Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Divorce, West Memphis Three, and Alford Doctrine

Recently the West Memphis Three, stood up in a courtroom, proclaimed their innocence even as they pleaded guilty, and, minutes later, walked out as free men. This is known as the Alford Plea or Doctrine. In an Alford Plea, the criminal defendant does not admit the act, but admits that the prosecution could likely prove the charge. The court will pronounce the defendant guilty. The defendant may plead guilty yet not admit all the facts that comprise the crime. An Alford plea allows defendant to plead guilty even while unable or unwilling to admit guilt. One example is a situation where the defendant has no recollection of the pertinent events due to intoxication or amnesia. A defendant making an Alford plea maintains his innocence of the offense charged. One reason for making such a plea may be to avoid being convicted on a more serious charge. Acceptance of an Alford plea is in the court's decision. The Alford guilty plea originated in the United States Supreme Court case of North Carolina v. Alford (1970). Henry Alford had been indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in 1963. Evidence in the case included testimony from witnesses that Alford had said after the death of the victim that he had killed the individual. Court testimony showed Alford and the victim argued at the victim's house. Alford left the house, and afterwards the victim received a fatal gunshot wound when he opened the door responding to a knock.

This made me think whether the thinking behind the Alford Doctrine could apply to divorce cases. In fact we probably do. We often have one party who does not agree to for example paying alimony. Under the Alford Doctrine the party would say I don’t believe I should pay alimony but in order to avoid something worse, I will pay 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(230) 8/31/11s

Affairs no longer the leading reason for divorce?

Grant Thornton’s 2011 matrimonial survey sought the opinion of 101 family lawyers in England and Wales on various issues surrounding matrimonial work undertaken by family lawyers.

For the last 8 years the findings of the survey have established that the top cited reason for divorce is extra-marital affairs. However this year, for the first time, the top cited reason given by the participants was that the parties had ‘grown apart’ or ‘fallen out of love’. 27% of the responses suggested that this was the most common reason for a marriage breakdown. Extra-martial affairs came a close second at 25%.

Interestingly, in these difficult economic times only 1% of the family lawyers responding to the survey thought that business problems were the leading cause of marriage breakdown and divorce.

or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

‘Tough love’ vital for children of divorcing parents

Think tank ‘Demos’ has published research on the UK’s drinking habits, The Telegraph reported over the weekend, showing strong links between a child’s upbringing and his or her future relationship with alcohol.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, according to Demos children whose parents divorce are “more likely to have ‘problematic drinking behaviours’”, due either to the stress of the divorce process or impact it has on the parent/child relationship.

The research reveals that children are affected most, not by divorce itself, but by a parent becoming ‘disengaged’ from their child as a result.  Divorcing parents must remain emotionally engaged with their child, regularly demonstrating warmth and affection particularly when a child is under five, to reduce the chances of their pre-schooler drinking to excess by the time they reach 16.

However children also need discipline particularly during the emotional upheaval caused by separation, and parents must ‘set and enforce clear boundaries’.  If parents can work together and set aside their own issues, their children are far less likely to develop such social issues in their teens.

It is vital to obtain divorce advice from a specialist family law solicitor if you are concerned about co-parenting following separation. 

For more advice on divorce read our family law blog, follow us on Twitter or call Pannone on 0800 840 4929.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Boise Idaho Criminal Defense Attorneys - DUI Lawyers - (208) 472-2383 - Divorce and Family Law

What happens when you get a DUI in Idaho?  As a Boise Criminal Defense Lawyer I hear that question a lot.  The answer to the question is more substantial than describing the penalty.  You can find the basic penalty all over the web, my website included, but that is just the legal ramifications of a DUI.

Any Boise Criminal Attorney can tell you that a DUI conviction has far reaching consequences.  There is the embarrassment or hassle of the initial DUI stop, field sobriety test and booking.  Then you have the stress of having to let your family or loved ones know.  Then there is the stress of having to get out of jail and what that can mean financially.  Once you have found a Boise Criminal Defense Lawyer and have dealt with the cost of that, you have to decide if you want to fight the DUI or take a plea. 

It is possible to fight a DUI conviction and you may need to do that if it means losing your job if you are convicted.  There are many approaches to staying off a DUI conviction but it means you have to make a financial commitment to your Boise Criminal Attorney.  Criminal Defense Attorneys who are experienced in fighting DUI conviction can give you a good estimate of the cost of defending a DUI.  We can do this because we have successfully defended DUI charges and know, in the ball park, what it takes and what it costs and how much you will have to put in retainer.  Fighting a DUI will be another financial consequence that you will have to deal with.

If you choose to take a plea or you do not have the facts to sustain a fight against the DUI charge, you will have a series of hoops you will need to jump through as a result of your penalty.  These will include evaluations, community service, getting a restricted license, just to name a few.

As a Boise Criminal Attorney I have also seen the consequences of a DUI extend into people's personal lives.  Sometimes people loose their jobs, some people end up in divorce court, some people get subsequent DUI charges and the list goes on.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Idaho, you know that the consequences are serious and that's why it is critical to have an experienced Boise Criminal Defense Lawyer to help you.  Give us a call, (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The naked divorce etiquette for handling your divorce at work if you are the boss!

  • If you are the boss going through a divorce, the key thing is appoint someone you trust to delegate responsibilities to.

  • Explain to this person that you are dealing with some personal issues at home (don’t get into specifics) and that you will require some extra support in the coming weeks.

  • When you delegate, be very specific about what outcomes need to be achieved. Have a discussion with this person or people about what you envisage and what the end game is and ask them to build plans for how those outcomes are to be achieved. Ask them to break the tasks down as much as possible, here is a suggested format:

  • Once everything is handled and you have a structure in place to achieve the outcomes laid out, take some time off to handle your personal situation.

  • If you have a very closely-knit team, share with them what is going on, but keep it brief. This is not the time to get the sympathy vote or try to get everyone to feel sorry for you. It’s important to remain powerful and grounded in their eyes. This will win their respect and devotion in more ways than one.

  • Even if you have close relationships with clients, I wouldn’t recommend telling them about your divorce. Simply mention you are taking some time off and their new contact person whilst you are away is XXX.

  • If necessary: Check in with your team whilst you are away to ensure that the delegation has worked successfully. This will give you peace of mind.

If you run your own company, then I strongly recommend you do the naked divorce program so you can get back on track as soon as possible. As you and I both know, there is no hiding behind emotions, you have to perform regardless of your emotional state – so get busy with your healing!

Lots of hugs

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Boise Idaho Divorce Attorneys (208) 472-2383 - Family Law Lawyers - Criminal Defense Attorneys

Evidence can make or break your case.  Whether you are in the midst of a divorce, being tried on a criminal law matter, if you need to probate a will or whether you are filing bankruptcy, evidence is a critical key to success.

You have undoubtedly heard from your doctor or pharmacist that you should never take another person's medicine.  You may say that your symptoms are exactly the same, well almost exactly the same, so what is the harm?  Medicine in like the law in some ways and one of those ways is evidence.  A doctor looks with a trained eye at your symptoms, makes a diagnosis and prescribes a medicine or a life change.  A Boise Divorce Attorney or Idaho Criminal Lawyer does very much the same thing.  They look at the facts of your case, analyze the evidence and prescribe a course of action.  The difference between the two is that the law tends to be more variable.  There is the objective law but there are also the subjective judge, parties and attorneys.  Two cases rarely turn out the same primarily because the facts, the evidence and the lawyers, judges and parties are not the same.

A good and experienced Boise Divorce Attorney or Idaho Criminal Lawyer will know the law and their rules of evidence and can, to a degree, control what is placed before the judge.  Sometimes you may have perfectly obvious evidence, but for one reason or another (hearsay; relevance; confusion) that evidence will be excluded.  You also can have the opposite result if the attorney on the other side is not the best evidence student.  I have been in situations where I have been able to introduce evidence that could have been excluded had the other Boise Divorce attorney or Idaho Criminal Lawyer known their rules of evidence.

If you are seeking a divorce or are being tried on a criminal law matter, and want to speak to an attorney, please call (208) 472-2383.  Our firm also practices probate, estate planning, bankruptcy, employment law, personal injury and small business law.  Call today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Recent press reports suggest that even though there has been little improvement in the financial climate, many couples who had put their divorce ‘on hold’ in the hope that things would improve are now finding that they cannot wait any longer.

For couples where resources are already stretched, achieving a divorce settlement which divides the available resources in a way that gives them the best possible standard of living, both in the medium and the longer term, is a growing challenge for divorce solicitors.

Pensions is an area where divorce advice is particularly important to make sure that the best use is made of the funds that are available and this can make a big difference to a person’s future financial security.

Static property prices are a further difficulty and in some cases where the proceeds would not stretch to provide two homes the answer may be a divorce settlement where the sale is delayed until a future date, such as when children have completed their education.

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

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Divorce and Street Names

Driving I often see names of streets which I think are funny. This lead me to see if I could find street names which related to divorce. The following is the list so far. Let me know if you have others.

Calle del Divorcio, Bogota, Colombia

401 K Street Northwest, Washington D.C., DC

Alimony Lane, Willow Oak, FL

Asset Avenue, Scott, LA

Attorney Street, New York, NY

Bankrupt Boulevard, Glasgow, MT

Children Street, Waynesville, NC

Custody Circle, CA

Debt Lane, Sumter, SC

Divorce Court, Heather Highlands, Pa.

Faultless Drive, Ashland, OH

Insurance Way, Hagerstown, MD

IRA Street, Fayetteville, NC

Judge Street, New York, NY

Lawyer Street, College Station, TX

Pension Road, Yorketown, NJ

Pension Street, Chincoteague Island, VA

Separation Street, Northcote, Victoria, Australia

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(229) 8/20/11

Friday, August 19, 2011

Formula 1 Billionaire’s daughter to marry – is she in need of Family Law Advice?

You may have read in the press recently that Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter has recently announced her engagement to businessman Jamie Stunt.

It is reported that Bernie Ecclestone is keen to protect his billions by ensuring his daughter signs an “ironclad” prenuptial agreement. This begs the question - can pre-nuptial agreements protect inherited assets? 

A pre-nuptial agreement is a formal agreement entered into prior to a marriage or civil partnership which sets out who owns what at the time of marriage and also how the couple envisage that those assets should be divided in the event of divorce or separation. At present, divorce law is clear that pre-nuptial agreements are not “ironclad” in England and Wales.

If you would like to discuss a pre-nuptial agreement with one of our divorce law solicitors, please contact us on click here or call us on 0800 840 4929. We are available to take your call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Divorce Can Impact Children of All Ages - Even Rafael Nadal

Tennis enthusiasts will be aware of the problems that Rafael Nadal has had with his knees. This was the reason he gave for pulling out of Wimbledon in 2009. However, Rafael Nadal has indicated in a book about his life that this was not the only reason for his dip in performance. Sadly his parents' divorce had a negative impact upon him.  In his book he states that he "was depressed, lacking in enthusiam" as a result of the divorce.

Separating parents often worry about the impact that their divorce will have upon their young children. Less parents worry about the impact that it will have upon their adult children. Divorce is often a difficult time for all involved. Dealing with matters as amicably as is possible will often soften the impact of divorce upon a couple's children.

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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

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

Divorce has become a way of American Life.  More than half of all first time marriages end in divorce.  Perhaps because of this unsettling statistic, couples are now choosing to cohabitate instead of getting married.  According a report published on Tuesday by the National marriage Project, in conjunction with the University of Virginia, the number of Americans with children who live together, unmarried, has increased twelve fold since 1970.  It also reported that children are now more likely to live with unmarried parents than divorced parents.

So what does this mean for you or for divorce attorneys or family law lawyers?  Let's start with the attorneys.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney I am seeing an increase in relationships like these.  Idaho used to have a common law marriage law that, in effect, made a cohabitation a marriage.  That law was abolished and unless you have cohabitated before January 1, 1996, you are not considered married.  The difficulty for both attorneys and individuals in this situation is that you loose community property law protection and upon separation you need to figure out how to split the assets you have acquired while you were together.  Community property provides an equal share of ownership for both parties when the property is purchased with community funds or is given to the community from separate funds.  For example, if you are married and you purchase a car with a loan taken out in your name only, that car is community property if it is paid for with your income.  If, however, you aren't married and you have the same situation, the car belongs solely to the individual who purchased it.  You don't have to be a divorce lawyer to see how this can quickly become convoluted when you are buying things together.

As a Boise Family Law Lawyer, I regularly handle custody cases pursuant to these types of situations.  Unlike separation after cohabitation, the custody of children born to parents who chose to cohabitate instead of marry, follows regular custody law.  So regardless of your marital status, if you have kids and split up, custody will be determined by a fairly uniform set of guidelines and custody will be placed accordingly.  Likewise, child support is determined by the Idaho Child Support Guidelines whether the parents are married, have cohabitated or simply had a child out of wedlock.

If you need to speak to a Boise Family Law Lawyer or Boise Divorce Attorney, please call (208) 472-2383 today.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The naked divorce etiquette for handling your boss at work

Firstly, tell your boss what you’re dealing with. Do this in a brief and matter-of-fact way. Ask for a few days off. Deal with any urgent matters that won’t wait until your return to office. If you think you might get overly emotional, write a formal email or letter.


  • Communicate very clearly with your boss about what he or she can and can’t count on from you. Give deadlines and try your best to stick to them. However, if it looks like you are struggling to meet a deadline, communicate with your boss immediately and recommit to what is possible.

  • Watch your work hours. Your colleagues and boss will be looking to see if you are working less hours, therefore, unless you have permission to work less, work the full allotted time you are hired to work. If you arrive late, communicate immediately that you are going to be late AND ensure you work later to make up the time.

  • If you are taking time off and have close relationships with clients, I wouldn’t recommend telling them about your divorce. Simply mention you are taking some time off and their contact person whilst you are away is [insert name.]

  • If you have the option to work from home, do so. It’s easier to maintain professional etiquette via email and remotely than to be around the colleagues and people you work with every day when you’re dealing with raw emotions.

  • Inform the accounts department as soon as possible about your pending divorce as your tax code may change. If you feel nervous about calling and aren’t feeling organized, prepare a list of things to communicate and email this through. Ensure that you include your current tax code in the email.

Stay tuned for part III…
Lots of hugs!

Trading with your divorce settlement

The New Zealand Herald News has recently reported on the growing trend of 'divorce parties' amongst divorcees, wishing to rid themselves of unwanted items kept by them as part of their divorce settlement.  The paper interviewed a businesswoman whose company is specifically dedicated to organising such events.  The items can range from clothes to handbags to pieces of furniture.
As part of reaching a financial agreement on divorce, you will need to consider with your family law solicitor, how you wish to deal with personal possessions and the contents of the family home.  Once the division of your goods and chattels has been agreed and implemented, you are free to do with them as you choose.  You may actually prefer to get rid of some of this baggage of your married life, psychologically moving on.
At Pannone, our divorce lawyers are able to discuss with you the resolution of all financial aspects arising from the breakdown of your marriage, including dealing with smaller, more personal, items.   For further details about what we can do for you and the divorce advice which we can provide, please click here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Boise Criminal Lawyers- DUI Attorneys- Reducing DUI to Reckless or Inattentive Driving

Boise Idaho Criminal Defense Attorneys - Kershisnik Law- Free Consultation, call (208) 472-2383 today.  Boise Criminal Lawyers providing experienced and affordable legal representation for all criminal matters in Idaho including DUI and DWP.  Call now.

People often ask me and other Boise Criminal Attorneys if they will be convicted if they have been charged with a DUI.  There are defenses to a DUI and it is possible to have a DUI reduced to reckless or inattentive driving.  If the facts are not there, the prosecuting attorney cannot make their case.  Examples of lacking facts or evidence can be  a "positive" field sobriety test, without corroborating  BAC results, admission of drug consumption without a positive drug test or a failed field sobriety test in conjunction with a lack of calibration record on a breathalyzer machine.

These are just examples of possible defenses to DUI.  The reason that I and other criminal defense lawyers say that these are ground for a reduction in charges, rather than a complete elimination of charges, is because there is evidence of poor driving.  When the police witness "poor" driving they have probable cause to pull you over.  Driving is a privilege so if you are driving poorly you can be charged with a crime.  If your poor driving is coupled with the consumption of drugs or alcohol, then you will be charged with a DUI.  If the police erroneously interpret the evidence, they will charge you with a DUI but you may have the charge reduced to a lessor crime like reckless or inattentive driving.

If you have been charged with a DUI or any other crime in Idaho and need to speak to a Boise Criminal Attorney, please call (208) 472-2383 for your free consultation now.  Let us help you.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Divorce Insurance

Just the other day I thought, I wonder if people would buy divorce insurance? I Googled Divorce Insurance and as usual someone else thought of it first. See article in New York Times on August 6, 2010, entitled “Divorce Insurance (Yes, Divorce Insurance)” by Jennifer Saranow Schultz. See the entire article at The article says in part, “The casualty insurance is designed to provide financial assistance in the form of cash to cover the costs of a divorce, such as legal proceedings or setting up a new apartment or house. It is sold in “units of protection.” Each unit costs $15.99 per month and provides $1,250 in coverage. So, if you bought 10 units, your initial coverage would be $12,500 and you’d be paying $15.99 per month for each of those units. In addition, every year, the company adds $250 in coverage for each unit. Have not heard of anyone using it and don’t know if mediation is covered. 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(228) 8/13/11

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Does Child Support Work?

Child support legislation has gone through many changes over the last 40 years. In 1984 Child Support Enforcement Amendments (CSEA) was established by Congress. One of the functions of CSEA was to collect delinquent child support. This requires, in part, the following:

-employers withhold wages if a parent is delinquent in paying child support
-impose liens against the property of delinquent parents
-deduct unpaid child support from state and federal income tax returns

Studies have indicated that both parents disposable income level decreases upon divorce. However, males incomes rebound back to pre-divorce levels rather rapidly. Females incomes tend to remain lower than pre-divorce levels. The implications for our children are clear: many women and children are relegated to a lower standard of living after divorce. This can have long-term negative implications for moms and their children.

I would like to hear from you. What has your experience been with child support? How has it affected how you and your children now have to live?

Kimberly A. Kick, LCSW
Owner, Divorce Communications

Men increasingly victims of violence by their partners

There have been numerous articles in the press in recent week involving domestic violence by women against their male partners. 

Domestic violence is something which is more commonly thought of as a 'women's' issue' but there can be no dispute that it affects a large number of men too, and the numbers of cases reported have steadily increased over the last few years. 

BBC Radio 5 recently reported that figures from the CPS indicate that the number of domestic violence convictions of women for violence against men has risen from just 1,500 in 2005, to almost 4000 this last year.

Violence in the home, whether against women, men or children, is treated seriously by the family courts and there are various measures which can be put in place to protect victims.  If you are a victim you should consult a family law solicitor urgently. It can also be grounds for divorce.

In Manchester, a new scheme of 'exclusion orders' which are served by the police is being trialled, which it is hoped will make it easier for victims of domestic violence to obtain urgent assistance, pending more long term measures being put in place.

The message is clear that the law is there to help any victims of domestic violence, and people should not be scared of obtaining legal advice from a specialist divorce lawyer or family law solicitor as to the various remedies available.

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

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Juvenile Law Lawyers - Boise Criminal Attorney - Boise Family Law Lawyers - Divorce Attorney

Criminal Lawyers, Family Law Attorneys, Juvenile Law Lawyers call (208) 472-2383 - Kershisnik Law - Free Consultation

As a Boise Criminal Attorney I often assist juveniles who have been charged with a crime.  Minors accused of crime are treated differently than adults charged with a crime.  The policy behind different treatment has to do with accepting responsibility and understanding consequences.  Adults are expected to do this, whereas juveniles are given more fudge room.

Often juvenile matters are processed through the courts informally.  Even though a case will be set for hearing, the matter may not actually be heard in the courtroom.    If a minor has a Boise Criminal Lawyer representing them, the judge will work the matter out between the prosecuting attorney (the state's lawyer) and private counsel.  Once this is done the judge will speak to the minor and informally finalize the case.

By its very nature as a juvenile matter, the penalty will be less severe than that of an adult.  However, it can be substantially less if the minor has a strong support system.  There are minors that have no stable adults in their lives and live in very unfavorable situations.  If this is the case the juvenile will receive a harsh penalty (though very likely less than an adult charged with the same crime).  If the juvenile has a stable family life with many support anchors, a juvenile court judge will be likely to give a fairly light sentence aimed at rehabilitating the juvenile.

If you have a child who has been charged with a crime and you need a Boise Criminal Attorney who is experienced in juvenile law to represent them, please call (208) 472-2383

Monday, August 08, 2011

Boise Criminal Lawyers - What's the Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor?

Need a Criminal Lawyer?  Felony Charges?  Misdemeanor Charges? Call Kershisnik Law, (208) 472-2383 now to get the experienced and affordable help you need.  Free Consultation.

Felony v. Misdemeanor  What is the difference?
In Idaho, you can be charged with a crime that is a felony or a misdemeanor, but what exactly does that mean?  A felony crime is a very serious charge that, upon conviction, results in a prison sentence.  The prison sentence can range from 1 year to life in prison.  Felonies also involve greater fines than misdemeanors.  Upon conviction, a misdemeanor can carry jail time, though not necessarily, and a lessor fine amount.  A jail sentence for a misdemeanor will be no more than 1 year.

Can a Felony Charge Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor or Visa Versa?

Yes - depending upon the facts of your case, a misdemeanor charge may be increased or enhanced to a felony.  Also, if the facts aren't there a felony charge may be reduced to a misdemeanor.  A Boise Criminal Attorney can often advise you as to the possibility of your charges being changed.  The reasons for the change will depend upon the circumstances,  the consequences of the crime and the evidence available to the prosecuting attorney. Experienced criminal lawyers understand what is necessary to have the prosecuting attorneys reduce the charges against you.  This is one of the reasons why it is so important to have an experienced Boise Criminal Attorney represent you in a criminal law matter in Idaho.  The prosecuting attorney is not on your side and will not tell you what you can do or what you can argue to have a charge reduced.  It is part of the job of criminal lawyers to do this for their clients and they have been trained to do so.

What is the Difference Between Prison and Jail?

People often confuse the terms "prison" and "jail"  Prison means serving time in the state penitentiary.  Jail is run by the county and is used for misdemeanor sentences and for holding individuals until trial.  

If you need to speak to a Boise Criminal Lawyer, please call (208) 472-2383 for a free consultation.  Our attorneys are experienced and affordable.  Call now.

Alternative approaches to settling children disputes

When people come to see me about residence and contact disputes, I always explain to them that court proceedings should always be a matter of last resort.  It is far better that parents agree something between them, even if it is not exactly what they would want, rather than have something imposed on them by the court that neither of them may like.  It is also important that people remember they will have to continue to parent the child/children together for many years, long after the litigation has finished, and sometimes the damage done by court proceedings can make that even harder.
A problem that many separated parents face is that of communication.  When a relationship has broken down, especially in difficult circumstances, it can be hard to have civilised discussions over the children without the emotion of background issues taking over.  Whilst a court order can help in some circumstances, it does not help to improve this issue.
For that reason, parents are increasingly being encouraged to look at alternative methods of settling their dispute and ways to improve how they communicate about issues surrounding their children.  One of the main ways the courts encourage this in children law disputes is through the Parenting Information Programme (known as PIPs). 
A recent report published by the Department of Education called Building Bridges looks at this issue.  The report concludes that parents should be encouraged to look at more creative ways of approaching their differences, rather than going to court immediately.  Parents are also now required to consider attending mediation before issuing a Children Act application, unless the matter is urgent.
Certainly, obtaining legal advice from a family solicitor can be a useful first step, so that parents know where they stand, but it is important to remember that this is just one of many different options that can be used to help separated families settle issues in dispute.  Any specialist children lawyers will be able to advise clients as to the range of alternative methods available, and help them consider the most child-focused way to reach a resolution.

Marriage advice not divorce advice

Jennifer Anniston and new boyfriend Justin Theroux are in couples’ therapy, according to Grazia magazine, and have only been going out a few months.  Apparently this is to work through potential relationship issues before they become reasons for splitting up.  Whilst it seems a typically American approach which would never catch on here, evidence shows that the reverse may be true.

Given the rate at which British couples are divorcing, sometimes only a year or two into their married lives, we are tentatively embracing the ‘American’ approach and talking through our issues in a way which may reverse the decades old trend of increasing divorce numbers, according to Julia Llewellyn Smith writing in The Sunday Telegraph yesterday.

Couples who are married in a religious ceremony, particularly Irish Catholics, have long been obliged to attend pre-marital counselling.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were counselled by the Archbishop of Canterbury before their April nuptials.

According to Relate, which runs premarital courses on discussing issues such as finances and bringing up children (often major issues when a couple seeks a divorce) it is an important process which could effectively identify catastrophic marital issues before a couple makes that expensive walk down the aisle. 

The average UK couple spends hundreds of hours planning their big day.  The message seems to be that spending two or three more in couples’ therapy may prevent a new husband or wife from ever needing divorce advice. Couples may even choose to formalise their new understanding in a pre nuptial agreement.
For more advice on any of the issues raised follow our family law blog or follow us on!/Divorce_experts  

Saturday, August 06, 2011

How I met Lenard Marlow and Became a Mediator

A recent article by Lenard Marlow in the quarterly newsletter of the Family Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s spring 2011 “family Mediation news” reminded me how I became a mediator and reinforced my philosophy and style of mediation. In 1985, Donald Cohen, a friend and therapist, put me in contact with his father, Dr. Max Cohen, a psychiatrist who co-mediated with Attorney Lenard Marlow in New York. They had a case in Connecticut and needed a Connecticut attorney to complete the case. I was up for trying something new and agreed to take the case. This was my first introduction to Divorce Mediation. I was not happy with a general law practice. I could not keep up with all the changes in all the areas of law and wanted to do one thing well. On a practical note, I also realized that specialist were valued more and compensated appropriately. My Wife, Mary, and I discussed it and she asked what I enjoyed doing. I told her I had like the Divorce Mediation I had done. She suggested that I get training to enhance my skills and have better credibility. I trained with Zena Zumeta and Carl Schneider in Burlington Vermont. After my training I gradually transition my practice to Family law with an emphasis on a non adversarial approach. I liked it so much and thought my Wife, Mary, would too that I encouraged her to do mediate also. We now do co-mediation as well as individual mediation. In his article, Lenard Marlow takes issues with the adversary assumption in mediation. He rather sees it as problem solving. He also sees it as a more creative process. I entirely agree with him. 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(227) 8/6/11

Friday, August 05, 2011

The naked divorce etiquette for dealing with your divorce at work

Some people find they need a routine to carry them through a crisis. But the general rule of thumb when facing divorce is that you should take leave from work to gather yourself and even 3 or 4 days will do.
Not only will you need this time to be alone to think, but you’ll need privacy to do so.
The comfort of routine is one thing, but be wary of throwing yourself into work as a distraction too soon. When you do go back to work, there are some tips which are helpful!

General tips:

  • It’s very common to feel foggy and unclear during the first few weeks of a divorce, as your mind is preoccupied with feelings. It’s therefore a good idea to write down all action points and notes from meetings so that you have a reference. Pay special attention to requests being made of you. Write everything down.
  • Ensure you communicate clearly about what you are willing to take on and what time frame you can commit to for those outputs. Add on 30% to any deadlines as you won’t be your usual, productive self.
  • Make a point of taking a lunch break each day for a few weeks. Leave the office and take a walk. It’s important to take time out when you’re under severe stress.
  • To remain calm at work drink a great deal of chamomile tea and use Rescue Remedy drops on a regular basis.
  • A great way to remain calm and focused at work or to relax when heartbreak threatens to overwhelm you is to listen to the naked divorce Break Up Reboot. It’s a 26-minute audio recording (perfect for your lunch hour) designed to refocus your mind and realign the Neurochemicals in your brain. Listening to it every day for 21 days will dramatically increase your healing process and make you feel good about yourself again. You can download your complimentary Break Up Reboot today at:
  • If possible, don’t discuss the details of your divorce with your colleagues. Even if they’re good friends, discuss details outside of work and only with those you know will not make your divorce the office gossip of the day. Having the details of your divorce batted about the office will only add to your stress.
  • Be selective about who you tell about your divorce, even if it’s outside of work. Avoid crying sessions with your colleagues at a bar. I know that it can be delicious to win the sympathy vote, but this strategy is not easy to come back from. Once they feel sorry for you, they will always feel sorry for you. This could therefore count against you if you are looking to climb the corporate ladder later on.

Stay tuned for part II…
Lots of hugs!

Will legal aid cuts cause the courts to grind to a halt?

The legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders bill was published last month. Today Jon Robbins writing in the Guardian suggests that the legal aid cuts will bring more DIY cases into court and consequently cause the legal system to grind to a halt.

The proposed cuts include the removal of legal aid in all private family law cases unless there has been established domestic violence. The consequence of this would be to prevent individuals obtaining legal aid for family law matters, including divorce proceedings and children act proceedings (such as residence and contact disputes).

Mr Robbins notes that last year there were 211,000 family law cases where initial advice and assistance was provided and a further 53,800 where individuals were provided with representation at court under the legal aid system. In future where would those 264,800 people turn?

It is widely anticipated by many family law solicitors that more individuals will choose to act as litigants in person, rather than privately paying for a family solicitor. It is argued that this will cause considerable delays in the already overburdened court system. There is also a concern that those who lack the knowledge and experience to put forward their case effectively will be detrimentally affected if they do not receive proper support and assistance.   

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

Genius must be shared in a divorce settlement

Billionaire Henry Silverman has reportedly argued that his wife should receive a reduced divorce settlement because it was his 'innate genius' alone that lead to the accumulation of his alleged $450 million fortune.
Under divorce law in England the starting point is a 50/50 division of a couple's finances. The divorce solicitors may then try to find reasons why one party should receive  a greater share. One reason is known as a 'stellar contribution' which no doubt Mr Silverman considers he made.
The family law courts are however very reluctant to treat such exceptional financial contributions as a reason to depart from an equal split of martial assets even where the wealth it generated is extraordinary. This is because our divorce law views the contributions of the breadwinner and homemaker as equal.
Unless, therefore, the genius that generated the wealth is such as to induce a 'gulp' rather than a 'gasp' it will not effect the terms of the divorce settlement.
You will find more divorce advice in our family law blog or you can follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The effect is the same...

It is reported that the Government has delayed a consultation on equality betwen marriage and civil partnerships from the summer to the autumn.  This has apparently upset many gay rights campaigners who feel that both options should immediately be available to all, regardless of sexual orientation.  Currently, marriage can only take place between a man and a woman, whilst civil partnerships are only available to same sex couples.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this approach, there is little practical difference to the advice given on divorce at the end of a marriage or when advising parties who wish to dissolve their civil partnership.  The only real difference appears in the reasons given for the end of the relationship.  Married couples can cite adultery as one of the reasons why the marriage has failed.  The same is not available to those wishing to end their civil partnership.

When considering the financial consequences, however, divorce settlements are based on the same law and principles as apply to civil partnerships.  Parties can share remedies in respect of capital, income and pension.  The court will apply the same legal principles to determine a fair settlement on a divorce or when dissolving a civil partnership.  The welfare of any children of the relationship is of paramount importance, before going on to consider a range of other factors.

For more advice on divorce or dissolving your civil partnership follow our family law blog of follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Boise Divorce Attorneys - Family Law Lawyers

For divorce and custody issues, please call (208) 472-2383 today.

As a Boise Divorce Attorney, I deal regularly with issues outside of the divorce arena but still well within the purview of Family Law.  Paternity and custody are examples of this.  Paternity issues often arise outside of the marriage or divorce context. 

If a child is born to an unmarried couple the issue of paternity and custody need to be determined.  Often people approach the visitation between parties and any child support payments in an informal context.  This generally works amiably until conflict arises and then inevitably visitation is denied and custody is threatened.  Attorneys are generally then called in to "fix" the situation.

The first step that needs to be taken when a child is born out of wedlock is to establish paternity.  There is a simple and fairly inexpensive test to determine who the father of the child is.  Establishing paternity is important because it can set the stage for child support, custody and visitation.  If the mother is on medicaid, the State of Idaho and their attorneys will automatically proceed with this step. It is important to establish paternity so that the responsibility of financial support can be directed to the right person. 

Once it is clear that the father is the father of the child, child support can be established, based upon the Idaho child support guidelines and the respective incomes of the parents.  The lawyers on both sides will also move forward with establishing custody and visitation.  This can be done through mutual agreement or by a finding of the court.  The factors that go into establishing custody and visitation are the same factors that Idaho judges use for custody determination in divorce cases.

If you have a family law issue and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, please call (208) 472-2383 today.

Now it's reported Linda Evangelista won't get her son out of bed for less than $46,000...

Linda Evangelista is allegedly seeking around £28,250 each month by way of child support from the father of her four year old son. It is reported this includes money for a chauffeur, security and nanny.
The claims have sparked media outrage, not least because Evangelista herself is believed to be worth around £5 million. 
Family law solicitors will advise, however, that such awards can be made as part of divorce settlements in England and between unmarried parents who separate in this country.
Child support in a divorce settlement or paid on separation reflects the wealth of the parties. Helpful if the father, as in Evanglista's case, is allegedly one of the richest men in France.
The family law courts can, if funds permit, include a carer's allowance to cover such costs as a nanny, cleaner or car.
Hopefully Francois-Henri Pinault has a good family law solicitor as these claims can indeed be substantial.
Read more advice on divorce and family law in our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Monday, August 01, 2011

On Being A Stepparent

Perhaps one of the most daunting jobs in the world: being a stepparent. Thankless, difficult to negotiate, periodic odd man out, little support and ever changing. You are the eternal outsider when it comes to your partner and her or his children. It is also one of the most rewarding roles you can take on, adding shape and meaning to your life you didn’t think possible.

Stepparents can feel isolated and overwhelmed. It is hard for anyone who has not been in this role to understand all of the nuances that occur. Partners aren’t always the best source of support, as they may feel caught in the middle between you and their children. It is essential for stepparents to have a healthy support system in place. Bouncing ideas off of someone else can help add perspective to any situation.

What are the skills necessary to survive being a stepparent? I believe the first step is take your own ego out of the equation. You need to constantly remember that however difficult it is for you to adjust, it is most likely twice as difficult for the children. If you can keep the focus on helping the children cope along with you, putting their needs first, the adjustment will go more smoothly. I realize this is difficult to do, but remember, you were able to choose your current situation and relationship, the children were not.

It is important for you and your partner to discuss and agree on the roles each of you will have, including establishing rules and discipline. Make sure that both of you are comfortable with the roles you have outlined, as well as the household rules. Do not make the mistake of believing this will fall into place on its own; it will fall into place, but lack of thought and preparation are ingredients for disaster at a future date. The role you have with the children will change with time and the discussion between you and your partner should be ongoing.

You and your partner may not always agree on the household rules or discipline. Discuss this with each other and reach a compromise prior to presenting it to the children. It will only add to their confusion, insecurity and resentment if they see you arguing with each other. It is important that both of you feel heard and respected. Biological parents need to remember not to pull the “power play” by shutting you down with the standard, “I’m the parent”. While this is true, you are now a parenting team and your conversations with each other should reflect this.

Bonding with the stepparent can be tricky. Children may feel disloyal to their biological parent if they like the stepparent and get along well with him. These feelings of guilt may result in children pulling away just when you thought you were getting closer. Chances are you are getting closer and the resulting confusion has contributed to the child distancing himself. Be there for the child acknowledging that it must be difficult for him and reinforce that it is acceptable to love all of the adults involved in his life. Never make a child feel as though he has to choose between parents or stepparents.

Have fun creating your new family and maintain a sense of humor. Keep the lines of communication open; seek help and advice when needed and never forget the powerful positive impact you can have on a child.

Copyright © 2011 Divorce Communications. All Rights Reserved.

You can stay at home dad...

A family law judge recently decided that a father, who has full time care of his 11 year old daughter, should move out of his home so that the girl's mother, who lives in Bulgaria, could stay there while visiting their daughter.
This meant not only the father but his new partner and their child having to find somewhere to stay during the visit.
Fortunately a higher court has overturned this decision and they can can stay in their home.
The court can make requirements in connection with a parent seeing a child after a divorce or separation if they think it in the child's interests. This might be where they should meet or who else can be present. Moving out of your home was not considered to be one.
Specialist family law solicitors will be able to provide you with more information about arrangements for children after a divorce or separation.
For more divorce advice read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.