Monday, October 31, 2011

To Blow or Not To Blow - That is the Question - Boise Criminal Lawyers - DUI and Brathalyzer Considerations

As a Boise Criminal Lawyer I repeatedly hear from clients who have been charged with a DUI that they didn't blow (on the breathalyzer) because they thought without a breathalyzer reading the police wouldn't be able to prove they were intoxicated.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.  While it is true that you cannot be charged with a DUI without the proper evidence to prove you were intoxicated, people don't often realize that the police can acquire that proof via a blood test.  This isn't forced or without consent because when you get your Idaho driver's license you agree to allow the police to check for the presence of alcohol or drugs in your blood if you are suspected of driving under the influence.

So, to blow or not to blow?  What's at stake?  If you know you have been drinking and you know you probably have more than .08% BAC, it often makes more sense to go ahead and blow.  While refusing may buy you time, until you get to the police station and have your blood drawn, you stand to get an automatic one year license suspension if your BAC comes back greater than a .08%.  Compare this with the actual first time DUI maximum license suspension of 180 days (with the first 30 days being absolute).

So, does it ever make sense not to blow?  This is a risky gamble because you don't know exactly what your BAC is.  If at the time you were pulled over your BAC was just barely over .08 not blowing might mean the difference between reckless or inattentive driving and a DUI.   Or, if your BAC is just barely over a .2 (excessive DUI), waiting and allowing your BAC to go down while you are waiting for a blood draw, might mean the difference between an excessive DUI and a regular DUI.

Because you will not know your actual BAC and because you stand to lose so much, it probably makes more sense to blow.  Not blowing can lead to even greater and more serious consequences than taking your punches upfront.  Being without a driver's license for 1 year can seriously impede your life.

If you have found yourself in this situation and you need to speak to a Boise Criminal Lawyer, give us a call and see what we can do for you.  (208) 472-2383

Thoughts on Divorce Discovery Process and Trial Preparation

I thought it would be helpful to go over a digest version of the process of trial preparation and discovery for divorce. An article I found gives a helpful overview of the process for those who are considering hiring an attorney. Please note this is not specific legal advice for you and your case it is simply a legal process that some attorneys may take. Always seek legal advice prior to taking any legal actions.

In a contested case, after one spouse files for divorce, the process of discovery begins. Each side sends the other lists of questions called interrogatories, which have been drafted by attorneys and must be answered under oath. Interrogatories are composed of questions about finances, assets, pensions, and similar financial issues. Through their attorneys, the spouses can also ask each other to produce documents such as bank statements, credit-card bills, receipts, tax returns, paycheck stubs, etc. The attorneys will sort through the interrogatories and documents- and then if necessary, may further question the spouses in person under oath at what is called a deposition. A deposition takes place in the presence of a court reporter, who later transcribes what was said into a typewritten booklet.

Often the attorneys may be looking for hidden assets in order to determine how much money, earning power, and other assets each spouse has so that they can be divided.

Trial preparation efforts are important because the information that comes out at a trial depends very much on how well the lawyers understand and present the facts-both favorable and unfavorable-to the judge. Even the best case can be lost if the lawyer is unprepared, careless, incompetent, or otherwise ineffectual. Moreover, the best-prepared lawyer with the best case can also lose if the other lawyer is more effective or the judge is biased. Lastly, no matter how strong you believe your case is, there is often an element of surprise. There are no guarantees when it comes to litigation. Judges often see things very unpredictably.

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

Spousal Support / Alimony when Sharing a Residence

According to a recent article, The South Carolina Supreme Court has decided that couples seeking a divorce must live apart in order for one spouse to seek support.

In the great economic recession that the United States is under, it just makes it that much harder to obtain a divorce. Supporting two households is presently impossible for millions of Americans. This decision comes at a time when many couples in the process of divorce are choosing to live together due to their financial situation or lack of employment.

The article sites a case in which a woman was seeking support from her husband of thirty years while still living in the same home. Her request was denied because she was still living with her ex-husband. Many people simply do not have the funds to just set up their own household and for some; this is why they seek support.

In South Carolina couples seeking a no-fault divorce with neither party citing infidelity nor abuse must live apart for a year to seek support. In South Carolina it is believed that if the two people can live together, then there must be a relationship that to be salvaged. If one party moves out immediately, it is believed that they must really not be able to stand each other. Because of this, a physical separation for monetary support is now required. In a state such as this, it is very beneficial not to be financially dependent on the other person.

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

Perils of Social Networking and Divorce

Many of us have become obsessed with social networking whether it’s Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter. Many attorneys today are warning their clients to keep off of social media sites.

According to a recent article, the average person can find information on another person (much cheaper that hiring a private investigator) just by doing a simple search. It’s all too common that users of social media sites tend to share too much information. It’s extremely important to be conscious of photos and blurbs you post on the web. You may want to think twice before clicking the “share” button because you may be posting something incriminating or that you don’t want to be public information in the long-run. Ultimately it can not only embarrass you, but truly harm your pending legal matter. So please think twice before you publicly share.

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

Don't Make Divorce More Nasty

Many people when undergoing a divorce think that playing nasty tactics on their ex spouse can help them to either attain an advantage or emotionally satisfy them. I always advise against doing anything unnecessary. For one, it can emotionally awake the other side to up the ante in increasing unnecessary roughness. It's just an ever mounting nuclear arms race waiting to happen.

We’ve all been known to play tricks on people; sometimes even dirty tricks, but pulling a dirty trick on your ex-spouse or soon-to-be-ex-spouse will rarely be of advantage to yourself.

I wanted to share some tips from an article about tricks you shouldn’t to pull during a divorce:

1. Leave Him/ Her with Nothing
2. Cut Off the Credit Cards
3. Get Him Fired
4. Cut Off the Utilities
5. Tell the Other woman's/ Other man’s Spouse
6. Move out of State with the Kids
7. Clean out the Bank Accounts
8. Call Child Protective Services
9. Embarrass your Spouse

Many states even have laws to protect parties to a divorce matter against many of the issues mentioned above. One of the best tips in the article is to make sure that each move you make in the divorce is toward a positive solution.

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

Friday, October 28, 2011

Jeremy Clarkson alleged to have had affair with former wife

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has come under fire for allegedly having an affair with his former wife, Alexandra Hall, whilst married to his current wife, Frances. He is said to have revealed himself as one of the super-injunction celebrities in a move to make the claims public.

The Daily Mail, in reporting the story, advises that if men want to protect their reputation, they should behave. But is it just men who are guilty of having affairs? In my experience of drafting divorce petitions, men are no more likely to have affairs than women. And a recent survey by a leading firm of accountants found that, for the first year since the survey began, having an affair slipped to the second most cited ground for divorce; the most common cited ground was simply growing apart or falling out of love.

And the implications for Mr Clarkson? A divorce settlement which will no doubt make the headlines.

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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Divorce Word Cloud

Recently, I seem to have a fascination with depicting words. I have seen visualizations of words in the media. With iPhone apps people can now do things that use to take expensive software. I was please to see I could get a free app that would create word clouds. A word cloud is a visual representation for text data, typically used to depict the frequency of each word shown with font size and/or color. The assumption is that important words are larger and in a different color. The word cloud above is a visualization of the documents necessary to start a divorce action in court in Arizona. I had to increase the frequency of a word appearing to at least 20 times and taking out some common words or it would have not been readable. It is interesting to see how the words COURT and YOU are the biggest and most frequent and the word attorney is in the smallest font. The word child is somewhere in between. I am not sure if this is a significant statement about the divorce process but it certainly is interesting. Unfortunately, the word mediation did not show up at all. As I write this, I think I will do another word cloud using the Divorce Memorandum of Understanding and Consent Decree and see how it compares.

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(233) 10/27/11

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Domestic violence and new government proposals

The press have today reported upon new government proposals which would give people the power to find out from the police if a new partner has a history of domestic violence. It follows a campaign by the father of a woman killed by her ex-boyfriend.
The Home Office are launching a consultation which asks whether the protection of victims of domestic violence can be improved by the establishment of a national domestic violence disclosure scheme and how it would work in practice. More details can be found on the home office website and the closing date for responses is 13th January 2012.
Of course victims of domestic violence are men and women alike and protection from the court can be obtained in certain circumstances. Pannone LLP can provide sensitive and constructive advice on such issues and we can be contacted on 0800 840 4929 or by clicking You can also read more at  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The “Aggressive Divorce Attorney” - Be Careful What you Wish For

Remember the adage “if it sounds to good to be true, it is”? It is really hard to apply this when you are in a desperate situation, like divorce. You are angry and hurt; confused and scared. How are you going to pay your bills? How will you get a job after being a stay at home parent for the last 10 years? What about the children? They still need you. You’re spouse has never been a parent to them. So you find an attorney who advertises as an “aggressive” advocate to protect your rights. They may even advertise as “compassionate”. How can you be aggressive AND compassionate? First red flag warning that the attorney is playing on your fears. The attorney promises to get you an immediate order for support and exclusive use of the house. Sounds great! You came to the right place. Or, did you?

What you have just done is start the process of a two to three year divorce, $50,000 in attorney fees, and a battle that will leave you bitter, your children scarred, and your retirement accounts depleted. Your desire to “protect your rights” is quickly twisted into “I have to win”, because that’s what your spouse and his attorney are trying to do. Divorce should not be a competition, with winners and losers. In divorce court, it is. Look at the McCourts. Who lost? The Dodgers. Who won? The lawyers. Look at the recent Seal Beach shooting: Scott Dekraai shot 8 people, killing his soon-to-be ex wife. Who lost? His nine year old son. Who won? Who cares.

The reality of divorce is that the “win/lose” mentality distracts us from the problems to be solved. A parenting plan (aka “child custody and visitation”) should be based on a child’s needs and the best that Mom and Dad can offer; not on what the legislature, or a judge, or a custody evaluator (who know nothing about you, your goals, or your goals for your children) decide. Your financial decisions should be based on your unique situation and goals; not on an algebraic formula that’s based on gross income. In divorce court, once your aggressive attorneys have exhausted you, financially and/or emotionally, then they start to recommend mediation, or they, after the judge instructs them, force you into the courthouse hallway, and instruct you to take an on-the-spot deal that you really don’t understand or want. Problem solving in this scenario feels more like arm twisting or “cutting your losses” after you’ve given everything up.

What if you could start the process with problem solving? What if Scott Dekraii and Michelle Fournier had a child specialist and divorce coaches to address parenting concerns and make sure that everyone was emotionally stable and ready to resolve? What if the McCourts had sat down with an emotional, legal, and financial team of professionals to work through the anger, keep focus on protecting the team, and understand the financial picture? Answers: Dominic Deckraai may still have both parents, and the Dodgers could have avoided bankruptcy.

Divorce is not a “one-size-fits-all” business transaction (as it is treated in Divorce Court). The complex emotional interactions and consequences of a relationship break are completely ignored in divorce court, and fed upon by “aggressive” lawyers.

You don’t need an “aggressive” lawyer to safeguard your valuable rights. Couples facing divorce need to manage the fear, anger, and hurt, so that they can make rational, informed decisions. The truth of the situation is that both spouses usually share common interests: stability for themselves and their children; a desire for fairness; the ability to plan for the future; and the desire to keep their children healthy and happy. The sooner you start working with a professional who focuses on problem solving rather than feeding on your fears, the sooner you can identify and start working towards these underlying interests.

Even if your spouse refuses to participate in a peaceful resolution (see my other article on this topic), working with a mediator, collaborative attorney, divorce coach, and/or financial specialist trained in mediation and collaborative practice, will help you find peaceful ways of working through the process. These professionals are skilled in managing conflict, especially in high conflict situations. They will teach you:

  1. How and when to “respond” rather than “react” when your spouse tries to engage;
  2. How to be the “safe” parent when your spouse puts the children in the middle;
  3. How to use your “EAR” with your spouse - show empathy, attention, and respect - without sacrificing the validity of your concerns and interests;
  4. How to parent as you see fit, regardless of your spouse’s conduct;
  5. And how to plan for your future and your child’s future, as if your spouse didn’t exist.

Here are 5 suggestions when planning your divorce:

  1. Work with a therapist who will keep you grounded and focused.
  2. Think about what you would like your divorce to look like; if you have continuing connections like children or a business together, consider the kind of relationship you would like to have with this person in five yeas, in ten years, for future events like graduation, weddings, and medical emergencies.
  3. Consider forgiveness. When you forgive, you honor the fact that you were harmed, and you sever the control the other person has to continue harming you. That is when your are truly healed.
  4. Seek out an experienced mediator or a collaborative attorney, even if your case is not collaborative and your are forced into divorce court. These professionals are trained in managing conflicts and that can have a positive impact, even in difficult contested cases. These are professionals who do what they do out of true compassion for the suffering of others.
  5. Find an attorney who not only understands the complex laws of property, support, and custody, but who also appreciates the “human nature” part of the situation, and is committed to guiding you through it with as little conflict as possible. This person will help you identify and support your highest values without sacrificing your financial or parenting safety.

“It takes two to tango.” If you don’t like the music, find another party. Very often, what we have seen happen, is the EAR (empathy, attention, and respect) you give to your spouse, either, is reflected back by your spouse or modeled by your children. In the best situations, we see both. What a great way to stop the divorce cycle for your children: by teaching them the tools to deal with high conflict situations in a productive way.

Seal Beach Shooting - A Spotlight on our Broken Divorce Court System

Driven by tragedy and divorce, Scott ("Scotty" as he was known) Dekraai is now being vilified for the shooting rampage that left 8 dead, including his soon-to-be ex-wife, Michelle Fournier. The real tragedy: it could have been prevented.

The recent tragedy in Seal Beach that resulted in the death of 8 people, including Michelle Fournier, at the hands of her soon-to-be ex-husband Scott Dekraai, has been swirling in my head and my heart since I heard about it. So I did some research on line: I wanted to know who this guy actually was, and what could have possibly led this person to destroy so many lives, including that of his son.

It turns out, this was actually a pretty amazing human being, who nearly lost his legs trying to save a co-worker in a tragic accident (she was sliced in half by a cable that detached from its hook). He was someone who cared for his friends and would check on their parents as if they were his own. And he was, by all accounts, someone who loved his son more than anything else. But after the accident that killed his co-worker, something changed in him. Something broke in him.

Then comes this divorce, and all of the F-E-A-R (“False Emotions Appearing as Real) that comes with it. He claimed in court documents that Michelle was an alcoholic, and frequently intoxicated while caring for their son. She claimed he was bipolar and not taking his medications. The attacks go on and on. In my research, one of the reader comments read “So now we waste money on a trial? Extinguish his lights. The parties over.” Other than this ignorant person’s inability to properly use a contraction, he highlights the real tragedy of this situation: We continue to ignore the problem, failing to respond to the cry for help.

Divorce court taps into our darkest behaviors because it is a "win/lose" arena, with lawyers as gladiators and judges as God. Are you kidding me??? This family needed help. They needed a child specialist (a person actually trained in working with children going through trauma), not "minor's counsel, an attorney who has NO training at all in working with children; divorce coaches (mental health professionals who help the parents work through their emotions, identify the triggers, confirm and take steps to ensure emotional and mental stability, and keep them focused on the child), not an evaluator, who puts them under a micro-scope to highlight their deficiencies and then reports back to the judge; a financial specialist (CPA or financial planner, or both, who work with both parents to provide a clear picture of the financial situation now and moving forward, and who could allay the fears that drive people towards irrational financial decisions); and attorneys who are trained in problem solving rather than “winner take all” battle tactics, and who understand the importance of allowing the other professionals to do their jobs so that this family could make calm, rational decisions.

The real tragedy is that people keep going to divorce court and hiring their gladiator attorneys thinking all of these problems will be solved there. No one learns from these events that put a temporary spotlight on just how broken our family law system is. The real tragedy, is when that spotlight fades: no one sees the day-to-day suffering in divorce as handled by our family court system; the child who’s parent refuses to see him because of the conflict with the other parent; the father who moves from friends’ couch to friends’ couch because he can’t afford the support payments and rent. In fact, Ms. Fournier’s attorney described the most recent court hearing as “benign”. How out of touch and desensitized do you have to be to describe a custody hearing (even one where nothing happens) as “benign”. It is anything but “benign” to the family living through that hell.

I’m outraged by the vilification of either of these parents. I’m outraged that this child has lost BOTH of his parents. But more than anything else, I’m outraged because instead of promoting change and a better way to resolve these situations, most members of the bench AND the bar continue to advocate AGAINST peaceful resolution options for divorce. For many, such advocacy is based on fear: the California State Bar will prosecute any attorney for any perceived offense, no matter how minor or how unintentional. Too many litigators cite “waivers of confidentiality” or “dereliction of duty” as an advocate for reasons why they will not support peaceful solutions for divorce. Others deem it a “waste of time and money” if a resolution is not reached. How long does a contested divorce last? Three, four years? But a three month mediation doesn’t resolve all issues, so it was a waste? Really? Well, folks, if you’re not part of the solution, in this situation you ARE the problem. You have the knowledge AND the ability to help families in crisis. Family law is NOT rocket science. It’s emotion driven. It really doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, if there is an exact 50/50 split of all assets, debts, and children. What matters is helping these families stop the destructive cycle so that they can move forward in a productive way, with tools that help them work through tough situations, rather than clog the courts with more gripes.

I challenge every family law professional out there to research who Scott Dekraai and Michelle Fournier were, before their marriage, and before and during their divorce. Then consider the end result. See if it rings true with any of your current or past cases. Actually take the time to get to know your clients AND who their spouses are. Then ask yourself, what can you do differently so that there is a positive result for those families. If you can’t figure it out, then you’re the problem. Do something... ANYTHING... but don’t let this tragedy end without a lesson.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Boise Idaho Bankruptcy Attorneys - Chapter 7 Lawyers

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

As Boise Bankruptcy Attorneys, we often get calls form people wondering what all the Chapters of Bankruptcy are and what chapter they might qualify for.  There are many forms of bankruptcy ranging from simple to complex.  Basic bankruptcy is often refered to Chapter 7.  Federal law has codified the various chapters of bankruptcy and the code section refering to "discharge" is Chapter 7.  There are other forms as well, such as business bankruptcy, often called reorganization, farm bankruptcy and Chapter 13 or repayment bankruptcy.

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you first must meet a means test.  This looks at your income and determines whether or not you can repay your debts.  If your income falls below the codified level for the number of people in your family you can proceed with Chapter 7.  If your income exceeds the codified level you do not qualify and your only recourse is Chapter 13.

Once it has been determined that you qualify for Chapter 7, you must make an accounting of all your property.  Certain property is exempt, or at least partially exempt.  For example, you have what is known as a homestead exemption which exempts $100,000 of value from your home.  The exempt property is protected from collection by your creditors. 

Most debts are dischargeable including medical bills and credit card bills.  Some debts however, such as student loans, are not dischargeable.  Once you have made an accounting of your debts you will go before the bankruptcy trustee for a debtors examination.  The trustee will question you about your debts and determine if you have given them a complete list of your debts.  The trustee is paid a minimal statutory fee for the examination.  If, however, they are able to uncover debts which you have omitted, they receive a percentage of the value of the revealed debt.  This gives them incentive to look long and hard at what you have reported.  You can also be penalized for omitting debts.  The bankruptcy judge can deny your petition for bankruptcy so it is in your best interest to be thorough in your accounting.

Chapter 7 bankrutpcy is known as a discharge because once you have gone through the steps all your non-exempt debts are absolved.  Basically, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy means that after you qualify for your various exemptions, your income and available property are not enough to cover your debts.

Chapter 7 has a significant impact upon your credit for many years, but if you have found yourself deep in debt and you have no where to turn, a bankruptcy may be what you need to start getting your financial future back on track.  It offers you a clean slate from which you can begin to build your credit again.

If you have found yourself in this situation and you need to talk to a Boise Bankrutpcy Attorney, give us a call, (208) 472-2383 and see what can do for you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Divorce and Ambigrams

I am sorry I have not been able to blog for awhile. Just did not seem to have the time. I enjoy blogging and missed it and will try harder to blog at least once a week.

I was fascinated by ambigrams before I knew what they were called. My initials WM and my license plate zwmz are both ambigrams. I learned the name for the first time when I read Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons.” For those of you who don’t know what an ambigram is the following quote from Wikepedia
( explains:
“An ambigram is a typographical design or art form that may be read as one or more words not only in its form as presented, but also from another viewpoint, direction, or orientation. The words readable in the other viewpoint, direction or orientation may be the same or different from the original words. Douglas R. Hofstadter describes an ambigram as a "calligraphic design that manages to squeeze two different readings into the selfsame set of curves." Different ambigram artists (sometimes called ambigramists) may create completely different ambigrams from the same word or words, differing in both style and form.” The above drawing is an ambigram for the word divorce.
My daughter says I can make anything into a blog about mediation. As usual, she is correct. This in part the case because I believe in synergy which may be defined as two or more things functioning together to produce a result not independently obtainable. In this case I am taking ambigrams, divorce and mediation.
In mediating a divorce the parties must look at things from another viewpoint, direction, or orientation but hopefully come up with a similar result. With an ambigram we look at a word in a different way (usually upside down) but see something not only similar but the same. When we do this in mediating a divorce we come up with new and creative solutions to the problems the couple is having resolving their case.

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(232) 10/20/11

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Boise Family Law Lawyers - Guardianships


Practicing family law in Idaho entails more than providing legal services for divorce, custody and modification.  One area of family law which deserves attention is guardianships.

Why would a guardianship be necessary and who might need or want one?  A guardianship may be created for a child or for a person who is unable to tend to their affairs on their own.  A guardian may be appointed for a child when their parent is unable to act in the capacity of their parent.  A guardian may be appointed for an adult who has become incapacitated and is unable to make important financial, legal and day to day decisions.

For a child, a guardian may be appointed when the day to day care of the child by the parent has been interrupted.  Thinking about today's economy, it is becoming more common for a child to be placed in the care of their grandparents while the parents move to a different state to find employment.  A guardianship does not have to be created in this situation, however, doing so enables the grandparents to easily take care of legal, educational, medical and day to day needs of the child.  A guardianship can also be created for a child when a parent fails to take proper care of a child.  The guardian is appointed to ensure the child's needs are taken care of.  The guardian can be a grandparent but it can also be an unrelated party.

Can a guardianship be terminated?  Yes it can.  It can end on its own when a child reaches the age of majority or if the child dies.  A guardianship can be terminated by a court if a judge determines it is no longer necessary or the purpose for which it was created (such as to manage a financial account).

For an adult, a guardianship is often created when a person is incapacited because of something like an accident or an illness which renders the individual incapable of taking care of their affairs.  A guardianship can also be created for a mentally handicapped person who is unable to tend to their own affairs.  These types of guardianships can also be terminated.  If the incapacity ceases to exists, a judge can determine that the guardianship is no longer necessary.

Being appointed a guardian carries with it very important duties.  For example, the guardian of the child must provide for the child in a fashion that a parent would provide for a child.  They have an obligation to feed and clothe the child and tend to his or her education.  Likewise, for an adult, a guardian has a duty to care for the person's fianancial, medical and day to day affairs in a responsible manner and to exercise the care approriate for the situation.

If you have a family law issue and need to speak to a Boise Family Law Attorney, please call us at (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

Husband receives share of wife's lottery win.

It has been reported that a hotel porter has won a chunk of his ex-wife's £500,000 National Lottery win after a High Court fight.
According to the Daily Mail, Justice Mostyn concluded that the prize was 'non-matrimonial property' but when the wife used some of it to buy a house she converted 'part of her non-matrimonial assets into matrimonial property'. This decision is the first case concerning the treatment of a lottery win 'in financial remedy proceedings following divorce' by a judge in England.
Any money built up during a marriage is normally considered a joint asset. It should be noted that the husband was not awarded half of the winnings. The particular circumstances led the judge to award the husband a lump sum of £85,000. There is a suggestion that the outcome is unfair as it will encourage husbands and wives to try and keep their own wealth separate from joint funds to avoid their spouse receiving an equal share.
Most cases will still be determined by the needs of the parties. It remains of crucial importance to ensure a consent order is drawn up recording the terms of any financial agreement reached between spouses. The absence of a consent order could result in a spouse receiving a share of any future lottery winnings.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Monday, October 17, 2011

Phones so smart they provide grounds for divorce

A New York husband claims to have used an App secretly installed on his wife’s new iphone 4S to prove that she has been seeing another man.

The screen shot from the ‘Find My Friends’ App posted by Mr Metz on the Macrumours website appears to show his wife in a very different location to that indicated by her text message to him.

Although Mr Metz’s comments on the site indicate he considers this gives him grounds for divorce there could be many reasons why she has not told him where she has been. He should ensure he takes divorce advice before taking any further steps.

Mr Metz also appears to think he will receive a substantial divorce settlement as he states on the website that his wife is ‘the rich one’.

Divorce law is, however, complicated and there are many factors which govern how a financial divorce settlement is reached.

The smart move would be to find an App to locate a specialist family law solicitor to provide him with expert divorce advice.

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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Change 1 thing in Divorce Court

What is the number 1 thing you would do to improve the way divorce is handled in the court room? Tell us what state you are from , how it is handled there, and what you would change.

Divorce Communications-

21st Century Marriage

According to statistics revealed by the Daily Mail today, in 25% of marriages the wife earns more than her husband.
In addition, there are an increasing number of cases where the wife is the breadwinner and the husband the homemaker. Gone are the days of the traditional gender roles. The current economic situation and standard of living now dictate the roles of the husband and wife. This can place huge pressure on a marriage.
When any relationship ends, the courts have difficult decisions to make. Previously the court would assume that any children would remain with their mother and provide for contact with their father. Now, no assumptions are made and there are many cases where there is either a shared care arrangement or the children remain with their father and have contact with their mother.  
When determining the financial aspects of a divorce, the courts look at several criteria including the needs of the parties, their resources and contributions to the marriage. The intention is that a settlement which is fair to all parties is reached. This can now mean that wives end up paying their husbands maintenance.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog, follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Boise Business Attorneys - Small Business Lawyers - Non-Compete Clauses in Idaho

Are non-compete clauses allowed in Idaho and can you get around them?  This is a common questions I am asked as a Boise Business Attorney.

Non-compete clauses are generally an agreement entered into at the termination of employment or business venture.  The parties generally agree that in exchange for a termination of a contract or business venture, a money settlement or other benefit will be given to the employee or leaving partner.  In exchange for the benefit, the leaving party agrees to a contract term limiting where they can conduct the same kind of business, how long they must refrain from conducting the same kind of business and where they can or cannot conduct the same kind of business.

Non-compete clauses are generally enforceable so long as they are not over-limiting resulting in the inability of  the party bound by the agreement from making a living.  Idaho law takes into account three separate terms of non-compete clauses to determine if it is valid or over reaching. These are the scope of work, the duration of the non-compete and the geographic scope.  Until recently, Idaho was fairly consistent about nullifying a non-compete clause in its entirety if any one of the three items was too limiting.  So, for example, if your non-compete clause stated that you could not work or do business in the same line of business for 3 years, throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, you could have the entire non-compete invalidated because the geographic scope was too excessive and even though the other two terms were reasonable.  Recently, however, Idaho has begun to consider only striking the violating term and upholding the remainder of the non-compete.  So, what this means is an Idaho court might say it is reasonable to have a 3 year non-compete for the same line of business.  It then might say if the original business is only conducted in the northwest, the leaving party can conduct that type of business outside of the northwest.

If you need the help of a Boise Business Attorney, please give us a call at (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

‘Fake’ divorces on the rise in China’s property bubble

Financial issues usually feature centrally in a couple’s decision to divorce.  Falling house prices in the UK have recently had a negative effect on the number of divorcing couples.  The family home is frequently the biggest asset; if it doesn’t sell then finalising a divorce can be difficult, particularly if one party can’t afford to purchase the other’s interest.

Lindsay Kinnealy, Head of Overseas Property Law at Pannone Solicitors, reports in the Overseas Property Professional magazine next month that despite China (in common with many countries) having put in place fiscal austerity measures, somewhat paradoxically there has arisen a “housing bubble” leading to some areas placing a “two properties per family” restriction on house purchases.  In other areas only one property can be owned.

To get round this restriction couples are reportedly faking a divorce so they can register additional properties under their different names.  It is alleged that “fake divorce certificates are being produced … with the encouragement of banks and real estate agents”.  Apparently the phenomenon has even made it into a Chinese soap “reflecting their property bubble fears with characters struggling to raise a mortgage”.

It is difficult to envisage such a shift happening in the UK, with most people simply bedding in during this prolonged economic downturn.  However, it is more difficult to “fake” a marriage and if a divorce is inevitable it is worth seeking divorce advice now in anticipation of the long awaited recovery.

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

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Boise Idaho Divorce Attorneys - Family Law Lawyers - Vexatious Modification

What can you do when you have gone through a divorce and custody trial and now your ex-spouse regularly brings modification proceedings against you?  As a Boise Divorce Attorney I see this happen now and then.  In general, a custody decree can be modified when there has been a substantial and material change of circumstance.  This means that you would not have known about it at the time of the original proceeding or a prior modification.  A substantial and material change means that your circumstances have changed to a degree that it makes sense to modify the original decree.  For example, if you were originally given primary physical custody of your child with supervised visitation for the other parent because the other parent was unemployed, perhaps engaging in unhealthy or unsafe behavior and not "stable" enough to provide a physical residence for the child, if that party has gotten their act together and can prove that to the court, the court may very well modify the decree to allow unsupervised visitation.

When does modification become vexatious?  To vex someone is to annoy or harass them.  Modification becomes vexatious when it is brought without sufficient grounds.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney I see this occasionally and it is usually done by a party representing themselves without the help of a divorce lawyer.  In part it is done because they don't know that it is not allowed in Idaho.  It is often also partly done with the intent to harass or annoy the other party.

What can you do if you are the victim of vexatious modification?  The Idaho Code allows sanctions against the other party in the form of attorneys fees.  If an Idaho court finds that one party or the other is bringing modification actions without merit and those have risen to the degree of vexatious, it will order the other party's attorneys fees to be paid by the offending party.  Not all judges, but some Idaho judges will go to the degree of disallowing the party against whom sanctions have been imposed from even coming back to court to hear a valid modification argument, if they have failed to pay those sanctions.

If you are seeking a divorce or a modification of a custody decree and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, give us a call, (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

The Nightmare of Parental Child Abduction

A recent report in the Irish press highlighted the increasing frequency of child abductions, including parental child abduction, which is probably not surprising in these days of relatively cheap and easy foreign travel and  more 'cross border 'marriages.
Sadly, as all Family Law solicitors giving divorce advice know all too well, these cases often involve a separating or divorcing couple where one parent takes a child out of the country without agreement or refuses to return with the child after a holiday abroad.
When this happens it can be a terrifying ordeal for the 'left behind' parent. The law on this type of case is specialist and complex and can vary according to where the child has been taken. But there are steps that can be taken by a child abduction solicitor to bring the child home and it is vital that when this happens the right legal steps are taken straight away.
For more advice on child abduction and all aspects of divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts "

Monday, October 03, 2011

Temporary Marriage

It has been reported in the press today that due to the high rate of divorce within two years of marriage in Mexico City, the city's assembly is proposing reforming divorce law so that couples marrying can decide the length of their marriage, subject to a minimum term of two years. 
The marriage contract could be renewed if the couple remain happy.  The contract will apparently include provisions on how children and financial settlements would be handled if the couple separate. The aim is to avoid the divorce process.
The idea of a fixed term marriage seems quite alien but the concept of a marriage contract appears in line with having a pre-nuptial agreement. Such agreements are designed to enable couples to decide at the outset of their marriage how they would wish to deal with money and children should they separate.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts

Sunday, October 02, 2011

A Seven Letter Word

I recently began following the OccupyWallSt movement that began on September 17th in NYC and thought about how our country has been in need of a good grass roots social movement for quite some time. All one has to do is look at the recent history of financial mishaps by corporations and banking institutions and the consequent negative effects on the population to realize this. OccupyWallSt is concerned with social and economic justice in our society. Hmmm, what would happen if we thought about beginning a movement to move divorce out of the legal system and into a more appropriate venue?

I think most individuals involved in the family court system will agree it is an inadequate, broken system. Child support not being paid, repeated court appearances fighting over finances, visitation, custody, professionals who are not trained in psychological issues conducting evaluations and assessments, which will have a lasting impact on the entire family’s future mental health, and judges having to make decisions based on who is more believable, not facts. Most importantly the legal system cannot negate the negative impact of all of this has on the children, who do not have a voice in this process.

Imagine for a moment being an outsider to our legal system and how it handles (or mishandles) divorce. What would you think when you saw two individuals standing before a judge arguing over visitation. Who would you believe if there were allegations of inappropriate conduct made by one parent toward the other? What about basic issues like child support and reimbursement for miscellaneous expenses? A judge certainly doesn’t have the time to look at detailed financial transactions, nor do most attorneys. Furthermore, who could afford the hourly fee if they did? Let’s face it, sit in family court for a day and you will see that it doesn’t work and frankly isn’t designed to work with issues involving families. Is this how our children should be cared for?

Now let’s allow our mind to open up to other possibilities. Imagine for a moment that a couple decides to divorce. Now think about a system where the most important issue does not involve the adults at all. Fantasize for a moment that issues having lasting psychological implications are left to mental health professionals. Parents deciding to separate are not thrown into an adversarial process. The most important issue is how the children will be cared for when the parents are no longer together.

Imagine that it is a priority for all parties involved that the child is allowed to stay in the same neighborhood, attend the same school, have the same friends, and pretty much continue to live within the same socioeconomic bracket they have grown up in. The children also are able to maintain a healthy, positive relationship with each parent. Impossible? I think not. I think it is quite possible if the priority and focus is on the child, not the parents.

We as a society need to think about our message to each other and our children. If they aren’t our priority, if we teach them that the arguing, fighting and going to court are appropriate ways to solve disagreement instead of compromising and controlling one’s emotions, we have no right to expect anything different from them.

I don’t know many professionals or parents who would argue that the current system in place for divorce is a great system, or even adequate. Horror stories abound. So why do we remain complacent instead of trying to radically shake it up? A forum for ideas to be shared regarding how to change this system for the better is long overdue. Let’s do exactly that. You can respond to this by going to the blog, Divorce…it’s just the beginning Let’s start working together to change the current system of divorce.

Kimberly A. Kick, LCSW
Copyright © 2011 Divorce Communications. All Rights Reserved.