Category Family Law

Peace of Mind Lawyer?

I’m fond of saying that Learned Lawyer is Idaho’s “Peace of Mind” lawyer. What’s that mean? We practice primarily in two areas, and we chose those areas because we can readily bring peace of mind to our clients in those areas. In estate planning, peace of mind comes from knowing you and your loved ones will be taken care of […]

Justifiable isn’t good enough

Seth Godin is an author and blogger. His post today made the point that you can always justify your behavior, but behaving in a justifiable way is not the correct goal — instead you should behave in a way that will be successful, or will help you and the people around you be happy, or will make the […]

Determining “income” for child support purposes – not as easy as it sounds

One of the key steps when an Idaho court determines child support is to determine the “income” of each parent. Defining “income” is not always so straight-forward. A parent’s “income” under the Idaho Child Support Guidelines is defined as the parent’s gross income, with certain adjustments. Gross income is broadly defined to include income from any source. This includes […]

Parental alienation, or one way to screw up your kids following divorce

I’ve been working a lot in the family law arena lately — divorces and child custody cases. Thus, I’ve been thinking a lot about how and why divorces can lead to negative outcomes for kids. One major factor I’ve seen a lot of lately is the issue of parental alienation. Parental alienation is loosely defined to describe when […]

Should we get married?

In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry, it is time to discuss some legal and economic factors a couple might consider (in addition to the religious, societal, and emotional ones) when thinking about whether they should tie the knot: Taxes: Married couples typically get a reduction in taxes. However, if the […]

Marriage by mail?

We recently received a call inquiring what the alternatives are for getting married in Idaho, if any. Take, for example, two people who live in different states, can’t travel for some reason, but still want to marry. In Idaho (as with most states), before you can get married, you have to apply for a marriage license. […]

Community property versus separate property — what’s mine is mine, or maybe it’s yours, or maybe not…

Idaho is what’s known as a “community property” state — one of 9.5 such states in the United States. (Alaska has an opt-in provision for community property, so it is the 1/2 state.) The rest of the states are “common law” property state. In those states, determining who owns what is generally straight-forward. If there […]

Same Sex Marriage Law Update

Since my last posting regarding estate planning in same-sex marriages a few weeks back, the U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will take up the issue of the legality of same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court reviews only a limited number of cases each year (perhaps 1 or 2%), picking and choosing from the thousands of cases decided on […]

Should we get a prenup?

I’ve been asked about premarital or prenuptial agreements — what they do and who might need one. A prenuptial or premarital agreement, as the name implies, is an agreement entered into by two people who are planning to get married. Although certainly not the most fun or romantic aspect to planning a marriage, a “prenup” is a topic […]

What’s a QDRO?

In divorce proceedings, it sometimes happens that one of the primary assets of the divorcing couple is one person’s pension plan earned through their employment.  When splitting such a pension plan, the court will enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (or QDRO).  A QDRO is a court order that allows someone other than the plan […]