Idaho Divorce Laws

Idaho Divorce

Divorce in Idaho begins by fulfilling the required residency terms. The courts of Idaho will not accept a case if the residency requirements have not been met. Each state has slightly different requirements for this jurisdiction with different time designations.

Idaho requires that those who file for divorce must be residents of the state for a minimum of six weeks. Divorce proceedings may be filed in either individual’s county court. In order for the divorce to be handled by Idaho courts, non-resident filers are required to file in the Idaho county of his or her spouse, according to Idaho Code Title 5 Chapter 404.

Grounds for Divorce

As with every divorce case, the individuals involved are required to site why the marriage should be terminated. This is the reason for wanting a divorce. However, not all reasons for divorce are accepted by the state of Idaho.

All grounds for divorce must be in accordance with Idaho Statutes. A couple may decide together what the grounds for divorce should be or the petitioner will need to site the divorcing grounds while filing and preparing to prove them in court.

Divorces are only granted when they fall under the two Idaho divorce grounds categories. The first section is the No-fault section where both individuals involved site that it was no sole person responsible for the disintegration of the marriage.

This category includes irreconcilable differences and living in separate homes for five years or more. Under these circumstances either individual has the right to petition for divorce and be granted due to no cohabitation for that five-year time period.

The other section for divorce grounds is the Fault section where one or both of the individuals involved are to blame for the disintegration of the marriage. This category includes intense cruelty, adultery, willful negligence, willful deserting, the commitment to a mental institution due to reasons for insanity, addiction to narcotics or alcohol, or the conviction of a felony offense.

When requesting a divorce in Idaho it is the complaint about divorce that has to be applied for and this is made through the courts. In Idaho, there are certain conditions, which have to be met, and these are split into no-fault-based grounds and fault-based grounds.

Fault-based grounds

  1. Cruelty which is deemed extreme
  2. Adultery
  3. Wilful desertion of a spouse
  4. Wilful neglect of a spouse
  5. Intemperance which is considered to be habitual
  6. Any felony conviction
  7. Insanity Idaho Code – Title 32 – Chapters: 603, 610

No-fault based grounds

  1. Irreconcilable differences in the marriage
  2. Living apart for a period of 5 years with no cohabitation

Required Couples Counseling

When the divorce has reached the assigned hearing, the court has the option of requiring the couple to attend counseling sessions. This is only an option if the court believes that the marriage may be reconciled because of misunderstandings and other discrepancies.

Counseling through the court may also be required because it is seen as of interest to the family involved. Counseling may be required for no more than ninety days.

Property division when divorcing in Idaho

Property settlement is generally left to the parties involved. However, if this is not possible then the District Court will take over and divide the property. Any property that was acquired from the date of the marriage to the end of the marriage will be classed as community property and will be divided. They will consider the following:

  1. There will be an equal distribution of property between both spouses, however, the below is taken into consideration to determine otherwise
  2. The duration of the marriage
  3. Any agreements by the spouses prior to marriage
  4. The age, health, and occupation of each spouse
  5. The amount and source of income of each spouse
  6. The employability and skills of each spouse
  7. The needs of each of the spouses
  8. The present and the potential earnings of each spouse
  9. Retirement benefits of each spouse. Idaho Code – Title 32 – Chapters: 712, 903

Child Custody

If children under the age of eighteen are involved in divorce proceedings, the court will ask the parents to come to a custody agreement. In the circumstances that no compromise can be reached, the court will have the power to reward custody to one parent or joint custody to both parents.

During these agreements, the court will also consider the child’s wishes, child interaction with the parents, the wishes of the parents, the ability of the child to adjust to a change in home, siblings involved, stability options, and in some cases whether or not there has been domestic violence involved that would otherwise affect the child.

Factors of child custody

The courts take into account all relevant issues in regards to child custody issues and these include the following:

  1. The wishes of the child’s parents as to custody
  2. The wishes of the child themselves
  3. The interaction between parents, child, siblings, and any other person residing
  4. The adjustment of the child to the surroundings, school, and community
  5. The circumstances of everyone involved
  6. The need to promote stability in the life of the child
  7. Whether there has been any history of violence in the family. Idaho Code – Title 32 – Chapters: 717

Child support factors in Idaho

One or both parents may have to pay child support until the child reaches the age of 18. Child support will be based on the following:

  • Any financial resources of the child
  • The standard of living the child might have had if the divorce has not occurred
  • The physical and emotional needs of the child
  • The educational needs of the child
  • Medical insurance cover the child
  • The tax benefits gained by parents from claiming a federal dependency exemption for tax purposes

In Idaho, there are specific guidelines adopted by the Idaho Supreme Court. These guidelines are presumed correct unless there is evidence to support otherwise and in which case it would be unjust or inappropriate to follow them. Idaho Code; Title 32, Chapters 706, 706A, and 1201

Child support is generally worked out in Idaho using a child support worksheet. This will generate a report taking all the above factors into account.