Q: What grounds do I need for a divorce in Idaho?
A: Idaho is considered a no-fault state, meaning that if either party feels that the marriage is irreconcilable, a court can and will enter a divorce. A good divorce lawyer can explain toyou the pros and cons of pleading for a no-fault divorce or pleading a divorce based on adultery, extreme cruelty or other grounds. The Plaintiff generally has to reside in Idaho for at least six weeks before a court will have jurisdiction to grant the divorce.
Q: Is it possible to get spousal support in Idaho?
In the State of Idaho it may be possible for you to get an order from the Court requiring your soon to be ex-spouse to pay you a monthly support "alimony" amount to help you get back on your feet. However spousal maintenance is usually disfavored by the Courts meaning you have to have a really good argument to get it. Also, most courts will only allow support on a temporary basis, usually for a period of the first few years after marriage, though it may be possible to get support for longer. The factors a Court will consider are the length of the marriage, the spouses ability to support the themselves, the assets in a marriage, the fault (infidelity or cruelty) of an ex-spouse during a marriage, and so forth. A divorce attorney can review whether or not you may be entitled to spousal maintenance.
Click here to see the Idaho statute governing spousal maintenance!
Q: Who will get custody of my kids if I divorce?
A: The governing rule for custody decisions is always
what is in the best interests of the children. Though courts prefer that parents make those decisions themselves or via a mediator, a court will order custody based what they are shown would be best for your children.
In Idaho, both parents are presumed to be fit unless proven otherwise. If both parents are fit then the law presumes that it is in the best interests of the children for both parents to have joint legal and physical custody of the children.
Joint legal custody involves the decision making in regard to health care, education, religious training, etc. Physical custody is where the children will reside. Although a custody arrangement can involve a 50/50 split of on-duty time with each parent, the courts often will award one parent the primary physical custody of the children, with the other parent receiving visitation.
For younger children a court will look at who the primary caregiver has been to the child along with parent availability (work schedules), to determine primary custody. For older children especially teenagers, the court will also obviously consider issues of continuity in school and other activities to decide what is best for the child.
Under the law a court can consider the wishes of a child when deciding custody, but most courts will not give any serious weight to a child’s desires on custody until the child is in his or her early teens. If custody is an issue for you you need an aggressive custody lawyer to review your case.
Click here for Idaho's law on "best interests" of the child!
Q: How much child support will I receive/have to pay?
A: The Idaho Supreme Court publishes pre-determined guidelines for establishing child support. The process involves first establishing how much time the child will spend with each parent (custody), then plugging that custody arrangement into the guidelines formula along with each parent’s income. The guidelines will then generate the amount owed and to whom.
Click here to see the actual Idaho Court Rules/Child Support Guidelines!
Q: Do grandparents have rights in Idaho?
With so many children being cared for by grandma and grandpa these days this is an ever increasingly important question. The answer isn't simple. Technically under Idaho Law if a grandparent has had custody of a grandchild for an appreciable period of time they may have grounds to assert custody rights based on the "best interests" of the child standard. This is so because doing so can help promote continuity and stability for the child.
However, under US Supreme Court rulings and Idaho law a parent's right to parent is a fundamental right. As such, the right to parent often trumps the rights of a grandparent. These situations become very legally sticky and are very fact sensitive. There is serious question as to how valid the Idaho Grandparent rights are.
Click here to read the Idaho statute dealing with Grandparent's rights!