HERE’S WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP YOU AND YOU CAN DO TO HELP US:
Statistically, the majority of marriages today will end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement is generally not needed. However, where one or both parties have acquired substantial property prior to marriage or you anticipate complications in the event of a divorce and want to address those issues before you marry, then I can help you in drafting a proper prenuptial agreement to identify those issues and decide in advance how those issues will be resolved in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are recognized and upheld under Idaho law if properly drafted. I have experience in drafting enforceable prenuptial agreements, if needed.
Idaho is a “no fault” divorce state. I recognize that when you reach the point where your differences cannot be resolved, divorce is inevitable. If your marriage is going to be resolved, you may be faced with resolving the custody and support of your minor children; and, regardless, you will probably be faced with resolving the identification, valuation and division of your community property and debt incurred during the marriage and remaining owing.
If you have minor children, you are left with the resolution of custody and child support issues. Once you retain the services of our attorney, I will meet with you and will help you in identifying and collecting the information that will be needed to allow us to help you draft an arrangement to govern legal and physical custody. Idaho favors joint legal custody i.e. it is presumed that both parents will continue to share in making parenting decisions on behalf of their minor children.
Idaho also favors joint physical custody, but in Idaho that simply means that the objective is to maximize the amount of time a minor child should and can spend with both parents. If you feel that there should not be joint decision making or if you feel one parent should be restricted in physically caring for or supervising a child, I need to know why and how I can help you prove what is in the best interest of your child. A truly “shared” arrangement will have you child residing essentially an equal amount of time with each parent. A more “standard” approach would have your child residing primarily with one parent and then specifically defining the periods of physical custody for the other parent. Once the custody arrangement is determined, that will be one of the major factors in determining child support under Idaho’s Child Support Guidelines – the other factor is the expected gross annual income of each parent. My job is to help you resolve these issues. That may mean assisting you in settlement discussions, mediation or in presenting your case to the Court at the time of a trial.
Resolution of property and debt issues means first determining whether there was property acquired before marriage or by gift or inheritance during marriage that should be confirmed as your separate property; or, debt incurred prior to marriage which remains owing and for which you should be separately responsible. Second, together we have to identify, value and then resolve the division of community property acquired during the term of the marriage or debt incurred during the marriage and which remains owing. Sometimes and in the more complicated cases, that means hiring experts to discover property or to value property. My job is to help you in identifying what is separate versus community property and debt; putting values on what is community property and debt; and, then assisting you in determining how that community property and debt can be both equitable and practically divided between you and your spouse.
Adoption is generally a two-step process i.e. before you can adopt a child, then you must first terminate the parental rights of one or both of the biological parents of that child. Sometimes, that can be done by consent and the process for both termination and adoption is uncomplicated. Sometimes, the termination of parental right is contested and I can help you in identifying the legal grounds for termination for cause and in presenting the evidence in support of termination to the court at the time of trial. Adoption, in all cases, must be shown to be in the best interest of the child and I can assist you in presenting to the court that adoption in your case is in the best interest of the child.
A guardianship is sometimes necessary for the benefit of a minor child or for the care and support of an incapacitated adult person. I can help you in filing the necessary pleadings where the guardianship is uncontested; and, I can help you in gathering and presenting the evidence that will enable the court to enter a guardianship where determined appropriate and necessary for a minor child or for the care and support of an incapacitated adult person.
WILLS & TRUSTS
Not everyone needs a Will, nor does everyone need a trust. I can help you in determining what you need to manage your Estate on your death or that of your spouse and then in drafting only what is necessary to achieve the results you want. We do NOT offer tax advice. If you have complicated tax issues, then I can assist in drafting the estate planning documents recommended by your tax or financial advisors; or, I can assist by referring you to someone who can help you with those complicated issues.
Not every state needs to go through probate. I can help you to understand whether a probate or administration is needed to resolve your estate issues. Sometimes, a Will has to be probated in order to clear the title to property or to manage the division of the estate assets; or, if there is no Will, then sometimes an estate has to be administered through the courts for the same reasons. Sometimes, the probate or administration can be information, with minimal involvement of the court. Sometimes, unfortunately, the identification or division of estate assets is contested and I can help you in gathering the information and presenting the evidence to the court to enable a formal probate or administration of the estate.
MISEDEMEANOR CRIMINAL CASES
I do not handle felony criminal cases of any kind. However, most misdemeanor cases can be resolved without considerable expense, especially first offense DUI cases. I can and will help you in resolving these misdemeanor cases as quickly and economically as possible; or, if issues are presented that we feel need special attention, then I can and will refer you to someone who can assist.
PERSONAL INJURY CASES
A personal injury case results when some person is under a legal duty to exercise ordinary or special care to avoid injury to someone else and violates that duty – either negligently or intentionally. When you have been injured as a result of that negligence or intentional breach of a legal duty, then I can assist you in preparing and presenting your claim. I have experience in negotiating with insurance companies in the voluntary settlement of personal injury cases; and, I have experience in obtaining the expert assistance that is required to prove negligence or to determine the nature and extent of your injuries and to place a value on that claim at the time of trial.
I am a certified family law mediator. We can help you as an unbiased and trained mediator in identifying what issues need to be resolved; clarifying how each side perceives those issues and how each side believes those issues can and should be resolved; and, in the drafting of an agreement that can enable resolution of those issues in a mutually acceptable way. Sometimes, that means bringing both sides to a compromise; but, sometimes, that means clarifying the issues and then identifying what is both the most feasible and the most practical approach for resolution of those issues, even where it favors one side over the other – or where it favors your child, even if both parents have to make some concessions in the best interest of their child.
Locally and family-owned law office since 1981