Uncontested Divorce in Idaho
There are two primary ways to dissolve a marriage: contested and uncontested divorce.
- A contested divorce occurs when the couple cannot agree about the divorce itself, the grounds for divorce, property division, spousal support, child-related issues (child support and custody), etc. Thus, the spouses end up in court, asking the judge to make these decisions for them.
- An uncontested divorce process (referred to as divorce by stipulation in Idaho) is less complicated since it implies that the spouses agree on all of the issues required to end their marriage. So there's no need for litigation.
Uncontested divorces are relatively fast, depending on how quickly you and your spouse agree on all the final terms of the divorce. Moreover, divorce by stipulation can typically be finalized without a court hearing.
Get Your Divorce Forms Completed Online
Even the most straightforward uncontested divorce case requires proper divorce paperwork. Since a single mistake may lead to the rejection of divorce forms and significant delays, the spouses should approach this stage of the process responsibly.
DivorceOnline offers a beneficial solution for those who would like to arrange a divorce without legal representation but, at the same time, avoid all the pitfalls of such a do-it-yourself approach and complete all the required Idaho divorce papers quickly and correctly. Our online divorce service does not just sell blank forms. We help our users select and fill out all the papers required in a particular case, following Idaho Family Law. We also provide comprehensive filing instructions on starting the divorce process in your specific local court. Complete the online interview to provide your case details. Then, we'll help you fill out all the relevant divorce documents. You can work with your files whenever and wherever is comfortable for you, even go back and make changes if needed. Once you've finished, you receive your completed divorce papers online in two business days.
Steps for Filing a Divorce in Idaho
The Idaho divorce process takes several consecutive steps.
For a couple to be eligible to get a divorce in Idaho, the plaintiff (the spouse filing the case) must have lived within the state for at least six weeks before filing a divorce petition.
When filing for divorce, the spouse who initiates the case (the plaintiff) must complete the Petition for Divorce. Among other things, this legal document must contain a legal ground for dissolution of the marriage, chosen among those provided by the Family Law.
Idaho provides for both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. The fault grounds mean that the plaintiff alleges that their spouse was responsible for the marriage breakdown. Thus, all the Idaho grounds for a fault-based divorce must be proven before the court. They include:
- Extreme cruelty
- Willful desertion
- Willful neglect
- Habitual intemperance
- Conviction of a felony
- Permanent insanity
The only ground for a no-fault divorce is "irreconcilable differences," meaning that the spouses cannot get along enough to stay married, and there is no chance for reconciliation.
To start a divorce, the plaintiff must fill out the Petition for Divorce and the other initial divorce papers and file them with the Court Clerk in the county where either spouse resides.
Divorce papers in Idaho
Initial Idaho divorce papers include:
- Petition for Divorce
- Family Law Case Information Sheet
However, depending on the county and various circumstances of a particular couple, additional Idaho divorce forms and documents may be required.
If you are unsure which court forms are necessary in your case, you can contact the Clerk of the District Court or take advantage of DivorceOnline.com. This easy-to-use online divorce service can help you prepare your unique divorce papers in only two business days.
The plaintiff must pay a filing fee for District Court and Magistrate Division services when filing divorce papers. This fee is about $207 in Idaho but can vary slightly from county to county. Generally, this court fee is mandatory. However, if the plaintiff cannot afford to pay it, they may ask the court to exempt payment by filing a Motion and Affidavit for Fee Waiver.
Idaho has a mandatory waiting period. Even if the spouses have agreed on the terms of their divorce, the final judgment of divorce cannot be issued earlier than 21 days after the time the defendant (the non-filing spouse) was served with papers.
The plaintiff must notify the other spouse about the divorce by serving them with copies of the divorce complaint and Summons. In Idaho, there are several ways to accomplish the service of process:
- With an Acknowledgment of Service form If the defendant cooperates by accepting service, the plaintiff must deliver them the original and one copy of this form along with copies of the Petition and Summons. The defendant then has to sign the original Acknowledgment of Service before a Notary and return it to the plaintiff.
- With Affidavit of Service form If the defendant doesn't cooperate, the plaintiff can complete an Affidavit of Service and use the help of any person over the age of 18 (who is not a party to the case), a professional process server, or the County Sherriff.
To finalize an uncontested divorce in Idaho, the spouses must fill out and sign the Sworn Stipulation for Entry of Decree and file it with the County Clerk's office along with other Idaho divorce papers required in their particular circumstances. For example, if the spouses have minor children, they need to complete the Affidavit Verifying Income and Standard Child Support Worksheet and submit their Parenting Plan for court approval. The Court Clerk will send the papers to the judge, and the spouses can receive a copy of the Divorce Decree by mail. Idaho divorce by stipulation can be finalized without a hearing in most cases.
Getting a Divorce With Children
Idaho recognizes two types of child custody: physical and legal custody, each of which can be granted to both parents jointly or solely to one parent.
- Legal custody refers to authority in making important decisions for the child (like health care, education, and upbringing).
- Physical custody determines with whom the child primarily lives.
Even though Idaho law expresses a preference for parents to share parental rights and liabilities as equally as possible, the court determines who gets custody on a case-by-case basis. The judges shall focus on the child's best interests, considering the following factors:
- each parent's wishes regarding custody;
- the physical and emotional condition of all the parties;
- the child's preferences as to their custodian;
- the child's adjustment to their home, school, and community;
- the child's interaction and relationship with each parent, siblings, and other family members;
- the need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child, and each parent's willingness and ability to meet the child's needs;
- any history of domestic violence and abuse.
In addition, if the parties cannot agree on a custody arrangement for their children, the court can order them to go through mediation.
In a divorce by stipulation, divorcing parents need to allocate their particular legal rights and liabilities over minor children by completing a Parenting Plan. This document should cover custody, parenting schedules, agreements for vacations and holidays, health care, safety, and any other essential matters. Besides, the spouses have to complete the Child Support Affidavit and Worksheet, following Idaho Child Support Guidelines.
Idaho Child Support Guidelines apply to determinations of child support obligations between parents in virtually all proceedings that address the issue of support for children under the age of 18 (or up to the age of 19 if the child is still in high school). In determining the amount of child support, the income of both parents, number of children, child-related expenses, and child tax credit are considered.
Filing for Divorce in Idaho Without a Lawyer
Filing for an uncontested no-fault divorce is the most straightforward way of ending the marriage in Idaho, as it doesn't require a court hearing.
The spouses filing for divorce by stipulation can reduce the legal costs of divorce as they are not obliged to hire a full-scope attorney to handle their case.Instead, they can resort to alternative dispute resolution methods, like divorce mediation to work out a Parenting Plan or Settlement Agreement, or use cheap online document drafting services to prepare all the required divorce papers online.
These options allow avoiding the potential risks of a do-it-yourself divorce approach while saving money at the same time.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Idaho
Divorcing couples can get self-help forms approved by the Idaho Supreme Court at the Idaho judicial branch website. However, since this website does not provide specific assistance on interpreting state laws or completing any divorce papers considering your particular circumstances, this option is not suitable for everyone. So if you want to prepare your Idaho divorce documents quickly and without hassle, you can benefit from DivorceOnline.com. We offer an easy-to-use and efficient tool to prepare all the papers required for Idaho divorce online. With extensive experience in document preparation, our online divorce service provides only the relevant forms and top-notch customer support.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The length of divorce largely depends on whether the spouses contest the case. The process can be relatively fast if the spouses file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences and sign the Sworn Stipulation for Entry of Decree. However, a 21-days waiting period is mandatory for all couples, so no divorce in Idaho can be finalized sooner than 21 days. Other factors also affect the length of the process. It is hard to predict how much time the spouses need to enter into a Settlement Agreement and create a Parenting Plan or how long the service of process will take.
Generally, the cost of divorce is based on the length of the process and the amount of conflict, so an uncontested no-fault divorce is usually the least expensive option. The average cost of divorce is about $10,000 in Idaho, and an average flat fee charged by a divorce lawyer for an uncontested case is about $1,500. To lower the cost of divorce, the spouses who do not contest the case and do not desire legal advice can file their own divorce without the assistance of a law firm.
Filing for divorce for free in Idaho is available only for plaintiffs eligible for a filing fee waiver due to financial hardship. However, divorce expenses typically are not limited to court costs only.
Idaho divorce forms that the spouses may be required to file with the District Court include but are not limited to Family Law Case Information Sheet, Petition for Divorce (With/ With No Children), Summons, Acknowledgment of Service, Affidavit of Service, Inventory of Property and Debts, Parenting Plan, Affidavit Verifying Income, Child Support Worksheet, Decree of Divorce, Divorce Certificate.