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Idaho Divorce Process
Preparing the Divorce Papers
Whether a party is filing pro se or with an attorney, the plaintiff must file specific documents with the court. The Idaho Supreme Court has grouped forms into packets, which can be downloaded for the type of domestic case being filed.
For a divorce in a marriage without children, the plaintiff files the following forms:
For a divorce in a marriage with children, he or she must file all of the forms filed in a marriage without children plus the following:
Filing the Paperwork with the Court
After the plaintiff prepares all the necessary forms, the he or she files the divorce papers with the Office of the Clerk of Court in his or her district. The papers are filed in the country of residence of either the plaintiff or the defendant. The clerk is given the original copies, along with the filing fee. The plaintiff keeps a copy for his or her personal records; the other copy is served on the defendant, which means the plaintiff must provide the opposing party with a copy of all documents.
Serving the Documents
The filing spouse must complete service of process on the receiving spouse, which means serve him or her with copies of the complaint and all other documents submitted in the initial filing with the Clerk's Office. The preferred method of service in Idaho is personal service, which requires that the papers be delivered in person. Most people hire a professional process server for this task.
After the process server delivers the documents, he or she returns an Affidavit of Service, which lists the name and address of the person served, as well as the address where the documents were handed over. The plaintiff must file this with the court to prove the divorce papers were properly served.
When the spouse is missing, the law permits service by publishing notification of the divorce complaint in a local newspaper.
Disclosing Financial Information
If the spouses have children age 18 or younger, Idaho law requires they exchange an Affidavit of Income and complete a Child Support Worksheet. The court uses these documents to calculate child support according to state guidelines.
Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce
If both spouses have reached an agreement on the terms and conditions of the divorce - how to divide assets and liabilities and custody and visitation time with the children - the parties can file a settlement agreement with the court before the case proceeds to the hearing stage.
The agreement must cover all the issues addressed in the divorce complaint and clearly explain how the parties are settling each item. Idaho requires that there be a wait of 20 days before the court grants a final entry of divorce. In Idaho, as in all other states, settling a divorce can save time, money, and frustration. When couples cannot reach an agreement, however, the case goes to trial, where the judge decides all the issues.
Filing for uncontested divorce Idaho begins with the filing of all the divorce papers. Both the Complaint for Divorce and the Summons come in separate versions depending on whether minor children are involved or not.
No-fault divorce is possible in Idaho, so simply stating irreconcilable differences is an available option. The Summons alerts the other spouse that an uncontested divorce is being sought.
Two more forms are required: the Certificate of Divorce, which the plaintiff obtains from the court clerk, and the Family Law Case Information Sheet. These two do not come with minor children variations, but there are four more forms which are only required of parents of minors: Order to Attend Divorce Orientation and Parenting Workshop, Child Support Affidavit, Child Support Worksheet, and Parenting Plan. A Parenting Plan should be attached to the Complaint for Divorce as well as turned in by itself.
Bring all of the above forms to the county’s circuit court clerk along with the filing fee.
Since this is an uncontested divorce, the plaintiff presents the divorce papers to the defendant - the Complaint for Divorce and the Summons. They will fill out an Acknowledgement of Service and sign it in front of a notary public and then return it to the Court Clerk.
The parties wait at least twenty days since the time the spouse is served until the divorce can be finalized. During this time they attend the court ordered Parenting Workshop if there are children. After this, the plaintiff completes the Sworn Stipulation for Entry of Decree of Divorce, in addition to Decree D8-1 (if the couples has children) and Decree D 8-3 (if they do not).
Finalizing the Divorce
Idaho requires a minimum of 20 days to pass from the time of filing for a divorce to be finalized.
The Idaho court considers several factors in deciding child custody. The court does not decide custody based on the gender of the parents; that is, it does not automatically assume that a child must reside with the mother. The court always considers the best interests of the children before anything the parents may want.
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