Kevin J. Waite, P.C. | Attorney Blogs

Interrogatories And Requests For Production Of Documents

Family Lawyer Kevin J. Waite in Coeur d'Alene on Saturday, June 24, 2017

Interrogatories are questions that are served by one party to the other to obtain information. Often they are highly personal and pry into the personal life of the other party. Nonetheless, they have to be answered.  As one good turn begets another, your lawyer will send over a similar set to the other side.

Interrogatories have to be answered truthfully and to the best of one's ability and sworn to under oath (with a notarized signature). They are usually accompanied by Requests For Production Of Documents, which can be equally offensive and which also have to be answered.  

These papers are frequently served shortly after the Respondent has responded. This process is an opportunity to obtain facts and documents to support one's case and to test the strength of the opponent's case. It is often a useful tool for both sides to have the answers before mediation, so that items such as bank accounts and debts are known in order to get to a fair resolution.

Discovery - another name for this process - is very broad. Information may not be relevant but is still discoverable on the theory that it may lead to relevant evidence. There are occasionally interrogatories and document requests to which an objection can be made (and sustained),  but usually this occurs wh (read more)

What Can Be Done About A Default Judgment?

Kevin J. Waite on Friday, May 19, 2017

What can you do when you a Default Judgment is obtained against you?

The quick answer is you file a motion to vacate the default.  This of course requires analysis of what happened and why.

If you were properly served with a lawsuit, you had twenty days to file your response.  If you did not respond, the Plaintiff can apply at any time for a default and thereby obtain the exact relief he/she requested.  You can file your motion to set aside the default, but there are certain requirements that need attention when preparing your papers.  

Occasionally, although a default is obtained the defendant was not actually served or was not properly served.  This will call for a different analysis then does the more common situation in which the defendant has been served but has let the time go by.

Not all defaults are necessarily bad.  In some divorces, the plaintiff attempts to come up with terms that the defendant will not oppose.  In those situations, a default is simply the means of concluding a tacit agreement.

There are time limits to motions to set aside a default.  After six months it may no longer be possible to set aside your default.  It is best to act right away upon finding out about a defa (read more)

Text Message Etiquette In Family Law Cases And What We Can Learn From Abraham Lincoln

Kevin J. Waite on Monday, April 17, 2017

Many clients find texting an easier route (compared to phone contact) in communicating with the other side in a divorce or child custody case. It is an excellent means of instantaneously relaying information to the other side. It is an invaluable resource when emergency situations arise. It documents communications.

While most people realize that their texts can be used as evidence in court and so should refrain from using crude language, what they often fail to realize is that the wording and/or the tone of their texts can be equally offensive or otherwise inappropriate and can be used against them. A text that is bullying, insulting, snide or demeaning, even though it avoids profanity, will make a good exhibit − for the other side. Name-calling (even of the non-profane variety) and judgmental opinions should also be avoided. Texting should be limited to relaying information in as neutral and civil a manner as one can muster.

Texts are really no different from emails and emails are no different from letters. Technology and the speed of communication that it permits do not excuse lack of reflection and judgment.

In Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin relates how Abraham Lincoln would write angry letters to his cabinet members and his generals, (read more)

Military Discount

"Thank You For Your Service." - Kevin Waite on Friday, March 31, 2017

I have represented many military personnel, some of them having been stationed overseas while the matter is going on. The ability to communicate and send draft documents back and forth by email makes this easier than it used to be. I give a twenty percent (20%) discount off the billing rate to military personnel, which reduces the billing rate from $250.00 per hour to $200.00 per hour. I do not reduce the retainer, but the reduction in rate means that the money goes further. It is a way of saying “thanks” for your service.

The same discount applies to military veterans.  We usually ask to see your DD-214

Maintenance or Alimony

Family Lawyer Kevin J. Waite, P.C. in Coeur d'Alene on Friday, February 24, 2017

“Maintenance” is the Idaho term for alimony. Spousal support is another term that is sometimes used in place of maintenance or alimony. Idaho courts have statutory authority to order maintenance in a divorce, whether as part of a final judgment or a temporary order.

The formal standard governing a claim for or award of maintenance is two-pronged. The court must find that the spouse seeking maintenance (a) lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs; and (b) is unable to support himself or herself through employment. As indicated, both of these criteria must be met. As should be evident from the wording, maintenance may be awarded to either the husband or the wife, depending upon the circumstances. 

If the court finds that one of the parties meets the criteria for an award of maintenance, there are then several factors to consider in determining the amount and duration of a maintenance award.

The popular perception is that Idaho courts are conservative in their decisions on claims for maintenance. Another way of saying this is that Idaho is not California. However, there are several qualifiers in the statutory wording, and there are reported Idaho cases on the issue of maintenance, providing room for argument depending upon the (read more)