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Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Sinclair’s Answers

7,918 total


  • When is child support retroactive to? Is it from date of filing for support, date of birth of or can a judge determine the date?

    Father is on birth certificate

    Paula’s Answer

    As a general rule, monthly child support payments are retroactive to date of filing. Birth cost reimbursement sought by the state are an exception.

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  • At what age can a child refuse visitation.

    Bad father is fighting for visitation and child does not want anything to do with him

    Paula’s Answer

    Of course, counsel not licensed in Idaho would not know how to answer your question.

    Here is what you need to know: a child in Idaho does not have the legal power to decide about contact with a parent. That power comes with reaching majority at age 18. Until then, a child's parents decide who will have contact with the child and, if they cannot agree, the Court will decide. A child's preferences, especially where based on valid concerns, can be considered by the Court, but a minor is not empowered to simply refuse. Full and voluntary compliance with an existing court order is expected by all parties, so concerns must be voiced before that order is entered.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Unmarried with 6 year old son, mother wants to move from Idaho to Virginia. I do not agree. What will happen?

    I have a six year old son. His mother and I broke up before he was born but tried getting back together when he was 4. We recently broke up and I have been seeing 3 weekends out of the months from Friday night to Sunday night. We have a parentin...

    Paula’s Answer

    No, she can't unilaterally change the parenting plan, but she can do whatever she wishes (she has already started) and challenge you to do anything about it.

    Idaho law will protect your right to meaningful parenting time, but you need to be immediately pro-active. Retain experienced family counsel without delay to move the court for emergency orders prohibiting the removal of the residence of the child. (She has a right under the Constitution to live where she wishes.) The Idaho Supreme Court has affirmed a Magistrate Court that changed primary physical custody to the non-moving parent.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • What is the time limit to collect on a promissory note?

    I live in Idaho do I need to go to California where the deal was done?

    Paula’s Answer

    Most respectfully, it is time to consult with California counsel to review the rest of the facts of this situation and advise on the "choice of law" issue and court jurisdiction. This must be determined in order to know what state's statute of limitations applies.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and pleaae remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Selfie Madness

    Would it be considered child endangerment to take a selfie, while driving with young children in a moving car? While I think it's poor judgement and parenting, I'm wondering if there are any legalities involving this?

    Paula’s Answer

    Unfortunately, the law is slow to keep up with both technology and fads. Inattentive driving is probably an infraction in every state. Whether a prosecutor would charge and pursue child endangerment is speculative, although the definition may well fit. In addition, assuming the incident can be proven, and especially if there is any pattern of poor judgment in parenting, a modification of the order that had granted the custodial access imposing terms, conditions, and limits on that access may be a reasonable resolution.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • I am filing chapter 7 bankruptcy, what a non tangible item? Would a education degree be a intangible?

    They also ask about licenses. Why is that relevant?

    Paula’s Answer

    A license is a property right. An education degree could be considered intangible property, but is not commonly listed on a bankruptcy schedule.

    Most respectfully, if your are trying to navigate bankruptcy procedure without capable legal counsel, you are over your head and risking irrevocable, costly and highly unwelcome consequences.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • In an uncontested divorce are both spouses required to list all debt & money sources and would spousal support even be an issue?

    My husband and I have been married for 34 years and wish to divorce for irreconsilable differences in an uncontested divorce. Our children are grown. He is 65 years old, retired and gets Social Security and I am 64 years old and still working. We ...

    Paula’s Answer

    You are wise to not rely on what out of state attorneys say about Idaho procedure.

    Respectfully, your understanding of the divorce procedure is quite incomplete. Idaho is a "no=fault" state, meaning the divorce will be granted on the request of either party without concern for the circumstances that have led to the divorce. The state does not interfere in the division of property and debts. Only if the parties do not agree will the Court rule on that issue.

    For an expeditions and reliable result, a modest amount of attorney assistance will be a great help. One of you should retain experienced divorce counsel to prepare a Property Settlement Agreement that formalizes the agreement you and your husband have already reached. This is not a cocktail-napkin agreement; it is a fairly detailed contract for the terms of the Decree of Divorce. Once this Agreement is in place, the matter is clearly uncontested, and the Court's divorce process will be used to seek a Decree on the terms set forth in the Agreement. The Agreement will become part of the Court's record, but under current Court Rules, a divorce case record is sealed from public review. Many experienced divorce attorneys will provide representation in an uncontested divorce on a flat fee bases, and some will even prepare the papers and coach a pro se filing for a lower fee.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Debt collection

    This man, who only identifies himself by name, says there is a pending legal matter filed in his office and other allegations that will be filed in my jurisdiction. I live in Idaho and he is calling from New York. He gives me a claim number and s...

    Paula’s Answer

    Remarkably similar to question posed from Boise 11 days ago, which prompted this answer:

    This description is strongly suspicious for scam, if only for the bizarre circumstances described. For instance, a civil complaint would be filed in a court, not their office. Yes, they are required to send you something in writing. There may be additional violations of the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and the discharge injunction entered in your bankruptcy. If contacted again, demand written documentation of any claimed debt, and consider a consultation with experienced consumer counsel if there is any documentation to review.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Will my divorce be granted

    If my husband of 16yrs goes to Mexico to live n marries there n hasn't signed my divorce papers, will my divorce be given to me

    Paula’s Answer

    Yes, a Decree of Divorce can be granted without his signature. Retain local experienced counsel to assist.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • In the Idaho District Court, what is the penalty for failing to comply with a discovery request?

    The opposing attorney sent me a document request a month before trial requesting that I bring the documents to his office for copying. I live out of state so I objected on the grounds that it was an unfair burden upon me. The judge at trial, as ...

    Paula’s Answer

    Here is the unfortunate and regrettable news: parties who choose to represent themselves are held to the same standard of compliance with the Court's Rules as are licensed counsel. The objection should have been resolved prior to trial, and the Court does indeed have the legal authority to refuse to admit evidence properly requested and not provided. See Rule 37, Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure. Technically, a Motion to Compel should have been filed and heard.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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