Friday, September 30, 2011

The Myth of Common Law Marriage

The Office for National Statistics has recently published an overview of trends in cohabitation in Britain over several decades. The research shows that in the last few decades the number of men and women who have ever cohabited has risen in all age groups. 

The research also shows that cohabitation seems to be a relatively short term type of relationship. After 10 years of living together 50% of the couples have married each other, just under 4 in 10 have separated, and only 1 in 10 are still living together as a couple.
If you are living with someone without being married you might think you have similar rights to married couples if the relationship breaks down or one of you dies. You would be wrong. There is no such thing as a common law marriage and cohabitants have very few rights that arise out of the relationship. 

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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

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

What is a DUI?  Many people think that the crime of driving under the influence refers only to drunk driving.  DUI in Idaho used to be called a DWI or driving while intoxicated.  This denotation was changed to encompass what the law really covered.  DUI is driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substance.

To legally operate a motor vehicle in Idaho, there can be no more than .08% alcohol in your blood stream (BAC).  Depending upon your size this generally translates into 1-2 drinks over a one hour period.  There is no legal limit of drugs or other intoxicating substances in your system.  What this means, for example, is if you have smoked marijuana and you are pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, you will be found to have been driving under the influence if your blood tests positive for marijuana, regardless of when or how much you smoked.  In regard to other intoxicating substances, such as cough syrup or prescription drugs, there is also no legal limit.  This is not to say that you cannot operate a motor vehicle with these in your blood stream, but if there is a quantity in your blood stream such that your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired, then you can be charged with a DUI.  The police would apply the same field sobriety test they use in a drunk driving stop to determine the extent of your impairment.

Of course, with all DUI stops the police must have probable cause to pull you over in the first place.  This probable cause can range from failing to signal, failing to turn your lights on or weaving.  With the first two the police may simply be doing a routine traffic stop for a moving violation, but if at that time you appear drunk, stoned or otherwise impaired, they can request that you submit to a field sobriety test.

If your BAC is below .08% or if the amount of prescription or over the counter drugs in your system do not rise to the level of "intoxication", you can still be charged with reckless driving if you exhibited poor driving and that was the reason for the original traffic stop.

If you have been charged with a DUI or reckless driving and need to speak to a Boise Criminal Defense Attorney, please give us a call and see what we can do for you.  Call now, (208) 472-2383.

Boise Idaho DUI Lawyers - Criminal Defense Attorneys - Criminal Law

Better The Devil You Know?

It has been reported in the press this week that the sports wear tycoon, Mike Ashley, has reunited with his ex-wife, Linda. According to reports Mike paid Linda a divorce settlement in the region of £50 million in 2003. Experience tells me that  a divorced couple getting back together is not as uncommon as you would think. Divorced couples who have children often do their best to put their differences aside for the sake of the children. Often this can lead to the couple remaining friends. However in some situations this can lead to the rekindling of their romance, which can then lead to the couple remarrying. Anyone in this situation should consider if a pre-nuptial agreement would be appropriate for them.

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

Monday, September 26, 2011

Boise Bankruptcy Attorneys - Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13 - (208) 472-2383

Bankruptcy is a specialized area of legal practice.  Unlike a divorce, DUI or other criminal case, a bankruptcy is handled in Federal Court rather than State Court.  If you were to get a divorce in Boise you would file in the Fourth Judicial District for Ada County.  For bankruptcy, you would file in Federal Bankruptcy Court.  Likewise, for a divorce, DUI or criminal matter in Ada County you would have a county Magistrate Judge hear and decide your case.  A bankruptcy is heard and confirmed by a United States Federal District Bankruptcy Judge.

It's not just location that makes bankruptcy a specialized area.  It has its own code of procedure and rules.  If you have an attorney who doesn't know these rules you can end up not getting your bankruptcy confirmed.  Like in all areas of law, in bankruptcy there are peculiarities that you don't know if you don't practice in that area.

Another difference about bankruptcy is it tends to be administrative.  It is rare that an individual filing for bankruptcy will actually ever go before the bankruptcy judge.  There is a debtor's examination meeting that occurs prior to the confirmation but that is run by the bankruptcy trustee, not the judge.  This is known as a 341 meeting.  341 refers to the Code section which requires that this administrative step be taken.

There are several different types of bankruptcy which an individual or a business might claim.  The most common is Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13.  Chapter 7 is the liquidation of debts.  Here there are income requirements that you have to meet in order to qualify.  There is also Chapter 13 which is an individual debt adjustment.  This does not discharge your debts, rather it allows you to repay them over a period of years.  Chapter 11 is reorganization and is used by businesses to repay their debts.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you are contemplating bankruptcy, give us a call and see what we can do for you.  Call today (208) 472-2383

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why people drift apart when married…

Far from running from the idea of relationships during my divorce, I found myself fascinated by the dynamics of successful relationships. I wanted to learn everything I could about relationships and what makes them successful. This model from world-renowned life coach and self-help author Antony Robbins made an enormous difference to my life. Essentially, he moves through the cycles of how we communicate with each other in a romantic relationship and how, if we’re not vigilant, intimacy and love can break down. The 5 R’s are:
 Resistance
 Resentment
 Rejection
 Resignation
 Repression
Initially, you start out your married life with some kind of hope for a prosperous relationship. You’re in love, your partner is amazing and everything is perfect. One day, something happens. He says something unkind or does something that elicits resistance in you. You get that “Whoa! Hold on, that was not OK!” feeling. This initial resistance is a completely normal reaction to learning new things about your partner and also normal for any behavior he displays that is not OK with you. As women, we often assume that men will know when they’ve done or said something wrong. So we wait for them to acknowledge this by sulking or withdrawing into silence.
Some men are very perceptive and will know something’s up, others won’t have a clue that their behavior has made their partner unhappy. When we keep quiet about our resistance, the feeling can shift into resentment. Many people in unhealthy relationships simply avoid facing reality. Sometimes this can be because the people involved may be trying to make themselves appear superior. Or perhaps they don’t want to face the fact that their mates really aren’t who they say they are, or that they’ve fallen from the ‘perfect mate’ perch.
For example, Anne B covers up and makes excuses for her mate, Ben B, who is always late from work and almost always misses family functions. She might be trying to avoid the truth: that he’s a workaholic, or having an affair. She does so because she doesn’t want to destroy their ‘perfect couple’ image in everyone’s eyes – and perhaps even in her own eyes.
It’s like ignoring that broken handle on a door in your home or not replacing that light bulb. If you don’t address the resentment, other resistances and other resentments will begin to build up. Once there is some momentum with your resentment, then you or your partner may begin to experience rejection within the relationship.
Once rejection creeps into a relationship, it becomes overwhelming and makes it difficult to create or sustain an intimate sexual relationship. Those of us who have been married a long time know that once the relationship feels strained, the regularity of sex is affected, and things can spiral downhill very quickly. The bed becomes divided into ‘his’ and ‘hers’ zones and intimacy suffers. Even the smallest things he says or does are irritating and more resistance, resentment and rejection builds up. If you don’t discuss your feelings of rejection, then your relationship can shift into the place of resignation.
This is when you can so easily slip into co-habitation; operating as housemates or mere friends. Passion, love and chemistry, and all the elements needed to maintain the spark and fire within the relationship, exit through the window. You can end up with an amicable friendship.
This is dangerous! Contentment and harmony are wonderful hallmarks of a marriage, but be sure they’re not camouflaging deep resignation in a relationship. When left too long, resignation can lead to repression. We’ve all been out to dinner and watched the married couple opposite sitting in complete silence. They’re courteous to one another and exchange pleasantries, but perhaps they have succumbed to resignation or repression and no longer actively discuss their relationship.
Repression completely kills the passion and chemistry in a relationship. At this point you may begin to question your commitment to the relationship. You may wonder if your partner was ever right for you. You may begin to spend hours day-dreaming about escaping from the relationship. When we’re not claimed as women by our men in a relationship, we can become obsessed with romance and escapism, daydreaming about being rescued from the disappointing reality of life and marriage.
When you’re removed from the reality of your relationship and your life and escape into a fantasy world, then you’re in real danger of seeking fulfillment outside your relationship and marriage. This is fertile ground for cheating. This is when the ‘midlife crisis’ happens. This is when we start eating for comfort.
Because we didn’t communicate openly, vulnerably and humanly about all the little resentments, in the moment, they built up and killed the relationship.
Here is a video describing this in more detail:
So I here is an exercise which I want you to do together with your partner every day to defuse some of the stress you both have. Once you have de-stressed then start focusing on managing the 5 R’s in your relationship.
Every evening when you have put the kids to bed, I want you to do the following:
  • Go fetch a bucket (a real one) and sit together with no TV or chaos in the background with the bucket between you both
  • You start by vomitting your frustrations into the bucket – it’s not allowed to be aimed at him or aimed at fighting with him – he is not allowed to respond except to acknowledge that he hears what you are saying – aim it into the bucket and vent everything that is pissing you off about life, how life should be, what your finances should be like not like etc.
  • The job is – JUST LISTEN
  • He will ask if you are done – if not, keep going until the bucket is full and you can think of nothing else annoying you
  • THEN he will ask again if you are done, if you are – you both pick up the bucket and throw out these frustrations out of the window or door
  • Now it’s his turn
  • You also are not allowed to engage in conversation – he simply will vent his frustrations into this bucket – everything will go into it
  • You need to listen only and not argue or speak – just allow him to vent and encourage him to vent so he learns to speak more about how he feels about life
  • You will ask if he is done – if not, encourage him to keep going until the bucket is full and he can think of nothing else annoying him
  • THEN you will ask again if he is done, if he is – you both pick up the bucket and throw out these frustrations out of the window or door
Now you both take turns to say what you are grateful for about your life. Your lives are actually very rich and amazing BUT because you dont focus on that, you dont see this. I want you both to come up with at least 5 things you are grateful for
Now you both take turns to say what you will accomplish tomorrow. This is important because at the moment, life is happening to both of you – neither of you say how you want your life to go or feel like you have any control over your lives. Examples include: I will finish the filing tomorrow, I will take a nap in the afternoon and find someone to take care of the kids etc. It will also be good for your husband to share with you more about his job.
The goal for the next week is to do this exercise daily. Once we have you both calmer and in a place where you can defuse the stress, we will move onto next steps!
Till next time!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Our colleague Lindsay Kinnealy who heads our International Property team has written a great blog about the impact of divorce upon any property owned in France.

For the complete blog, please see the Pannone Family Blog.

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

To marry or not to marry?

The Telegraph today reports that in the early 1960's fewer than one in 100 adults under the age of 50 were living together as unmarried couples whereas the figure has now risen to one in six. There may be a number of reasons for people not marrying. Perhaps people are worried about what will happen to their assets upon divorce, particularly if they have built up considerable wealth themselves during their lifetime.
A common misunderstanding is that those who choose to cohabit and do not marry have "common law" rights. This is simply wrong. In certain circumstances cohabitation may leave one of the couple vulnerable if the relationship breaks downparticularly if the property in which they lived was owned by their partner and they have made no financial contribution to it. It is however very fact dependant.  
For more advice on divorce and cohabitation issues follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts .

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Boise Idaho Personal Injury Lawyers - Workers Comp Attorneys

What's the difference between a personal injury and a workers comp claim? 

This is a common question.  Most every employer in the state of Idaho is required to carry workers comp insurance.  If you are hurt on the job, the workers comp laws of Idaho ensure that there is coverage for you.  Personal injury, on the other hand, occurs when you are injured by someone other than your employer.  In a personal injury law suit you file a civil claim against the party who has injured you.  They may or may not have insurance that will cover your damages.

When you are injured on the job it is critical that your report your injury immediately to both the Idaho Industrial Commission and your employer.  If you do not report your injury within 60 days you can lose all your benefits.  Another difference between personal injury and workers comp is who covers the bills associated with your injury.  In a personal injury you are personally responsible for paying your medical bills and then trying to collect the cost from the party who injured you.  With workers comp, your bills are sent directly to and covered by (all reasonable and necessary bills) the insurance carrier.

Another difference between personal injury and workers comp is coverage of lost wages.  If you are injured in an accident not related to work and you file all the appropriate paperwork, you will be entitled to time-loss benefits which is compensation for lost wages if you are off the job for more than five days.  You also may qualify for temporary total disability benefits if you doctor confirms that you cannot work.  These benefits last until you have recovered to the maximum degree of recovery and are released by your doctor to work again.  If you are not completely temporarily disabled, you may qualify for temporary partial disability benefits.  In a personal injury law suit, if you miss work and are temporarily or permanently disabled, you won't collect any payment until you have settled with the insurance company or received and collected on a judgement against the party that injured you.

Death benefits are also provided by workers comp.  In general, your spouse will receive 500 weeks of death benefits.  This can change, however, if your spouse remarries.  In addition, your children, up to 3 total, will receive benefits until they turn 18.  Again, with personal injury, there is no guaranteed coverage for death benefits.  Any money you receive to compensate your loved ones will only come from a settlement with the insurance company or a judgment when you win the personal injury law suit.

So if workers comp sounds so good, why would you ever need a workers comp attorney?  You may ultimately decide what the Idaho Industrial Commission determines is reasonable and necessary or a full benefit does not actually meet your expectations, your out of pocket expenses or is commiserate with your injuries.  For workers comp cases in Idaho you are not allowed to file suit in civil court, like you would with a personal injury case.  For workers comp you have to file an appeal and have a formal hearing.  Prior to going to the formal hearing you may also want to go through mediation.  Mediation is non-binding upon you so if you still don't feel like you are getting what you deserve you can request a formal hearing.  Workers comp attorneys assist you in these matters.  They present your case before the formal hearing board or negotiate with the Industrial Commission lawyers during mediation. If mediation doesn't work for you The Idaho Industrial Commission  lawyers and your workers comp attorney or attorneys will have a binding legal hearing to determine what your benefits should be.

There is one situation where your injury may be taken to a civil court.  If you are injured at work but a third party is involved, in addition to filing for benefits under the workers comp laws of Idaho for the amount of the injury caused by your employer, you can sue the third party for the injury or the amount of the injury they caused.

If you have been injured on the job and need to speak to a Boise Workers Comp Attorney, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383.  We offer a free consultation.  Give us a call and see what we can do for you.

Ever get that sinking feeling?!

In the papers today there are reports of criminal proceedings brought against a woman who allegedly sank her ex-husband's luxury boat in Brighton Marina in 2004 after their marriage ran into difficulties.  The lady in question has, according to reports, pleaded guilty to damaging the boat and faces sentencing next month. 
Whilst the report focuses on the criminal consequences of such behaviour, it also serves as an example of a rare case of the kind of conduct which can be taken into account by the court when considering how a couple's financial assets should be divided following a divorce. 
Many people wrongly assume that when looking at a financial settlement, the court will consider issues such as why the marriage ended, or unkind or ill-treatment by one spouse towards the other.  It is, however, only in very limited circumstances that conduct will be deemed relevant to how the assets are divided on divorce.  Case law provides guidance on the kind of behaviour which will be taken into account - examples include attempted murder, deliberately squandering assets and intentionally causing significant damage to assets or property.  Raising the issue of conduct in circumstances where it will not apply can lead to increased costs and potentially a longer delay before the proceedings can be concluded and it is therefore always advisable for people to seek guidance on whether or not raising the issue will be beneficial to their case.

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

When parents can't agree schooling

Over the next few weeks, many parents will be applying for secondary school places for their children and in some cases, arranging for their children to sit entrance exams.  It is not unusual for parents to disagree which school a child should attend, or what the order of preference should be, and when it is such an important issue which potentially has a significant impact upon a child's future, the discussions can sometimes become quite frought.
I am often contacted by parents to ask who can decide in the event they can't agree, and whether they can just go ahead and make the application without the co-operation of the other parent.  The simple answer is that where both parents have Parental Responsibility (which most parents have), neither has a right of veto, and the decision needs to be agreed.  In some circumstances, the courts can make a Specific Issue Order relating to which exams a child will sit, or which school they will attend, but the courts will always try to get the parents to reach a compromise first.  Mediation can also be useful in helping the parents discuss the various pros and cons of each option, and helping the parents consider the others point of view.  Obviously if having done that, they can't agree the legal system can help.

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

Friday, September 16, 2011

  • Do you have serious conflicts with your co-parent? Research has shown that children of divorce don't have to be damaged for life if their parents have cooperative and collaborative relationships.   
  • Respectful co-parenting can provide children their best chance of living normal lives after separation and divorce.   
  • All of our facilitators are experienced mental health professionals with years of total experience working with families. They have extensive training in conflict and resolution and mediation. 
Dates and times of Classes 2011Series 5: Mondays, September 12, 19, 26, October 3, 10, 17. Series 6: Mondays, October 24. November 7, 14, 21, 28, December 5. 
Dates and times for Classes 2012: 
Series 1: January 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14
Series 2: March 12, 19, 26, Aprl 2, 9, 16
Series 3: May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14, 21
Series 4: July 9, 16, 23, 30, August 6, 13
Series 5: September 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9, 16
Series 6: October 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19, 26
Time and Location: 5:30 - 7:30 pm, 21535 Hawthorne Blvd. Suite 585, Torrance CA 90503. Building adjacent to California Bank & Trust Building. For parking area, enter from Carson or Del Amo Circle and park under building   
Cost: $360 for the 6-sessions. Credit cards accepted, $370.  
For information and registration: Call 310-373-7994 or 310-245-6814 Both parents expected to attend the same group  This workshop is recognized by the L.A. Superior Court/Family Court Services as a local alternative to attending "Parents Without Conflict" in Los Angeles. 
Labels: Children, Divorce, Parenting, Court, Co-parenting, High Conflict.

Boise Idaho Probate Attorneys - Estate Planning Lawyers - Elder Law - (208) 472-2383

Have you been left out of your parent's will?  Did your parent fail to mention you in or bequeath you anything in their will? Are you out of luck or is there a chance you may get your intestate share of your deceased parent's property?  Do you get nothing or do you get your "rightful" share?

Our office deals with a wide range of Estate Planning and Probate issues.  Perhaps the most heartbreaking story I hear as a probate attorney is when an heir has been left out of a will.  This can happen in a couple of different ways.  Often it is the case that a parent has either been married before or had a child out of wedlock.  Later they marry and start a new family.  They make their last will and testament and make no mention of the child of the previous relationship.  Another scenario is you and your parent have a falling out and you are written out of the will.  Sometimes I even see that very dramatic clause that if you contest the will you loose everything and collect only $1.

In Idaho there is a chance that in both of these situations you may actually take what is known as your intestate share of the property.  Intestate refers to a probate situation where there is no will.  A descendant's property must be divided somehow so every state, including Idaho, has a set of probate laws which determine how the property will be divided.  In the above two situations, when you have been left out of a will and the court decides you deserve your fair share, they need a way to determine what you ultimately get.  This is your intestate share.

So how can these situations be challenged? Let's take the second scenario first; you have a falling out with your parent.  People often think that it's the parent's property so they can do with it what they please.  And this is absolutely true.  The challenge comes in when there is undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity.  If you can show that somehow your parent was influenced in a way that forced or influenced them illegally to leave you out or that they did not have the mental capacity necessary to write a will, the will becomes invalid and you as a child of the descendant may take an intestate share of the property.

The first scenario falls under something called a pretermitted heir. This is a fancy way of saying a left out heir.  This is a little bit more tricky.  The Idaho Probate Code contains a pretermitted heir statute which says, in effect, that if a parent leaves a child out of their will solely because they think they are dead then they are a pretermitted heir and are entitled to their intestate share of the property.  A child left out for any other reason gets nothing.  That's what the code says.  Case law, however, which is controlling at this point on the subject, says that unless the testator uses very specific language to show their intent to leave the child out (such as I have a child, Jane Doe, and I give her nothing), Idaho will presume that the child was left out unintentionally and therefore the child will take their intestate share.

Many people panic when they have been left out of a will, but as a Boise Probate Attorney, I can tell you this doesn't necessarily mean you get nothing.  If you have been written out of your parent's will or been completely left out of their will, it is possible that we might be able to get you your intestate share of the estate.  Please give us a call, (208) 472-2383 to see what we can do for you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Is the high divorce rate in online game because divorce process is easy?

Website has reported that the online game Maple Story has a divorce rate of 75% for its online ‘marriages’. The role playing game allows players to have a virtual marriage at a cost of $25 in real money. Apparently the marriage provides some perks which assist in the game playing, as well as having the status of being married.

A divorce in the game will set you back 500,000 mesos (the online game currency). However players are not required to split up their property, pets or any ‘enchanted items’. Players are free to marry again 10 days after their divorce.

Does this high in-game divorce rate support the argument that where ‘marriages’ can be entered into easily and where the divorce process is relatively simple and painless, the divorce rate will be higher? Whilst we do not have details of the grounds for divorce in Maple Story, it does not appear to be challenging to obtain one. It certainly does not require players to seek legal advice on divorce law from a family law Solicitor!

Can the experience on Maple Story mean anything to us in the real world? Can it be argued that as divorce can be a relatively complex and difficult process, it is more likely that people will be certain before entering into a marriage, or before leaving one?

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Divorce Myths

I recently looked at the old copies of our newsletter called “The Divorce Mediator.” In the June 2003 copy which was our 11th newsletter, we did an article about Divorce Assumptions and Myths. As I am always thinking about potential blogs and programs for Arizona ACR, I thought this would be a good topic to identify mediation myths. As usual I googled “mediation myths.” I was surprised as usual to find there were lots of hits. I am always reminded of Sherlock Holmes saying in “A Study in Scarlet, “There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before." As usual Sherlock is correct.

Our list for Connecticut law of divorce myths was:
1. The husband must pay the wife a year of alimony for every two years of marriage.
2. The wife’s alimony terminates when she remarries.
3. The mother always gets physical custody of the children.
4. Assets are equally divided and each person keeps premarital assets.
5. The person who pays child support gets the tax exemption and credit.
6. Property in an individual’s name is not marital property.

Steven H. Kruis in an article on the National Institute for Advanced Conflict Resolution at listed the following mediation myths.
Myth No. 1: All Mediations are the same -- One Size Fits All.
Myth No. 2: Certain Types of Cases Cannot Be Mediated.
Myth No. 3: Ex Parte Communication before the Mediation Is Improper.
Myth No. 4: When the Case Has Not Settled at the Conclusion of the Mediation Session, the Parties Proceed to Litigation.
Fran Tetunic in an article in the Florida Bar Journal, May, 2008, Volume 82, No. 5 and cited at listed the following mediation myths

1) Everything in Mediation Is Confidential.
2) Confidentiality Prevents a Lawyer-mediator from Reporting Attorney Misconduct During Mediation.
3) A Lawyer-mediator Must Advise Mediation Parties to Seek the Advice of Counsel.
4) If All Parties Waive Any Conflict of Interest Disclosed by the Mediator, the Mediator May Mediate.
5) The Mediation Is Not Over Until the Mediator Declares Impasse.
6) The Mediator Holds the Privilege to Refuse to Disclose Confidential Mediation Communications.
7) The Mediator May Predict an Outcome at Trial if Requested by All the Parties.
8) The Mediator Has the Obligation to Write the Mediated Agreement.
9) Mediators Report to the Court When Parties Fail to Mediate in Good Faith.
10) Mediator Misconduct, Like Legal Malpractice, Does Not Serve as a Basis for Setting Aside a Mediated Agreement.

Do you have any myths? There must be thousands more!

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(231) 9/14/11.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boise Idaho Divoce Lawyers - Family Law Attorneys - (208) 472-2383

Divorce can get ugly.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney I have seen some really unsavory divorce and custody actions.  It is my job as a divorce lawyer to try to help you to go through the process without high conflict.  This isn't always possible.  It depends to a great deal upon the individuals, the degree of animus and the level of maturity of the parties.  However, as many Boise Divorce Attorneys will attest, there are a few things that you, as an individual, can do to help your divorce go smoothly.

One of the biggest areas of conflict in divorce and custody actions has to do with a new partner, spouse or significant other.  Keeping your divorce issues and your custody issues between you, your soon-to-be ex partner and your lawyers is far better than including your new boyfriend or girlfriend in the mix.

Being timely for visitation drop off and pick up and being courteous about potential conflicts are other important elements in divorce.  Often conflict begins here.  The parties, because they are at odds, begin to use their children to get back at the other party.  If someone is late for visitation drop off, the other party might use that against them or to claim they are not fit to be a parent.  Divorce is very hard on children and no child deserves to be put in the middle of a custody dispute.

Being up front and honest with your soon-to-be ex and with the attorneys is also critical to the process and the outcome of a divorce.  Incomes for child support calculations, use of community savings and care of community property are areas where people will often try to hide or fudge or somehow use to deceive the other party.  You are obliged by law to be honest about your income and to care for the goods of the community.  Lying about your income to decrease your child support obligation or destroying community property out of spite are sure ways to create a high conflict divorce.  Just a note about child support.  People often don't want to divulge their full incomes because they don't want the other party to get their money.  Child support is just what it says it is.  It is to support your child.

There is no guarantee that your divorce will go smoothly but using common sense and civility will go a long way in helping your divorce go quickly and with a low level of conflict.  There are of course certain issues which may result in conflict.  Your attorney knows how to manage these and it is far better to discuss these with your divorce lawyer rather than directly with the other party.

If you are seeking a divorce or custody and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, please call, (208) 472-2383,

How to divorce your dragon

News appears today that Duncan Bannatyne of "Dragon's Den" fame has allegedly stated that he will have to lay off staff within his businesses in order to provide interim support for his estranged wife.  She is reportedly asking for £1,000 per day.

The story raises two issues.  Firstly, one partner (often but certainly not always the wife) will need financial support from the other until a divorce settlement is reached and implemented.  The second is the ability of the payer to provide that support from their own resources. 

Historically, business owners have claimed that their resources are limited and that their businesses have coincidentally run into trouble at the same time as their marriage.  In recent times, those claims and fears may have more validity, especially when set against the current economic climate.  The key question is not so much what a business is worth, but whether it could or should be used to fund interim arrangements and overall settlements.

In many cases, the court will rely on expert accountancy evidence to determine such questions.  The divorce lawyer's skill lies inbeing able to identify issues and ask the right questions on behalf of their clients.  For more divorce advice  follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @ Divorce_experts.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

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

It seems like there are more stories in the local newspaper about increases in arrests over  holiday weekends.  For Boise Criminal Lawyers this translates into an uptick in the number of calls associated with folks looking for a good criminal defense attorney.  These holiday arrests don't just involve DUI.  They often involve other crime.

I have frequently discussed how to avoid a DUI but today I would like to talk about a good way to avoid being arrested for the crime of possession of drugs or paraphernalia.  As a Boise Criminal Defense Lawyer I regularly get calls from individuals who describe their arrest in detail.  In a lot of situations something happens to initiate a traffic stop, such as a broken headlight or blinker.  Contrary to popular belief, just because a person in in possession of marijuana or paraphernalia doesn't mean they are under the influence of marijuana.  So often people are arrested for possession because of an underlying offense, such as a traffic violation.  Here's the common scenario.  You're driving along and the detestable red lights, which signal trouble, flash at you.  The cop pulls you over, struts like a rooster to your window and snoops around a little bit.  You might be nervous, you might be driving an old Duster, you might be wearing a Grateful Dead T-shirt or you might just want to get the heck out of Dodge, but whatever it is it signals the cop to think something might be going on.  And then it happens.  The cop asks if he or she can search you or your car.  Just Say No!  People often think they have to let the police search them.  You do not.  If they have not arrested you, they cannot search you without your permission or without a search warrant.  Unless you have a rap sheet a mile long or you are really paranoid or aggressive, the police simply are not going to secure a search warrant on a simple traffic stop.

If the police search you, with your permission, then whatever they find is potentially admissible as evidence against you.  The police know that if they don't have your permission to search you or the vehicle anything they find that is not in "plain sight" may be excluded. 

This brings up a few important points.  One, if you are pulled over and you know you have marijuana or paraphernalia on you don't say yes to a search.  You do not have to.  It might also be sensible to always say no, just in case you forgot about the pipe or roach in your pocket (this actually happens all the time).  It is also an important if you have been arrested and the police searched you or your car without your permission and found incriminating evidence, make certain you tell your Boise Criminal Lawyer that this is how the evidence was obtained so that they can moved to have it excluded.  An obvious but often overlooked point is, don't act guilty during a traffic stop.  If you have been pulled over for a traffic violation, be agreeable and move on.  Your attitude can wind up getting you busted.

The world of criminal law revolves around what evidence is admissible.  You have to fully inform your Boise Criminal Lawyer of all the facts surrounding your arrest so that they can keep out any evidence that violates your rights.

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

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A spy in the camp

According to research, increasing numbers of people are snooping on their partners online.
Apparently, women are the more likely to do this. 20% of women in relationships admitted to checking up on their partner compared to 10% of men.
Increasing numbers of divorce petitions include a reference to a form of social media, in particular facebook, as an example of the other party's unreasonable behaviour. Petitioners cite the either respondent's addiction to or inappropriate use of social media.
For more advice on divorce read our family law blog, follow us on Twitter or call Pannone on 0800 840 4929.

Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir?

It has been reported in the press that a husband in France has allegedly been ordered to pay his wife over £8000 in damages because of a lack of sex during the marriage.
After 21 years of marriage, the wife filed for divorce apparently blaming the break up on her husband's inactivity in the bedroom. A judge granted the divorce and ruled that the husband was solely responsible for the split.
His ex-wife took him back to court demanding compensation for ‘lack of sex’. THe husband was penalised under a section of France’s civil code which states that married couples must agree to ‘a shared communal life’ which includes an active sexual relationship. 
In England and Wales, absence of a sexual relationship has been cited as an example of unreasonable behaviour in divorce petitions. However, this is not a consideration for the court when considering s25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and financial settlements in divorce.For more advice on divorce read our family law blog, follow us on Twitter or call Pannone on 0800 840 4929.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


The most difficult decision a couple makes is to end their relationship. This is especially true when children are involved. Many couples will try to stay together for the sake of the children. It is not uncommon to hear divorced individuals report, “I would have divorced years ago if it hadn’t been for the children.” Couples realize that divorce means the end of the family unit as it had previously existed.

Once the couple has separated and moved into different residences, it is important to establish new activities, traditions and guidelines in each home. Many couples spend the first few years after divorce spinning their wheels trying to convince themselves and the children that “we are still a family”. Yes, you are still a family, but you are now two families where once there was one. Children are uncannily perceptive and don’t buy the line that, “we will always be a family no matter what”. It’s like a demolition ball hitting a building, knocking it almost completely down, and proclaiming the building still stands because a few walls remain.

Instead of trying to recreate a past that is gone, it is important for parents to stay focused in the present. Some parents argue that it is important to include the ex in all family activities, as though the divorce didn’t happen. This is confusing for children, as they cannot understand what is going on and why the parents are acting as though everything is normal and just the same. The divorce has made the child’s life anything but the same as it was prior to the break-up. This becomes very murky once a new partner is introduced into the family.

It is important to help your children understand that your and your ex-partner’s households are separate. While it is very beneficial to have similar rules and guidelines that are followed with the children, this isn’t always the case. It is also nice to have both parents present for major events in the child’s life. Finding a balance is what is important. Children need to feel secure with each parent and in each home. You can help establish this security by making the child relish the time with each parent and realize that it is no longer one family with the parents, but two separate families.

To make the transition smooth, focus on the positives that happen with two families: more support from different family members, including new partners, two birthday and holiday celebrations and two households with unique and fun traditions. Divorce is just the beginning and the tone each parent sets will go a long way in helping the children cope and adjust. Parents should stay present and positive.

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