If you have come to the point where you are considering divorce, chances are you have already experienced a great deal of stress and frustration. Now that you have reached this decision, you likely want to move forward as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Fortunately, Idaho makes getting a divorce fairly straightforward and possible without a lawyer. This is most likely if you are seeking an uncontested divorce – one where you and your spouse agree on issues like property division and child custody and support (if you have children). You can begin the divorce process by simply filling out the necessary Idaho divorce papers online and submitting them to your county clerk.
Divorce paper preparation services like CompleteCase.com can make this process even easier online. Our experts provide assistance to choose the right divorce paperwork for your particular situation which enables you to move forward confidently, knowing that you have completed all the right forms correctly – the first time. If you and your spouse are struggling to reach agreement on divorce-related issues, you may consider divorce mediation, or for more complicated circumstances, seek legal representation from a divorce lawyer.
The following information will help you understand the basics of divorce in Idaho, and how you can begin to move forward with your own divorce.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the 2011 divorce rate in Idaho was 4.9 for every 1,000 residents. The divorce rate in the state declined steadily from 1990 where it was 5 for every 1,000 residents. Idaho's divorce rate is higher than many other states in the U.S.
Idaho allows both fault-based divorces and no-fault divorces. In a fault-based divorce, you must prove grounds for the divorce that are accepted by the state. These include extreme cruelty, adultery, willful neglect and habitual drunkenness. In a no-fault divorce, you only need to state that there are “irreconcilable differences”. Most people prefer to get a no-fault divorce because it is usually faster and less-costly than seeking a fault-based divorce.
Idaho has a short residency requirement for divorce compared to many states. You or your spouse only have to live in the state for six weeks to file for divorce.
When you file for divorce in Idaho, you will need to complete a number of different forms. The forms you use will depend on your situation – like whether you have children or not – and sometimes will depend on the county where you file. It is always a good idea to contact the county clerk in the county where you will be filing to verify that you have the right forms. Some common divorce papers in Idaho include the “Family Law Case Information Sheet”, the “Complaint for Divorce (with or without children” and the “Summons With Orders”.
The State of Idaho Judicial Branch Court Assistance Office has a self-help page where you can find Idaho’s divorce papers online. Idaho Legal Aid, a non-profit organization, also has a site with Family Law Self-Help Forms. On each of these sites you can find some information about getting divorced in Idaho, as well as a substantial number of legal forms.
If you feel confused by the options available to you, understand that the way you are feeling is common. Unless you have a legal background, you are unlikely to recognize many of the legal terms on these documents, or understand exactly which forms you need to use. At CompleteCase.com, you can get assistance in choosing the right forms for your circumstances, and you can get assistance in completing your divorce papers correctly online. Many people find online divorce papers from CompleteCase.com to be the perfect solution for their situation as you can move forward confidently, knowing that you will not experience any unnecessary delays due to incorrect forms.
When you have completed all of your Idaho divorce papers, online or otherwise you will need to print out an original set and make two additional copies of all documents. One set of papers you will file with the clerk, one set you will keep for your records and one that you serve to your spouse. Before you head out to the county court, call ahead and verify that you have everything you need, including the acceptable form of payment for the state filing fee. When you have paid your fee and submitted your documents, the clerk will stamp the documents and file them with the court.
To finalize the divorce process, you will need to “serve” your spouse a stamped copy of the documents. Serving means delivering a copy of the papers, notifying your spouse that the divorce is proceeding and that he or she has the opportunity to respond to the complaint.
If you and your spouse are on good terms, you can deliver the divorce papers to him or her personally. Have your spouse sign a form stating that the papers have been received and file this with the court.
If you do not want to serve your spouse personally, you can hire a private process server to do it for you. The private process server will charge a fee, and will give you a document verifying that the papers have been served after your spouse has received them. You will file this with the court to finish the filing process. If you cannot find your spouse, you do have the option of printing a notice of the divorce in a local paper. This option is more expensive than hiring a private process server, so most people only use it as a last resort.
Once the papers have been served and the court has been notified, you will need to wait at least 20 days for the divorce to be finalized. If you and your spouse still have issues to work out through trial, you can expect the divorce to take quite a bit longer.