Monday, January 30, 2012

I do, I do, I do?

A recent survey has revealed that 47% of divorced men would consider marrying again but only 20% of divorced women want to walk down the aisle for a second time.  The results also show that divorced men are more eager in their efforts to find the future Mrs Right, with many using online dating sites and almost half considering employing a professional pick-up artist to help them in their quest for true love.

Saying “I do” is never easy, particularly if you have been through a difficult divorce or separation.  What’s more, there is no one-size-fits all advice on how best to move on with your life after divorce.  Some people revel in their new found single status while others can find the adjustment a difficult one. 

One thing that can however help anyone who finds themselves facing a divorce or separation is getting legal advice. Consulting a family law solicitor at an early stage can help make the process more understandable and leave you in a better position, financially and emotionally, to move on.  Early intervention and advice on issues such as a possible divorce settlement and the different grounds for divorce can make the process easier and quicker.  A good divorce solicitor can also spot if you may need help from other sources and put you in touch with the right people.

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

Friday, January 27, 2012

Honesty Is The Best Policy

An unusual case has recently been heard by the Court of Appeal. In this case the husband failed to disclose his true financial position before a financial settlement was agreed with his wife.

Mr Hutchings and Mrs Hutchings-Whelan had been married for 20 years prior to their divorce and they agreed a financial settlement in 2004. The wife was to receive a lump sum of £176,000 in return for transferring her interest in the matrimonial home to her husband.

The wife subsequently became aware that her former husband was very “flush with money”. It transpired that a property he had owned at the time the financial settlement was agreed, but which he had not disclosed, had been sold for £1.3 million.

The wife applied to court to increase her lump sum on the basis of her former husband’s failure to give full financial disclosure. In 2010 she succeeded in having her lump sum increased by a further £384,000. The husband appealed against this decision, but his appeal failed.

Disclosure is a vital part of the financial process during divorce. This case should be a reminder to both husbands and wives to cooperate and give full financial disclosure, as the consequences of not doing so can clearly be significant. You should ensure that your financial position is disclosed appropriately when you divorce and that you obtain proper advice about disclosure from a family law solicitor.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Boise Divorce Attorneys Idaho Divorce and Modification -Where and Why? (208) 472-2383

Boise Divorce Attorney | Idaho Custody Lawyers | Kershisnik Law, PLLC

Boise Divorce Lawyers

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I often get calls from individuals who live in different jurisdictions and want to know if they have to come to an Idaho Court to file for divorce, to modify their child support order or to modify their custody arrangement.  The basis of their question stems from the fact that they at one time lived in Idaho or their children were in Idaho and they got a divorce here or had custody or child support established here.

The answer to this questions is based upon a principle of the law called jurisdiction.  Jurisdiction means the court has authority and it is the proper place to bring an action.  For example, if you and your soon-to-be ex live in Boise, you or your divorce lawyers will file for divorce in Ada County because you resided here.  If you have no connection to Boise or to Idaho you would not file for divorce here, unless one of the spouses has moved here and has lived here for at least six weeks.

There are some tricking issues that arise when one of the parties does not live in Idaho.  One example is you can have a divorce in Idaho as long as you have been here for six weeks, but if you have children the Idaho Court cannot exercise jurisdiction over them (i.e. make a custody and support determination) if they do not live in Idaho (unless the are visiting and there is an emergency situation).  There is another tricky issue that works the other way around.  If you got a divorce in Idaho and then moved away, and then you want to modify the custody or support portion of it can you do that in your new state?  The answer to this is no.  You must either come to Idaho or have a Boise Divorce Attorney represent you and file the appropriate pleadings in the county where the children reside.  This can create all sorts of issues.  If for example, child support in your state is a certain amount, it may not be the same in Idaho and you will be subject to the amount that established by the Idaho Child Support Guidelines.


Boise Divorce Attorneys—Modification of Custody

What about modification of your custody order? If you got divorce in Boise and had your custody established here and then you moved away, if your child still lives here, Idaho is the proper jurisdiction in which to bring a modification.  This can become difficult if you live across the county, but a Boise Divorce Attorney can handle everything for you and chances are you won't have to make an appearance in Idaho.

Call to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney Now—(208) 472-2383

If you have a divorce, custody or modification issue and you need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, please give us a call and see what we can do for you.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boise Criminal Lawyers - 208-472-2383 - Possession, Drug Charges, Synthetic Drugs

As a Boise Criminal Lawyer I am in the curious position of knowing many intimate details about illegal drugs, Details that I would never have the desire nor opportunity to learn about simply because of the fact that I am a criminal attorney.  I have learned more about illegal drugs, street drugs and synthetic drugs than I ever did in my 9th grade health class.  It is almost mind boggling how many synthetic drugs are on the market and how they are ever changing, primarily to evade the stamp of "illegal".

In October of 2010 Spice, a synthetic drug whose effects mimic marijuana, was outlawed in Idaho.  Spice is a highly addictive and dangerous way to get high, and while it is a synthetic cannabinoid, it has a very different and more intense high than marijuana.  Outlawing Spice is the legislature's and law enforcement's way of dealing with manufacturers who deal in these illegal drugs as well as retailers and users.

While outlawing Spice has the immediate effect of taking the dangerous drug off the market, it is much like a dog chasing its own tail.  As soon as Spice was gone, new synthetic cannabinoids were manufactured and changed just enough to not be "illegal".  Alternative "incenses" are sold all over the internet as well as in local headshops.  While these incenses are marked, "not for human consumption", everyone who uses the drugs consumes them.

If you are in possession of one of these new synthetic drugs, you are a manufacturer of these drugs or you are a retailer of them, before you know it your legal possession will be challenged.  I have already heard from several people who have had the police come into their shops and challenge their stock and it is up to them to prove that it is not Spice.

If you have been charged with possession of drugs and need to speak to an experienced and aggressive Boise Criminal Lawyer, give us a call and see what we can do for you.

Divorce and Fallacies

Most people thing divorce is rationale and there are what I call “cookie cutter” results or at a minimum very predictable results. I have not found this to be the case and if it were, we could just input the facts to a computer and the computer would “spit out” an answer. What divorces are often based on is applied logic and rehetoric. Unfortunately logic and rhetoric are subject to fallacies. You will recognize some of the logic and rehetoric fallacy techniques used in divorce cases.

As Wikepedia states in the following paragraphs: “A fallacy is usually an improper argumentation in reasoning resulting in a misconception or presumption. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or interlocutor (appeal to emotion), or take advantage of social relationships between people (e.g. argument from authority). Fallacious arguments are often structured using rhetorical patterns that obscure any logical argument.

Fallacies can be used to win arguments regardless of the merits. Among such devices, discussed in more detail below, are: "ignoring the question" to divert argument to unrelated issues using a red herring, making the argument personal (argumentum ad hominem) and discrediting the opposition's character, "begging the question" (petito principi), the use of the non-sequitor, false cause and effect (post hoc ergo propter hoc), bandwagoning (everyone says so), the "false dilemma" or "either-or fallacy" in which the situation is oversimplified, "card-stacking" or selective use of facts, and "false analogy". Another favorite device is the "false generalization", an abstraction of the argument that shifts discussion to platitudes where the facts of the matter are lost. There are many, many more tricks to divert attention from careful exploration of a subject.

Fallacies can generally be classified as informal (premises fail to support the proposed conclusion, but the argument is structured properly) or formal (logical structure is flawed).The taxonomy of material fallacies is based on that of Aristotle's body structure Oganon (Sophistici elenchi).

• Fallacy of accident or sweeping generalization: a generalization that disregards exceptions.
• Converse fallacy of accident or hasty generalization: argues from a special case to a general rule.

• Irrelevant conclusion: diverts attention away from a fact in dispute rather than addressing it directly.

• Affirming the consequent: draws a conclusion from premises that do not support that conclusion by confusing necessary and sufficient conditions.

• Denying the antecedent: draws a conclusion from premises that do not support that conclusion by confusing necessary and sufficient conditions.

• Begging the question: demonstrates a conclusion by means of premises that assume that conclusion.

• Fallacy of false cause or non sequitur: incorrectly assumes one thing is the cause of another. Non Sequitur is Latin for "It does not follow."

• Fallacy of many questions or loaded question: groups more than one question in the form of a single question.

• Straw man: A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.

• Same Team Fallacy: A case where an arguer knows the main criticisms of their argument, and then asserts that the counter argument should have the same criticisms (based on a genetic fallacy of its arguer). It is often characterized by the fallacy of dismissal after the distinctions and differences are brought out, and the fallacy of repetition thereafter.

Verbal fallacies are those in which a conclusion is obtained by improper or ambiguous use of words. They are generally classified as follows:

• Equivocation consists in employing the same word in two or more senses, e.g. in a syllogism, the middle term being used in one sense in the major and another in the minor premise, so that in fact there are four not three terms.

• Connotation fallacies occur when a dysphemistic word is substituted for the speaker's actual quote and used to discredit the argument. It is a form of attribution fallacy.

• Argument by innuendo involves implicitly suggesting a conclusion without stating it outright. For example, a job reference that says a former employee "was never caught taking money from the cash box" In this example the overly specific nature of the innuendo implies that the employee was a thief, even though it does not make (or justify) a direct negative statement.

• Amphiboly is the result of ambiguity of grammatical structure.

• Fallacy of composition

• Division, the converse of the preceding, arguing from a property of the whole, to each constituent part.

• Proof by verbosity, sometimes colloquially referred to as argumentum verbosum - a rhetorical technique that tries to persuade by overwhelming those considering an argument with such a volume of material that the argument sounds plausible, superficially appears to be well-researched, and it is so laborious to untangle and check supporting facts that the argument might be allowed to slide by unchallenged.

• Accent, which occurs only in speaking and consists of emphasizing the wrong word in a sentence. e.g., "He is a fairly good pianist", according to the emphasis on the words, may imply praise of a beginner's progress or insult of an expert pianist.

• Figure of Speech, the confusion between the metaphorical and ordinary uses of a word or phrase. Fallacy of misplaced concreteness, identified by Whitehead in his discussion of metaphysics, this refers to the reification of concepts which exist only in discussion.”

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 (244) 1/24/12

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Perils of ‘having it all’

The Daily Mail reported today on the strain that being a ‘bread winning mum’ can put on a marriage.

Lawyers who provide divorce advice know only too well that one partner’s failure to achieve an acceptable work/life balance is, sadly, often cited by the other in divorce proceedings as having contributed to the marriage breakdown. Traditionally this has been a complaint of the wife and mother but the increasing number of high earning wives and stay at home dads may be turning this on its head.

When it comes to disentangling a couple’s finances post divorce the court will recognise both parties’ contributions to the family, be they financial or as a home maker, when deciding on a divorce settlement. This will be the case regardless of how the couple have chosen to divide their roles in the marriage and these days it is not only high profile female celebrities who could be expected to make financial provision for the family after a divorce.

Family Law Solicitors can advise on divorce settlements and the grounds for divorce. For more advice on these issues follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts

Friday, January 20, 2012

Boise Family Law Lawyers (208) 472-2383 Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

As a Boise Divorce Lawyer, my clients with restraining orders often ask me the following question. What do you do when you have a restraining order against someone and you need to call the police to notify them that the order is being violated?  You can keep your restraining order with you, and hope you can find it when you need it, or now, thanks to the Hope Card, you can keep a small, credit card sized, laminated information card with you.  The Hope Card provides the police with all the pertinent information you need to prove that you have a restraining order, including a photo of the person who is being restrained from coming near you.

Is the Hope Card for everyone?  No, it is only issued when you have at least a 12 month restraining order.  If you do, you can get the card free from the Idaho Attorney General's office.  You also must go through the regular process to get your restraining order in the first place.  You can do this on your own or be represented by a Boise Divorce Attorney.  Once the restraining order is in place, you can visit the attorney general's website and apply on-line.  Eventually, the card may become available to all victims of domestic violence despite the length of time of the restraining order.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and need to speak to a Boise Family Law Lawyer, please call (208) 472-2383.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pick your battles

It has been reported that a couple in India who were together for less than a day, spent 30 years battling over their divorce.

This case is exceptional. For most people the process is very straightforward and the entire divorce process can take approximately four to six months from start to finish. However, some divorces take nearer to 12 -18 months as this is the time that it often takes to resolve the financial aspects of your divorce.

One of the main benefits of seeking divorce advice from a specialist Family solicitor early on is that it can help to avoid prolonged arguments with your spouse over minor issues and focus your minds on those issues which are more relevant to achieving a fair divorce settlement.

In the majority of the cases we handle, agreements are reached without the need for protracted and costly litigation. We specialise in identifying which battles are worth the fight and which to disregard.

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Native American Mediation

Recently, I have been s tudying Native American Law. It is an interesting mixture of tribal law and custom, United States law, and United States policy toward Native American. Reading about Native American Law made me curious about Native American Mediation. I found a wonderful 2005 article on entitled Native American Wisdom: Lessons Learned from Mediation by Joe Epstein at He starts out in his introduction by saying:

“Medidation is the intervention into a dispute or negotiation by an acceptable, impartial, and neutral third party who has no authoritative decision making process" When Christopher Moore wrote his seminal book The Mediation Process, mediation was still in it's infancy with regard to its utilization with litigated cases. As litigation has become more expensive, as parties have become adverse to the high transactional costs of litigation, as attorneys become better trained in mediation and negotiation, as attorneys and parties become more interactive in a less adversarial and confrontive life style, as under-financed courts are overwhelmed with criminal, juvenile and domestic relations cases, the demand for mediation of commercial disputes has skyrocketed. In fact, courts in many states are demanding that litigants participate in a mediation before they can come to court for a resolution of their dispute. For many disputants there is a sense that mediation must provide more than the all or nothing of litigation, that it should touch underlying issues and concern that run deeper than overt legal results. Parties want respect, dignity and an opportunity to be heard as well as a sense that the judicial system has treated them fairly from a financial perspective. Unless today's mediators are willing to mediate dangerously and take more spiritual and emotional risks, they will fall short as mediators.

Mediators who merely and meekly trade numbers from room to room no longer fill the bill for modern mediators. Paradoxically, ancient Native American traditions and values provide a portal for modern mediators to satisfy today's demand for a more meaningful, transformative, complete and satisfying mediation process.

Native American wisdom focuses on healing wounds, and bringing peace through good feelings, not fear. While mediations are focused principally on legal issues, Native American wisdom teaches us to be mindful of a person's emotional damage as well. Mediators should not only emphasize a need for a legal resolution, but also strive to heal broken relationships, and rebuild personal self-esteem and confidence. Addressing these non-monetary dimensions directly is what makes mediation a unique opportunity for both financial resolution and closure. A mediator can assist in addressing non monetary dimensions by using Native American wisdom. “

He presents twelve values inspired by Native American wisdom. The values are familiar but worth repeating.













He concludes by saying,

“In conclusion, we have found that intertwining Native American values with basic practice and principals of mediation aids in facilitating effective transformative and spiritual dispute resolution. The gifted mediators listen patiently for the deepest meanings of what is said verbally and communicated non-verbally. The mediator is listening for both overt and convert messages. He listens with respect and compassion. He risks self revelation just as he asks it of the parties. It is not only a mediator's generosity, humor, and silence, but also his style and empathetic connection with the parties which allow the mediator to gain the necessary trust. As he asks for trust, he must earn it. Then having earned it, he may assist the parties with atonement, with respect, compassion, empathy, sympathy and forgiveness. A risk taking mediator may even attempt to assist the parties with transformation, and he affords opportunities for healing. A mediator with true wisdom knows how to set a foundation during a mediation, which allows participants to heal their wounds. Mediators who fail to address underlying issues and needs sell their clients short and cannot earn the title of the "Peacemaker" or the accolade of being considered a "Gifted One."

Modern mediators must be prepared to take risks to help the parties come to a complete closure and they must recognize that in some instances at least, this may require "risking" heartfelt and spiritual connection. By using these core values inspired by Native American wisdom in their practice, mediators may become "Peacemakers" and may be honored as a "Gifted One."”

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 (243) 1/17/12

Monday, January 16, 2012

Making Money Out of Other People's Misery!

The daily Mail has reported that investors are gambling on bitter divorce battles between women and their rich husbands in return for a "share of the spoils". They go on to report that venture capitalists, hedge funds and high end lenders are putting up money for women who want to fight their husbands in court, in return for the investors taking a share of their divorce settlement.

Sometimes court is the only way to achieve a fair divorce settlement. However, you should always consider the alternatives to court, such as mediation or collaborative law. These options are often cheaper than court and can be less emotionally draining.

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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Ex-Factor – ex-etiquette, whether or not you have children!

Ex-Etiquette where there are no children involved

Divorce without children

If your divorce does not involve children from the marriage or the relationship, there is technically no reason to maintain contact with your ex. That’s the good and the bad news. The good news is that you won’t have to deal with your ex again. The bad news is that you have to acknowledge that it’s really over. Whether or not you remain friends with your ex is up to you. You don’t get extra points for an amicable relationship with your ex. The most important part of divorce is that it gives both parties an opportunity to move on with their new lives.
It’s easier to move on if you sever ties completely. Often an ex will maintain contact because they don’t want to move on.
Ending a relationship can be difficult, even when the relationship is painful. Some even prolong adversarial relations because it’s some form of contact.
Your ex may want to maintain in a friendly relationship. Sometimes this includes sex. Clearly they’re not moving on and there’s a possibility he can manipulate you into believing that there’s still ‘something there’ and a chance of getting back together.
Many people who try to stay friends after divorce are doing so in hopes of either rekindling the relationship or using the other person as a crutch until someone better comes along.
But what happens when it’s the other person who moves on first?

Being friends with your ex

Good for you if you can make the transition from ‘divorced’ to ‘friends’, especially if you have children and especially if you were married for a long time. But be sure that you’ve established your new, separate life before you make this transition. If you become best buddies too soon, your relationship with him could become a social crutch, or something you hide behind in place of creating a life for yourself.
The important point about being friends with your ex is that the relationship should evolve naturally. Don’t force it.
Also, it will not happen immediately – it cannot. You will need some time to ensure the relationship evolves into something clear where you can be friends.
In the beginning I recommend going cold turkey and not seeing your ex at all. Break all contact, delete him off Facebook and stop stalking him at the supermarket. Use the exercise on setting boundaries to set crucial boundaries with your ex.
When you have a new relationship you must honor your divorce. That means putting your new partner first. Any new relationship takes time to develop and you don’t want an ex hanging about in the wings to jeopardize things. You judge whether a natural friendship with your ex is healthy or not. If it interferes in your new life or your new relationship, end it.

Sex with your ex

Sometimes partners continue their sexual relationship after a break up. Sex relieves the loneliness and maintains ‘closeness’ with someone. Because you’re less familiar with each other after a break up, sex can feel more passionate. This is probably because it’s born of neediness and not love. Some couples will ‘use’ each other in this way while they’re breaking up. This prolongs the inevitable. I know of women who continue to sleep with their ex-partners long after they’ve remarried and had children. One such woman was Sue.
Sue continued to sleep with her ex-husband Ed on and off for 3 years even after Sue had remarried. It was very detrimental to both of them moving on or committing to their new relationships. When Sue’s new husband found out about her affair with her ex-husband, he ended their relationship immediately. Sue’s life became turmoil as she went through her second divorce within the space of a year.
This is not moving on. You need a clean break. You need closure. Don’t waste your life clinging to old relationships.
Women are often susceptible to sleeping with their ex during the Panic/negotiation phase of the naked divorce Grieving Cycle as a way of getting back together. For a woman, sex might mean all kinds of things and she’ll imbue it with all sorts of emotions. But it might not mean anything to the man.
  • Understand the phases you’ll go through after your divorce. Understand your hormones and those angst-ridden feelings and where they come from. The next time you feel compelled to contact your ex, ask yourself:
  • Do I miss being with him or do I simply miss being in a couple?
  • What if he says: “Let’s give it another go.” Will I be able to change what didn’t work the first time?
  • If you’re leaving the outcome of your relationship in his hands, ask yourself: What do I want? Is he the man I want to be with for the rest of my life, even if nothing changed?
  • How does being single make me feel?

If you are harboring resentment and anger towards your ex

Consider the impact of resentment and anger on your life. If you’re bitter and filled with resentment, remember that not forgiving someone is like taking the poison hoping your ex will die. You’re the one getting hurt by your bitterness. Your life is being ruined.
Complete the program, come to terms with your divorce, put it in the past and move on with your life as a different, more empowered woman.

If you simply can’t be friends

Be civil. When you bump into your ex, greet him, shake hands or hug him if you’re both comfortable with this, in same way you would greet a business associate.
If you’re paying child maintenance, alimony or spousal support, make sure you pay on time to eliminate any need for contact.

Ex-Etiquette where there are children involved

Don’t expose your children to marital conflict

When children are involved in divorce it’s very important for parents to behave civilly. I accept that this can be hard. It might always be hard. But there will be times you have to see your ex, perhaps when you communicate about the children’s health, school work and schedules, or during custody exchanges, or even sports, religious and academic events. In these cases, the rules are easy:
  • Be civil. Don’t speak badly of your ex in front of your children ever. Even though he’s your ex, he’s your child’s father and your child deserves to be able to love their dad without you poisoning the well. Whatever your relationship with your ex, always tell them their dad loves them. They need and deserve this.
  • Use tact. Don’t share details of your ex’s behavior with your children. Remember the oldest rule in the book: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
  • Be nice. Don’t argue with your spouse in front of your children or on the phone. Be polite in your interactions. This not only sets a good example for your kids but can also encourage your ex to be gracious in response.
  • Look on the bright side. Choose to focus on the strengths of all family members. Encourage children to do the same.
  • Work on it. Make it a priority to develop an amicable relationship with your ex as soon as possible. Watching you being civil and caring towards one another will reassure your children and teach them a great life skill, too.
  • Make sure your marital settlement agreement (also known as a custody order or divorce agreement) spells out all details. While this sounds harsh, it helps avoid misunderstandings in the future. Honor your financial obligations and custody agreement, but wherever possible, work things out directly with your ex. Be flexible when you can be, and if you can’t, stick to the schedule the court assigns. If you don’t like the schedule, change it through the court system as a last resort, and with your ex. Don’t involve the children if at all possible.
  • Don’t give your children false hopes of their parents reuniting. This may mean putting some distance between the 2 of you. It’s more important for the children to accept the reality of their new life no matter how painful it may be. This way they can move on. The divorce affects them, too. If your children believe there’s a chance you may get back together, they’ll also be fretting about another break up.
If you find you’re always locked in a battle with your ex over the details of parenting, try to step back and remember the bigger purpose. It’s in your children’s best interests to have a lasting, good relationship with both parents. Keep your long-term goals in mind – your children’s physical and mental health and your independence – and avoid disagreements about daily details.

If your ex does push your buttons, think ahead before you see him.

  • What are the triggers?
  • How will you keep the peace and stay calm?
Your happiness and the happiness of your children and, yes, even your ex, should be the broad brushstrokes in the big picture of your new lives after divorce.
Working amicably with your ex after a separation or divorce is sometimes a tall order, but you have the power and insight to put your own feelings aside and do what’s best for your kids. Learn how to make the process of co-parenting easier on everyone.
Though divorce with children can appear more complicated, divorces without children can be equally complicated. There is the possibility of never seeing the person you once shared love and a life with ever again.
Till next time!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Are both parents treated equally on divorce ?

The Telegraph recently reported that upon divorce "under the present system family courts tend to leave children with their mothers in the vast majority of cases". 
At the present time, when the court is asked to decide where a child or children should live there are many factors that the court  has to take into account but ultimately the child's welfare is paramount and the decision made must be in the child's best interests. There is no presumption in favour of the mother.
There is currently a review of the family justice system and there are proposals that the law could be changed so that there is a presumption of shared parenting. For many, such a change would be welcomed.
It is really important to get specialist advice before embarking upon court proceedings in relation to the arrangements for your children.  You should also consider alternatives to court such as mediation.
For more advice on legal issues relating to children or divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts". 

Monday, January 09, 2012

Child Support in Idaho - Boise Family Law Lawyers (208) 472-2383

How is Child Support Determined in Idaho?

As a Boise Divorce Attorney, many people ask me who decides how much their child support will be.  My standard answer is, child support in Idaho is determined by the Idaho Child Support Guidelines. That doesn't tell you much, does it?  

What are the Idaho Child Support Guidelines and what information do they use to set child support?  The purpose of the guidelines is to give guidance in setting a fair child support amount while taking into account the diverse needs and resources available in individual cases.  In other words, it is an attempt to not make a one size fits all child support determination.  In my family law practice I see often see two families, who make the same income, but who have very different resources available to them, as well as greatly varying needs.  This having been said, however, the guidelines also acknowledge that the cost to raise a child is related to the income of the family.  But it also holds that the proportion of family income designated for the support of children remains fairly constant, despite different incomes.

The guidelines apply to the support of all children when custody and support are part of a judicial proceeding, including when there is a divorce or simply a custody action.  Child support is due and owing up until a child reaches 18 years of age, or 19 if they are still in high school.

The guidelines provide a formula for a basic child support determination.  It also provides for off-set considerations.  Some of the adjustments to child support include child care costs, transportation, tax benefit, health insurance premiums and out of pocket health expenses not covered by insurance, and disability or retirement issues, shared physical custody, extended overnights, split physical custody and income over $300,000/year.

The basic formula for child support takes a percentage of both parents income and makes a determination as to how much support it takes to rear a child.  The child support is prorated proportionally to their income.  If one parent does not have an income they are assigned a "potential" income.  In general, this is based upon previous employment or what they could earn based upon their skill level.

Boise Divorce Lawyers deal with the child support guidelines regularly and are very adept at crunching the numbers.  To the general public, however, the guidelines can seem like a convoluted mess.

If you are seeking a divorce or custody and need to speak to a Boise Family Law attorney, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383, and see what we can do for you.

Family law mediation

Much has been made recently of the government's plans to force separating couples to attend mediation rather than embark on the traditional court route. The media has mistakenly reported on what it calls "compulsory mediation" following changes to family and divorce law last year.

In fact, whilst there is a renewed emphasis on helping separating couples reach agreement on issues such as divorce, financial settlements and disputes involving children, it is not compulsory.

Mediation has long been an alternative to court. However, there will be many occasions when it is not appropriate, such as where there are cases involving domestic violence, child abduction and forced marriage.

Resolution - the organisation which represents over 6000 specialist family solicitors by encouraging members to act in a conciliatory and non-confrontational way - reports that mediation could be inappropriate in as many as two in every five cases, whilst at the same time supporting the government's decision to see fewer cases end up in the court system.

In my experience, whilst the courts are keen to encourage separating couples to use mediation to help resolve disputes, those who have not embarked on the process are neither criticised nor refused access to the traditional justice system.

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Dinosaurs Divorce

Once again, I am surprised I have not blogged on this before. I have heard about the book Dinosaurs Divorce A Guide for Changing Families by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown for years but have never taken the time to read it. I am planning to do a Divorce TV show on Divorce and Children’s Books so I finally decided to read the book. It is great. It includes topic that are understandable to young children which include Divorce Words and What They Mean, Why Parents Divorce, What About You, After the Divorce, Living with One Parent, Visiting Your Parent, Having Two Homes, Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions, Telling Your Friends, Meeting Parent’s New Friends, Living with Stepparents, and Having Stepsisters and Stepbrothers. In particular, I like advice that “Divorces takes place between mothers and fathers. You are not to blame if you parents get divorced.” I was pleased that I give much of the same advice to couples who see me.
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