In Idaho, there isn’t a big difference between divorce and legal separation. Once you start the process for legal separation, you also take the steps to file for divorce. Since it’s a legal separation, property is split and custody of any children of the marriage is determined just as you would for a divorce. The only functional difference between the two in Idaho is that the marriage still exists and may be resumed after the separation if the spouses reconcile. Idaho is a no-fault divorce state, requiring no wrongdoing by either partner to qualify for divorce.
Idaho requires no period of separation or cool-down before marriage nor does it require any marital counseling prior to divorce. However, if the court believes that reconciliation may be possible, the court may order the couple into counseling.
What Paperwork Do You Need to File for Divorce?
Idaho provides the necessary forms to file for a divorce. There are separate forms depending on the exact situation, mostly depending on whether there are children involved. The forms for a divorce without children are short and easy to fill out. There are forms available for married couples with children but as the situation gets more complex the state recommends couples seek the aid of a lawyer. A spouse may request divorce on their own but the divorce must be finalized with both spouses except in cases of desertion. There are certain steps that must be followed to finalize your divorce:
- Fill out the correct form (either divorce with children or divorce without children);
- Serve the paperwork to your spouse;
- Fill out paperwork for the type of judgement, for example finalizing the divorce by:
- (Optional) Modify the judgement if either spouse wants to change the final decision.
Community Property vs. Separate Property
Idaho is a community property state. This means that most property acquired by either spouse during the marriage belongs to the marriage, or the “community,” and not to the specific spouse who acquired it. Idaho courts will follow community property laws when dividing marital property between the two spouses. Some property is kept apart from consideration in divorce and will not be considered in the split. Some examples of this property are:
- Property acquired before the marriage
- Gifts intended for one spouse only
What Should You Do if There are Children Involved?
A court will have to resolve the custody of the children and how much child support will be paid. The court will focus upon the best interest of the child when determining which parent will have custody of any children from the marriage. An Idaho court will give deference to an agreement between both parents as to who should have custody assuming the court finds it is in the best interest of the child.
Do You Need to Pay Alimony?
Idaho’s divorce proceedings provide for alimony but it is not required in all cases. Alimony payments are customized by the court to fit the situation presented. Both in amount and how long they will last. Some types of payments will only last as long as the divorce proceedings last.
Where Can You Find the Right Divorce Lawyer?
Divorce can be a difficult process and a lawyer can help you through it. The process becomes even more complex when children are added in or a significant amount of property is in question. A family lawyer that specializes in divorce can help you get the outcome most favorable to you. Contact a Idaho divorce lawyer to help you through this process.