In this article, you will learn:
- What to expect if you proceed with divorce in Idaho
- What may happen if spouses are unable to agree
- When court proceedings may become necessary
There are many options available when spouses decide a divorce is what they want. If couples can try to sit down and figure things out, one of the options is to have one of them hire an attorney as a draftsman and maybe a mediator to help them work through the things that they don’t have resolved and to help them think of the things they didn’t think of in an attempt to put together a settlement before a case is even filed. Sometimes that process is effective, and people get through it very quickly because they’ve already reached agreements about how things are going to go. But ordinarily, when people come into my office, they either want to file a petition for a divorce, or they have received a petition for divorce, and they have 21 days to respond.
But any way you slice it, whether you try to do it by agreement or whether you try to just simply start with the petition, somebody has to draft a petition, get it filed with the court, and get it served on the other party, which starts the 21-day clock for the other party either have an attorney appear, or to file a response to the petitioner. And if people don’t like what’s proposed in the other side’s petition, they can always do a counter-petition and set out what they would like the court to do, and serve that on the other person or their attorney. Then, we get into a spot where the court will schedule a conference to try to find out about the case, the issues, and how the various issue may play out if the case goes to trial. The general timeline is nine to ten months out for a trial date, and longer if it will need multiple days for trial.
In some of the counties, you can get a trial in four or five months, but once you file the petition and the responses are done, the court will enter an order for mediation, which gives the parties a chance to control their own destinies. People will typically be ordered early in the case to complete two or three mediation sessions and see if they can’t work things out for themselves. If there are children involved, mediators need to be people who have applied to the Supreme Court to get on the child custody mediation roster that must have certain training and must renew their training every three years.
The exchange of information process begins 35 days after the last response. The clock starts to run on mandatory disclosure of the last three years of tax returns, and several other types of financial information. At some point down the road, usually six weeks or so before the trial, the court will have a pretrial conference and they’ll expect a witness list, exhibit lists, and things like that to be exchanged between the parties. However, much of the proceedings depend on the type of case and the amounts of money involved in the property division or in potential spousal support issues. So, you’ve got a middle of the case where you’re working on gathering evidence and getting ready for trial, and hopefully having some settlement discussions with the other side.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Idaho?
No-fault divorces are the most common type of divorce in the State of Idaho. In a no-fault divorce, a couple can get divorced without proving the other party is at fault for the marriage breakdown.
Despite this, Idaho does allow for fault-based divorces in certain situations. The grounds for such are outlined in Idaho Statute Title 32, Chapter 6. They include:
- Extreme cruelty;
- Wilful desertion;
- Wilful neglect;
- Habitual intemperance;
- Conviction of a felony;
- When either the husband or wife has become permanently insane, as provided in sections 32-801 to 32-805, inclusive;
- Irreconcilable differences.
At-fault divorces are generally difficult to prove and may add complications to the divorce process. A divorce lawyer can steer you in the direction that ensures your case goes as quickly and smoothly as possible without compromising your rights or child custody, if relevant.
How Do I File For Divorce In Idaho?
Before beginning the divorce process, Idaho requires at least one spouse to have lived in the state for six weeks before filing a divorce.
The process formally starts with filing a Petition for Divorce with the appropriate court. The petition should include basic information about the parties, such as their names and addresses, as well as information about any children involved and the grounds for the divorce.
After filing the petition, the defendant must be served with a copy of the petition and given the opportunity to respond. Idaho law requires you to wait 20 days after serving the defendant for them to do so.
If the divorce is contested, the case will likely proceed to a trial. If it is uncontested, the parties may be able to settle the divorce without going to court. Since contested divorces are significantly more prolonged and costlier, partnering with an uncontested divorce attorney to steer clear of a contested divorce may be the best choice to make in your situation.
How Do I File An Uncontested Divorce In Idaho?
An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on all issues related to the divorce, including the division of property and debts, child custody, and spousal support.
When pursuing an uncontested divorce in Boise, Idaho, individuals have the option of divorce by default or divorce by stipulation. A divorce by default sounds complicated, but it is not. It is when the initiator of the divorce files and serves the defendant the divorce papers. After receiving them, the defendant does not file a response within the mandatory 20-day waiting period. More simply put, they “default” on their right to be heard in the matter. If this happens, the initiator can proceed in finalizing the divorce.
On the contrary, a divorce by stipulation is when both spouses have reached a consensus and made all necessary determinations regarding their case, requiring a judge to simply sign off on everything. A divorce by stipulation is likely what you think of when you think of an uncontested divorce.
Both parties must sign a written agreement outlining the terms of the divorce. Upon signing it, it will need to be filed with the court, along with other required forms, such as a Joint Petition for Divorce. The divorce can be finalized without trial assuming the judge approves the agreement.
What Are The Divorce Filing Fees Divorce In Idaho?
The filing fee for a divorce in Idaho varies by county, but it typically ranges from $200 to $300. This fee covers the cost of filing the initial divorce petition with the court. In addition to this, there may be other fees associated with other required forms, such as the summons and temporary restraining order.
If the divorce is uncontested, the filing fee may be the only fee required. On the other hand, if the divorce is contested and goes to trial, additional fees will incur. These include fees for attorneys, expert witnesses, and court costs. It is essential to be aware of these additional fees when considering filing for divorce, as they can quickly accumulate and significantly impact the cost of your case.
Available Options If Spouses Can’t Agree On Custody Or Other Matters In A Divorce
Suppose you can’t reach an agreement through mediation or through settlement negotiations at the end of the day. In that case, the only way to get a decision is to go to trial, present the evidence that supports your position, do what you can do to minimize the effect of the testimony and evidence that’s presented with the other side, and argue your position to the court about what should happen.
For more information on Family Law in Idaho, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (208) 701-6644 today.