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Archives for January 2015

Finding the Ideal Private Placement Adoption Attorney in East Idaho

Adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences for any couple. It is a complex process and most adoptive parents benefit greatly from the knowledge and expertise of an experience adoption attorney.

Categories of Adoption in Idaho

If you and your spouse are considering seeking custody of a child, it would be wise to obtain the support and representation of an attorney who is familiar with the state and federal laws that govern the different types of adoption.

The types of adoption that take place in Idaho includes:

  • Public agency adoptions: These adoptions are facilitated by the Social Services division of the Department of Health and Welfare in Idaho, and are limited to the adoption of children within the foster care system.
  • Private placement adoptions: These adoptions are state-licensed and can be for non-profit or for-profit organizations, and typically involve children with special needs, domestic and/or international infant adoption.
  • Independent (also known as private) adoptions: The birth parent or parents place the child directly within the care of an adoptive parent for the purpose of adoption.
  • Step-parent adoptions: These are the most common type of adoption. When a parent remarries the step-parent develops a relationship with the child and in some cases takes the place of the absent natural parent. Independent of the current issues regarding same gender marriages, Idaho’s Supreme Court is starting to recognizing adoptions in non-marital situations, such as with domestic partnerships, relying upon statutory language that states that “any minor child may be adopted by any adult person.” At the present time it is likely that only two persons at a time would be recognized as the parents of a child.
  • Adult Adoptions: There is also the possibility for an adult to be adopted by another adult in situations where there has previously existed a parent/child relationship.

Requirements for an adoption

In the State of Idaho, the adoptive family is required by law to participate in a current home study, except for a step-parent adoption. The home study provides a written assessment of the prospective parent’s ability to provide and care for the adopted child. Home studies are not required in instances where the prospective parent is either married to the birth parent or is the grandparent of the child in question, unless one is specifically ordered by the court. Adoption home studies may be completed by a person or entity approved by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare or by a licensed private adoption agency.

The adoptive parent must be 15 years older than the person adopted, or at least 25 years of age, unless the adoption is a step-parent adoption.

Adoptions also require that one or both of the natural parent(s)’ parental rights be terminated , have not been established (example father has not registered with the State as the father or not on the birth certificate) has died, etc.

Having a knowledgeable and experienced adoption attorney in East Idaho can help your adoption go through smoothly.

Marital Separations in Idaho

Sometimes couples come to realize that they don’t want to continue living with each other but are not certain about filing for divorce. If this happens, you might consider alternatives to filing for divorce.

While Idaho courts do not have formal procedures for legal separation, alternatives are available. For example, the parties could enter into a separation agreement that establishes which person has what assets; who is responsible for various debts; and how income and resources are allocated. Issues such as child custody, visitation rights and spousal support could also be addressed, much like you would in a divorce proceeding. Separation agreements are not marital settlement agreements unless they meet specific requirements in the law. However, negotiating such agreements and putting them in writing are usually enforceable in cases such as driving under the influence (alcoholic), conviction of felony, or insanity.

Reasons for Choosing Separation

More couples are opting to separate rather than divorce. There are several valid reasons for doing so, including:

1. A belief that there is a chance of reconciling differences after some time apart.
2. Either you or your spouse find it less stressful to negotiate a separation agreement.
3. You and/or your spouse are opposed to divorce for moral or religious reasons.
4. The same may be beneficial to you, your spouse or children during the transition to becoming divorced.

A good family law attorney will know and be able to explain to you the pros and cons of separation and whether or not your situation in which it is appropriate to explore such options.

David A. Johnson has been providing quality legal services in East Idaho. As both a private attorney and as a former Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Johnson has substantial courtroom experience. Mr. Johnson has handled cases all over the State of Idaho. His primary areas of practice are in Bonneville, Bingham, Butte, Jefferson, Madison, Fremont Bannock and Jefferson Counties. In addition, to Idaho Falls, we serve residences in the Blackfoot, Shelley, Firth, Rigby, Rexburg, St. Anthony, Ashton, Ammon, Driggs and Victor, Idaho. [Read more..]