Does Boise, Idaho Require Separation Before Divorce?
Yes, there are differences between the two.
The divorce process starts when one spouse files a divorce petition to end the marriage. During the divorce process, the divorcing spouses must negotiate various matters such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and marital property divisions.
If the couple cannot agree on these things separately, it will be taken to a county court, whereby a Judge will either approve the couple’s agreement or create one of its own. After this, the marriage will be terminated, and each spouse is free to remarry in the future.
A legal separation agreement is similar to divorce in that couples can use the same process to decide on divorce-related issues, but by the end of the process, they are still legally married. Separation allows spouses to live as though they aren’t married. For example, you can terminate or create contracts as an individual, or you can buy or sell property in your name. However, if you want to remarry, you will need to ask the court to turn your separation into a divorce.
Some couples decide to separate rather than divorce because they hope to reconcile one day, or for others, it may be a religious decision. Another reason could be to maintain health insurance.
Legal separation is not a permanent decision, which means that at any time, the court can merge the separation agreement into a divorce settlement, or the couple could decide to terminate their separation and reconcile their differences.
A separation agreement is a legally binding document that resolves issues such as property division and child custody. This is very similar to a divorce decree and will need to be approved by a Judge, who will ensure that it is in line with Idaho family law.
As both a separation agreement and a divorce decree are legally binding documents, the best thing you can do is seek help from an attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected.
rital property division can be a difficult subject to navigate. The state of Idaho operates as a community property state. This means that marital assets will be categorized according to when they were acquired. Assets that were obtained during the course of your marriage will be deemed as “community property”, meaning that they will be divided equally between the spouses.
Community property isn’t always split equally, sometimes, it may be just for one spouse to keep certain property. For example, if one spouse has sole custody, then it may be fair for them to keep the family home.
Assets obtained after the separation or before the marriage will be considered separate property unless the owner of that property has added the other spouse legally or through deeds. If this has happened, it will become community property.
We understand that some assets are not possible to split down the middle, such as a marital home. For divorce in Idaho, the court may order that the property is sold, and the profit from that sale is divided.
Divorces are never easy, and the process is made even more difficult if minor children are involved. In these cases, child support and alimony will be ordered by the court. Alimony is another term for “spousal support”, which will be ordered as a lump sum payment or monthly support sums. Factors such as the earnings of both spouses, the length of the marriage, and the financial resources of the spouse seeking alimony will all be taken into consideration.
Child support is based on each parent’s income. The state of Idaho places a minimum of $50 per month.
This process is not easy, even with no-fault divorces. For this reason, you need legal support from an experienced divorce attorney so that you can take into account all the relevant factors in order to receive the best possible outcome.
When children are involved in a divorce, it will make things a highly emotional and difficult time. In accordance with Idaho divorce laws, the physical and emotional condition of the children is always the primary focus of the court.
Physical custody refers to where the child resides full-time, which is decided by the court. If the divorcing parents cannot agree on joint physical custody, the following will be considered before the court can grant joint legal custody or not:
- What each parents’ wishes are for their parenting plans for child custody.
- If one spouse has plans to relocate following the divorce.
- The spouse’s ability to parent due to their mental and physical health.
- Examining if there is a history of abuse within the family, either between the parents or towards the children.
- The ages of the children, whether they are minor children or older and what their wishes are.
- How the children will adjust to changes of separate property/community/different schools.
- The relationships between the parents, children, and siblings, factoring in extended family relations also such as grandparents, aunts, uncles etc, and the child’s relationship with them.
- Which parent’s proposed plan will contribute the most stability to the children’s lives.
Idaho functions as a no-fault divorce state. A no-fault divorce means that a couple filing can tell the court they have come to a point in their marriage where they have irreconcilable differences. This reason establishes no-fault grounds, making it one of the faster and less expensive legal processes as neither spouse has to prove fault.
Legal separation works in a similar way to divorce, and you will still need to provide the court with grounds for your divorce. Most couples legally separate on no-fault grounds.
As mentioned before, if you are filing for a divorce in Idaho, you can do so on a no-fault basis for irreconcilable differences. If this isn’t the case, you will be filing a divorce with fault from one or both parties. Listed below are some “faults” for divorce recognized in Idaho:
- Adultery – Where one spouse is unfaithful to the other.
- Extreme cruelty – This is when a spouse claims the other spouse committed some form of physical or mental cruelty against them, which could be in the form of domestic violence.
- Wilful Desertion – This refers to abandonment under Idaho statute. This can mean in the weeks or months prior to divorce, a spouse abandoned the other without their consent. This is a particularly sensitive fault, especially if a minor child or children is involved.
- Wilful Neglect – Willful neglect refers to when a spouse fails to support their family, both physically and financially.
- Habitual Intemperance – This is a fault where a spouse neglects their responsibilities to their family due to being intoxicated and addicted to drugs or alcohol, causing mental distress to their families.
- Conviction of a felony-level crime – Spouses can file for divorce in Idaho if one spouse has a felony conviction. The person filing for divorce must take into account that a criminal conviction does not speed up the divorce decree.
- Permanent insanity – If your spouse has been omitted into a mental institution, the filing spouse is eligible for spousal support from the state.
When filing for a divorce, it is important to remember that you must be able to prove the grounds you are alleging. If you fail to convince the court that your spouse’s misconduct was the reason that led to your divorce, there is the risk that the judge will dismiss your case due to a lack of evidence. If you are unsure about your evidence, it may be safer to file for divorce on a no-fault basis to make the legal process easier.
Divorce is a highly emotional and stressful time, an experience that you shouldn’t have to go through alone. If you hire an attorney from our Idaho Divorce Law Firm, you can trust that they will do the following:
- Offer you strong advice and support when dealing with your divorce.
- Guidance on coming to decisions using mediation, which helps to protect family dynamics and saves time and money on drawn-out court proceedings.
- Provide legal insights into nuptial agreements throughout the legal process.
- A strong attorney-client relationship, where they will make every decision based on legal provisions for your best interests.
- Personal and emotional support for your well-being during this difficult time.
- Fierce litigation if your case does go to court, we will fight for your best interests in front of a Judge.
We like to treat clients as individuals as our firm. No rules apply to every case, and we treat every client with care and respect during this time. We will work aggressively on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome. Our clients and attorneys act as a time. Both travel side by side during the legal separation process, making sure there is care in every move.