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Idaho Alimony

Idaho law allows a court to award alimony, also called maintenance in Idaho, if it finds that the spouse seeking it is not self-supporting. The court may award support to either the husband or the wife upon dissolution of marriage. The court looks at all of the circumstances of both parties in determining whether to grant support, its amount and its duration.

A party seeking modification must petition the court and demonstrate that his or her circumstances have changed. Idaho permits the court to consider fault in determining alimony.

An Idaho court decides the length of any support payments upon the granting of the decree of divorce. The duration of support depends on the length of the marriage and the needs of the parties, among other factors.

In Idaho, alimony influences the distribution of property, and therefore becomes intricately involved in a divorce settlement. When spouses are unable to reach an agreement on this issue, the District Court orders support on a case-by-case basis.

Types of Alimony

In Idaho courts may order temporary, short- and long-term alimony. Temporary alimony may be given when one spouse needs support to live during the period between filing for divorce and final dissolution. Short-term alimony may be granted when one spouse needs to obtain an education or skills to become employable. Long-term, or permanent, alimony may be granted to a spouse who has significant needs, and is usually reserved for lengthy marriages.

Factors Considered by the Court

In Idaho the court has discretion to order alimony for “such amounts and for such periods of time that the court deems appropriate," meaning the court considers the circumstances of both spouses in determining whether to grant support, what amount and for what duration. According to the Idaho Code - Title 32 - Chapters: 705, in awarding alimony the court considers:

  • the financial resources of the party who desires support;
  • the time necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable the spouse seeking maintenance to find employment;
  • the length of the marriage;
  • the age and the physical and emotional condition of the party seeking maintenance;
  • the ability of the party from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • the tax repercussions;
  • the marital fault of each party.

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