The law in Idaho requires that before filing for divorce, you must have lived in Idaho at least six (6) full weeks. Every divorce action must state the cause for the divorce. Most divorces are granted based on irreconcilable differences, but Idaho also grants divorces for the following causes:
- Extreme Cruelty
- Wilful desertion
- Wilful neglect
- Habitual intemperance
- Conviction of felony
- When either the husband or the wife has become permanently insane
When a divorce is granted, the court will also divide the property owned by the parties. The separate property of each spouse will be awarded to that party. The court will divide the value of community property substantially equal, unless there are compelling reasons.
Idaho has Child Support Guidelines that determine fair and adequate child support awards. The income of both parents, the number of children involved and the time each child spends with each parent helps to determine the amount of support needed. Once an award of child support has been court ordered, that amount remains in effect unless and until a new court order is issued modifying that amount.
The court determines the legal and physical custody of the child/ren by considering what is in the best interest of the child/ren. The court considers all relevant factors which may include:
- The wishes of the child/ren's parent(s) as to custody of the child/ren
- The wishes of the child/ren as to his or her custody
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child/ren with his or her parent(s) and siblings
- The child/ren's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community
- The character and circumstances of all individuals involved
- The need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child/ren
- Domestic violence, whether or not in the presence of the child/ren.
Once a custody determination has been court ordered, that custody arrangement remains in effect unless and until a new court order is issued modifying custody.
Once child support has been awarded by a court order, that amount remains in effect unless and until the court issues a new order. It is sometimes possible to have the amount of child support modified to a new amount, either higher or lower. The law requires a substantial and material change of circumstances before it will order a modification. Factors to consider include:
- Increased or decreased income for either parent
- The amount of time the child/ren spend with each parent
- The financial resources of the child/ren
- The physical and emotional conditions and needs of the child/ren
- The child/ren's educational needs
- The availability of medical coverage at a reasonable cost
Every annulment action must state the cause for the annulment. There are defenses and exceptions that may apply, but generally speaking, Idaho grants annulments for the following causes existing at the time of the marriage:
- The party seeking the annulment was under the age of legal consent, and such marriage was contracted without the consent of his or her parents or guardian
- The former husband or wife of either party was living, and the marriage with such former husband or wife was then in force
- Either party was of unsound mind; The consent of either party was obtained by fraud
- The consent of either party was obtained by force
- Either party was, at the time of marriage, physically incapable of entering into the married state, and such incapacity continues, and appears to be incurable.
Paternity actions can involve:
- Establishing the paternity of a child
- Establishing custody of the child (which includes a parenting plan with an on-duty schedule.)
- Establishing child support
It is possible for both custody and child support orders to be modified later if there is a substantial and material change of circumstances. Significant time should be spent thinking through these issues from the beginning to establish a stable situation for the child.