered or deleted, including financial transactions. This will help focus each parent on communicating only necessary, relevant information. In this way the needs of the children can continue to be met post-divorce and the adults can move forward in their new lives.

Divorce is a life-changing event. Divorce attorneys are normally the first to see these individuals. Attorneys who help their clients successfully navigate the turbulent waters of communication will build a reputation as respected professionals in their communities.

About the author: Kimberly A. Kick, LCSW is a therapist who has worked with children and families of divorce for over 23 years. She developed and co-owns and gives presentations across the country on effective communication skills. Kim can be reached at

Copyright © 2011 Divorce Communications. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Dating After Divorce…

I’m often asked: ‘When is a good time to start dating?’
One of the difficulties women face when they’re ready to start dating is where and how to start. Starting too soon or for the wrong reasons is not going to help re-build your self-confidence or help you become open to new intimate relationships.
Let’s not overlook the fact that you may be the one who wanted the divorce because you were already in a relationship with someone else.
I suggest you start by simply getting together with friends or work colleagues for fun, relaxation and enjoyment.

  • Be prudent - It pays to be wise and judicious when re-entering the dating game. Now that you’re newly single, try to establish balance in your life. You may be eager to date, but don’t forget to make time for yourself, your children, family and friends. Date if you feel ready. But don’t make it your life.
  • Cultivate relationships with other single people – If you don’t already have single friends, find some. Your single friends will be a great resource because they’re the same situation; unattached and needing company. It’s easier to go out in a group and to meet people that way. And it always helps to have company when dealing with a new life situation.
  • One date does not form a relationship – Not everyone you date will be interested in a second date and vice versa. It’s more challenging when you’re interested in a second date and your beau is not. But don’t let that deter you. You don’t want to waste your precious time in a cul de sac relationship. Neither should you let it get you thinking negatively about yourself. Move on to the next person and be willing to go through a process of elimination. Don’t take dating, or yourself, too seriously.
  • Don’t come on too strong - If you were in a long-term marriage, you’re used to being part of a couple. Being single again is a huge adjustment. But be wary of the ‘couple habit’. Don’t let your need to be part of a couple make you come on too strong. You’re dating, not stalking, so be careful not to overwhelm any potential new partner.
  • Don’t forget to respect yourself - Go slowly when it comes to sharing information about yourself with a date. Circumspection will convey a positive sense of self and create some mystery. So, keep the details to a minimum until you know they are worthy of hearing them. Do not pour out your divorce story. Divorce is an event in your life. It is not a permanent state of being. I still refuse to add ‘divorced’ on forms other than legal forms where it’s required
  • Experiment - Approach the dating game with an attitude of openness and experimentation. You will not find Mr. Right on every date you go on but, keep an open mind and you will at least learn something new. And you might have a lot of fun.
  • Try something new - Don’t box yourself in with the idea that you have a “type” that you are attracted to. Change those old thought processes, step outside your stereotypes and broaden your horizons. After a divorce, you may find you’re naturally attracted to a very different kind of man. And although first impressions count, just because you weren’t swept off your feet on the first date doesn’t mean this can’t happen later. This is life, not a movie.
  • Never underestimate the power of flirting - Nothing is more fun and better for a woman’s self esteem than a little gentle flirtation. And nothing helps you connect to another person quicker than being playful. Be charming and delightful, show some vitality. Keep it light and festive, not deep and serious. But be wary of below-the-belt flirtation. The idea is to be light and breezy, not sleazy. Keep your mind in the moment and not on the long-term goal of falling in love.

Think of new places to meet men

  • Highly recommended: Take up a new hobby, something that will stretch you, such as scuba diving, golf, sky diving, flying, mountain trekking, motorcycling or camping. Think of outdoor activities that attract men (a sewing class is not really appropriate). The men you meet in these circumstances won’t mind seeing you in thick hiking socks with fly-away hair, so there’s far less pressure on you. Your interactions will also be centred on mutual activities, so it’s a very relaxed and healthy way to meet new people and make new friends.
  • Highly recommended: Personal development programmes – To me, this is one of the best places to meet men. I met my partner at an entrepreneurship course called Play2Win. I would never have thought that while I was focused on winning the game, I would actually meet an amazing man. It took me completely by surprise!
  • Ask your friends to introduce you to their single friends
  • Online dating - I think online dating is great. I don’t recommend classified advertisements as I don’t believe you can thoroughly vet someone new through this process, unlike online dating. If you’re careful, cautious and sensible, you’ll be able to start conversations with a number of people you probably wouldn’t meet in bars or clubs. The best part about online dating is that you simply start out chatting online. You aren’t dealing with anyone face to face and so rejection is not an issue. He doesn’t know your address or phone number and you aren’t under any obligations. These days, there are many online dating services available. You can take your pick. But be cautious. There are some strange people out there. Make sure you’re the one in control and never give out your address or phone number. If and when you choose to meet some cyber friend in person (don’t rush into it; take your time to get to know them online first), make sure it is in a safe environment and away from your home or workplace. Here are some online dating tips:
    • Be creative with your online dating profile so you highlight those aspects of yourself that are interesting and individual. Create a little mystery so that men will be curious to meet you.
    • Be honest in your profile and be honest about what you are looking for, whether it’s a short-term or long-term relationship.
    • Choose a recent photograph that shows you at your best. Do not alter your picture. Real men will want to meet real women.
    • When arranging to meet someone for the first time, always ensure you tell a friend where you’re going and arrange to check in with them at least once during the evening to let them know you’re okay.
  • Speed Dating – This is great fun, a great laugh and a really fantastic way to get back into the swing of dating. But consider these tips first:
    • Ensure you go just for fun, with no expectations at all.
    • Go with your friends and make it a fun evening.
    • Dress well but don’t overdo it!
    • Before you go, list some questions to ask people.
    • Get up to speed with the latest news or think of some zippy conversation starters rather than the boring ‘So what do you do?’ line.
    • Know a bit about the venue.
  • Dating agencies – I don’t have any experience with dating agencies. My only information is that they spend time matching you with the ‘right’ person. This is good but the drawback is that the service is costly.
  • Singles holidays – Fantastic, particularly if you go with a good attitude: to have fun and meet new people. I would recommend choosing trips that are physically demanding as they will put you in a good frame of mind and give you something to focus on, rather than simply meeting a man. Think of a hobby that interests you, a pilgrimage, a new sport, a hike up Kilimanjaro perhaps. Revisit your ‘List of things to do before you die’ and choose a holiday you can take. I recommend that you go alone (yes, alone) to ensure you don’t hide behind a friend – and that you’re well out of your comfort zone. Think Shirley Valentine!
For more dating tips, visit the naked divorce YouTube channel on
Chat soon!