If you're considering filing for divorce in Idaho, you might have a lot of questions about the legal process in your state. Fortunately, Idaho divorce procedures are straightforward and relatively easy to navigate. To file for divorce in Idaho, the filing party must live in the state for at least six weeks.
Idaho also offers divorce based on fault or no-fault grounds. The fault-based grounds include:
- Extreme cruelty
- Willfully deserting or neglecting a spouse
- Alcohol addiction
- Permanent insanity
- A spouse's felony conviction
To file a no-fault divorce, the filing spouse can claim the parties have irreconcilable differences, or state that they have lived apart for at least five years.
How to File
To begin a divorce case in Idaho, the filing spouse must follow the proper procedures in the appropriate court according to the filing spouse's county of residence.
- The petitioning spouse must first file a complaint, summons, case information sheet, and other forms at the local courthouse.
- The petitioning spouse must then "serve" the initial paperwork on the responding spouse. In Idaho, a party can serve the other spouse through personal service, publication in a newspaper, or by having the responding spouse file an acceptance of service with the court.
- The responding spouse has 20 days to file a response to the complaint.
- Length of the marriage
- Any prenuptial agreement
- The age, health, occupation, income, employability, and vocational skills of each spouse
- Each party's income
- The needs of each side
- Whether the parties' property settlement agreement replaces or supplements alimony
- Each spouse's current and future earning ability
- Any available retirement benefits
The Idaho divorce court may decide that one spouse needs financial support from the other to meet her basic living expenses. The Idaho divorce laws refer to alimony as "spousal maintenance."
The amount of maintenance payments and their duration depends on the following factors:
- The financial resources of the support-seeking spouse
- The amount of marital property given to each spouse
- The recipient spouse's ability to be self-supporting
Child Custody and Support
A primary concern for the court is the best interests of the children involved in divorce cases. If you and your spouse have minor children, the court will address both custody and child
Idaho divorce courts consider the following factors when determining how custody should be awarded:
- The parents' wishes
- The child's wishes
- The child's relationship with siblings and parents
- The child's adjustment to home, school, and environment
- The character of all involved parties
- The need to ensure stability in the child's life
- Any incidents of domestic violence
Both parents are required to provide financial support for all of their minor children. The Idaho Child Support Guidelines help the court figure out how much a parent should pay in child support. When using the guidelines to calculate support, the court considers several factors to determine an appropriate award amount:
- The child's financial resources
- Both parents' financial resources, needs, and obligations
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The child's physical, emotional, and educational needs
- Whether medical coverage for the child is available
- The benefit received by the parent who claims the child for tax purposes
Your Idaho Divorce
Once you decide to proceed with ending your marriage, you can either attempt to represent yourself, or hire a divorce attorney. If your case is uncomplicated, you can take advantage of the free self-help resources offered by the Idaho Judicial Branch. If, however, your case involves complex issues, you're better off speaking to an experienced Idaho family law attorney.