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Idaho Divorce Laws

Just as states have regulations on the marriage process, so too do they for divorce. The legal requirements for divorce define the procedures a person must go through in order to get divorced. This article provides a brief overview of divorce laws in the state of Idaho.

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, the plaintiff must be a resident for at least six (6) weeks before starting the action.

Waiting Period

The earliest you can get your divorce decree is 21 days after you file. If you have children, it may be put on a hold for 90 days.

'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 food 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 are 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 an “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.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law (s) you are researching.

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.

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.

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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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