Divorce is the legal process you follow to end your marriage. Idaho is a no-fault divorce state, which means you are not obligated to show that your spouse did something wrong for the court to approve your divorce. This type of divorce is known as “Irreconcilable Differences.” Irreconcilable differences means there are differences between you and your spouse that cannot be changed and have led to a breakdown in marriage. If you believe your spouse is at fault for the divorce, you can allege a fault-based reason for divorce such as adultery, extreme cruelty, willful neglect, willful desertion, habitual intemperance, conviction of a felony, or permanent insanity.1 To file for divorce, you must be a resident of Idaho for six weeks.2
The Divorce Petition
The first step in getting a divorce is filing a divorce petition and summons in the appropriate court. In the divorce petition, the filing party (the “petitioner”) sets the grounds for divorce and includes important information regarding the marriage. The petition identifies you and your spouse, any children, and states if there is any separate or community property, child custody, and child or spousal support. The next step is serving the petition on your spouse by service of process. Service of process ensures that the other party knows about the divorce action and can respond and participate in the legal proceedings. Once the petition has been served on your spouse, he/she will have 21 days to respond and either admit or deny the allegations contained in the divorce petition. Your spouse may also include counterclaims in his/her answer.
Contested Divorces & Uncontested Divorces
In Idaho, there are two types of divorce actions – contested and uncontested. If you and your spouse agree to all divorce-related issues, or if your spouse fails to respond to the divorce petition, then the divorce is uncontested. In an uncontested or “stipulated” divorce, parties agree on alimony, division of marital assets and debts, child custody, child support, tax deductions, and exemptions, and any other issue involving your marriage. If you and your spouse can’t agree on all the divorce-related issues, then the divorce is contested. In a contested divorce, a judge will make the decisions for you. You and your spouse can get a divorce quickly if you take the uncontested route. A contested divorce can take a lot longer as the divorce will only be granted when the case is heard, reviewed, and decided by the court.
Discovery & Mandatory Disclosures
If the divorce is contested, parties must engage in the discovery process. Discovery involves exchange of financial disclosures and other documents. However, even if parties don’t service discovery requests, they are obligated to provide each other with certain documents called mandatory disclosures within 35 days of the responsive pleading being filed.3 In a case in which spousal maintenance is at issue, each party is required to submit an affidavit outlining their income for the past three years, and reasonable monthly expenses.4
In a case in which division of community property is at issue, parties are required to disclose all real and personal property with a value of more than $100.00, provide copies of all deeds of trust, purchase agreements, escrow documents, settlement sheets, and all other documents that disclose the ownership of real property, copies of all bank, brokerage, and security account statements, copies of statements showing the value of all pension, retirement, stock option and 401(k) accounts, two years of tax returns, all bankruptcy filings of the parties, a list of debts and a copy of all debt statements, and copies of credit card statements for the previous six months prior to the filing of the petition.
In a case in which child custody and/or child support it an issue, each party will disclose proof of income, proof of the cost of all medical, dental, and vision insurance premiums paid for the minor child, proof of the cost of any child care expenses, and proof of any expenses for private or special schools or other particular educational needs.
The Divorce Decree
Getting a divorce is final once the court signs the divorce decree. The divorce decree formally ends your marriage and addresses important details about the terms of your divorce. The divorce decree will address things like marital property division, alimony, custody and parenting plan, and child support.
If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, the attorneys at Gordon, Delic and Associates can help you through the process. We can help prepare all the documents and make sure your interests are protected.
- I.C. § 32-801
- I.C. § 32-7-1
- I.R.F.L.P. 401
- I.R.F.L.P. 504(A)(2)