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Idaho Divorce Laws

While divorce may not have been the dream of most married couples facing the prospect of a separation, it’s still fairly common. Often, if spouses are regularly arguing, the best option for everyone involved may be divorce, especially when domestic violence is occurring.

Divorce with Children

If a couple has minor children, then child custody and support will keep the case connected with the family court until all children of the marriage are adults and no longer able to receive child support. For more information, see the Idaho Child Custody article.

Idaho Divorce Laws: What You Need to Know

No matter what caused you and your spouse to decide to divorce, there are some legal requirements in each state before a divorce can be started and finalized. The chart below outlines the highlights of Idaho's divorce laws.

Code Section

Idaho Code Title 32:

Residency Requirements To file for divorce in Idaho, you must be resident for at least six weeks before starting the action.
Waiting Period The earliest you can get your divorce decree is 20 days after you file. If you have children, it may be put on a hold for 90 days.

For willful desertion, willful neglect, or habitual alcoholism, the case must be held for one year before any can be a ground for divorce. Using irreconcilable differences could be faster.
‘No Fault’ Grounds for Divorce The “no fault” ground for divorce in Idaho is called “irreconcilable difference.” You can also divorce if living separately for at least five years.
Other Grounds for Divorce The fault-based grounds for divorce included:
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty or inflicting serious physical or mental harm on your spouse
  • Willful neglect of the husband not providing his wife the common needs like foods and shelter
  • Willful desertion
  • Habitual intemperance or alcoholism that makes you unable to attend to business or inflicts mental anguish on the non-alcoholic spouse
  • Insanity – The spouse must be permanently insane, this can be demonstrated by regular confinement within a psychiatric facility in any state or country for at least three years before filing for divorce
  • Conviction of felony
Defenses to a Divorce Filing Fault-based divorces can be denied for four reasons:
  • Collusion – cooperating to divorce
  • Condonation – forgiving the spouse’s marital wrongdoing
  • Recrimination – Both spouses equally at fault or engaged in wrongdoing
  • Limitation and lapse of time – For adultery, you must file for divorce within two years of the act or discovering the act and within one year of a pardon or sentence ends for conviction of a felony. For other fault cases, it’s just “unreasonable lapse of time.”
Filing Fees Divorce petitions cost over $200 to file. However, if you have a low income, you may be eligible for a fee waiver.

Sometimes filing for divorce on your own and entering into a separation agreement with your spouse can be a way to amicably end a divorce. Without knowing what you are giving up, you could be waiving your rights to shared property or assets. If you consult with a lawyer, at least you’ll know what you’re giving up to make the divorce happen.

Note: State laws are updated regularly. It’s a best to verify these divorce laws by contacting a knowledgeable family law attorney or conducting your own legal research.

Research the Law

Idaho Divorce Laws: Related Resources

Getting Divorced in Idaho? An Attorney can Help

Even the simplest divorce involves complex matters of property and can be quite emotional for the two parties involved, which is why having an attorney is key. A good divorce lawyer will tell you about your legal rights and the financial implications of getting divorced. If you're thinking of getting divorced in Idaho, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced local divorce lawyer.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Divorces are tough and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Divorce lawyers can secure alimony, visitation rights, and property division

Get tailored divorce advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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