Lewiston Divorce Attorney
Lewiston, Idaho, is the county seat of Nez Perce County, Idaho, in the north-central region of the state. Lewiston is the second-largest city in northern Idaho and the ninth-largest in the state. As of 2010, the population of Lewiston was almost 32,000. Lewiston is located at the confluence of the Snake River and the Clearwater River.
Lewiston is reachable by some ocean-going vessels due to the dams and locks on the Snake and Columbia River. The Port of Lewiston is Idaho’s only seaport and the farthest inland port east of the West Coast. Today, the primary industries in Lewiston are agriculture, paper, and timber, with light manufacturing and ammunition manufacturing having a growing presence.
Community activities in Lewiston include the Dogwood Festival, Lewiston Roundup, and Hot August Nights. The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Lindsay Creek Vineyards, Clearwater Canyon Cellars, and the Lewis and Clark Discovery Center are places of interest for couples and families. Idaho consistently ranks among the top ten states with the highest number of divorces, coming in at number four in 2020. If you are considering divorce in Lewiston, Idaho, you could benefit from the following information.
Getting a Divorce in Lewiston, Idaho
The state of Idaho is unique in the fact that the residency requirement for filing for divorce is only six weeks. You must meet these residency requirements prior to filing for divorce in Idaho. Further, you must file in the county where either you or your spouse currently reside. If you are a military service member, you do not necessarily have to be living in Idaho, so long as it is your home of record.
Deciding Whether to File a No-Fault or Fault-Based Divorce
Getting a Divorce in Lewiston, Idaho
Under Idaho law, you are not required to provide a reason for your divorce—this is known as a no-fault divorce. For a no-fault divorce, you will simply state there were irreconcilable differences in your marriage, with no hope of reconciliation. Idaho also offers fault-based divorce where you are required to provide a reason for your divorce. Idaho allows the following grounds for a fault-based divorce, but keep in mind you are required to prove any allegations.
The faults allowed in an Idaho fault-based divorce include the following:
- Extreme cruelty
- Willful desertion (one spouse lived apart from the other for more than one year, with the intention of abandoning the marriage)
- A felony conviction on the part of one spouse
- Habitual drunkenness for more than one year
- Willful neglect (a spouse fails to provide the other with the common necessities of life for a period of at least one year, due to a refusal to work, or outright laziness).
- Permanent insanity (one spouse must have been a resident of a mental institution for at least three years).
- The spouses have been separated and have lived apart for at least five continuous years.
Dividing Assets in Your Lewiston Divorce
The division of property can often be a contentious issue in a divorce. Idaho—along with eight other states operates under community property law, which means assets and debts are divided right down the middle, or 50/50. All other states use the law of equitable distribution, meaning assets are divided fairly, but not necessarily evenly. If you and your spouse agree on the division of marital property and debts, then the judge will make those decisions for you. The judge will determine the values for your marital property, then will decide how the property will be divided. Any property you owned prior to the marriage, or property acquired as a gift or inheritance during the marriage is considered your separate property.
Lewiston, Idaho Alimony
When one spouse is unable to support himself or herself, the court may decide to award alimony. There are certain factors a judge looks at when determining alimony in the state of Idaho:
- The age of the spouse seeking support
- The length of the marriage
- The physical and emotional health of the spouse seeking support
- The earning potential of the spouse seeking support
- The ability of the paying spouse to pay spousal support
There are three levels of alimony that might be awarded, including:
- Temporary alimony for the spouse who needs financial support between the time the divorce is filed, and when the divorce is final
- Short-term alimony for the spouse who needs an education or job skills in order to earn a living
- Permanent alimony when the spouse seeking support has significant needs and is unable to support himself or herself following the divorce.
You Need a Lewiston Divorce Lawyer
If you think your divorce will be uncontested, you may wonder why you need a Lewiston Divorce Lawyer at all. However, an uncontested divorce can often turn into a hotly contested divorce almost overnight. Even if you have relatively few assets or debts, it is important to remember that the decisions made now can affect your future for a very long time. It can be difficult to make those decisions when you are in an emotional place; your attorney can help you make the right decisions and will fight for your rights from start to finish.