Family Law

Divorce / Annulment / Legal Separation

Ending a marriage is emotionally difficult, regardless of its duration. Our divorce and custody family law attorneys can guide you through complex and important issues pertaining to this process including: the types of legal actions that can be taken, child custody and child support (see our Custody & Support page), division of property and debt, and awards of spousal maintenance (alimony). While ultimately you must be the one to decide whether ending the relationship is right for you, our firm is wiling and able to help you navigate the complexities that surround this process.

Idaho Legal Options to End or Suspend a Marital Relationship:

  • Divorce: Idaho is a no-fault state and allows a divorce on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences” (Idaho Code § 32-616). Meaning you do not need to prove a reason to the judge why you should not be married. Other fault-based grounds for divorce exist such as adultery, extreme cruelty, and neglect – which can and should be raised in certain circumstances. We encourage our clients to look at divorce as a last resort. However, when divorce is inevitable, we can help make these determinations.

  • Annulment: An annulment is different from a divorce in that an annulment dissolves a marriage as though it never happened. There is no such thing as a no-fault annulment, like there is for a divorce. An annulment can often create difficulties in cases where the parties have amassed significant quantities of community property during the marriage. If you are considering an annulment, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys.

  • Legal Separation: Legal separation is available in Idaho to suspend a marriage. This action is not required for parties to physically separate from each other. Instead individuals that seek a legal separation are usually attempting to preclude liability for the actions of the other spouse. However, legal separation does not suspend community property laws and will usually require a post-nuptial agreement to assign rights and obligations of the parties during the time of separation. If both parties cannot mutually agree on the terms of a legal separation, most often those cases result in a separate filing for divorce.

Child and Custody Support

Please see our Custody and Support page.

Property & Debt Division

Idaho is a community property state. Meaning any property acquired during the marriage is presumed to belong equally to both parties. So, generally speaking, if ou and your spouse purchase a $150,000 house together during the marriage, the house presumably belongs equally to both of you, even if only one person’s name is on the title. Property acquired prior to the marriage or given to you as a gift or inheritance is generally separate property – it belongs only to you. If you co-mingle your separate property with community property, you will have to trace for the court your separate property interest, which can prove to be very difficult. Many individuals use a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to deal with the acquisition of property during the marriage. However, even if none of these documents exist, we can still help our clients reach an equitable (fair) division of community assets and debts. The division of property and debt can easily become a complex and tiresome exercise. hiring an experienced family law attorney to help you with the division of property and debt can pay large dividends in obtaining the peace of mind that you obtained the best foreseeable results dividing your property and debt.

Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

Spousal maintenance is available in Idaho for some cases of marriage where a spouse lacks sufficient property and is unable to support himself/herself through employment. Idaho Code § 32-705. There is no hard and fast mathematical formula to calculate Spousal Maintenance/Alimony like there is for child support. Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) may also be modified depending on the language of the decree. The Court, again, will be looking for a substantial and material change in circumstances to modify an award of support. If you believe you may be entitled to receive or are obligated to pay spousal maintenance, or you would like to modify it, we can encourage you to contact our office to evaluate your spousal maintenance questions.

**The information above is general guidance regarding principles of law in Idaho. The foregoing is not intended as legal advice in any particular matter. Because all cases are dynamic and deserve special planning, we encourage you to contact the attorneys at our firm to answer questions regarding your specific case.**

Attorneys

Attorney Scott R. Hall

Scott R. Hall

Attorney Weston S. Davis

Weston S. Davis

Attorney Brian Eggleston

Brian Eggleston

Attorney Tyson N. Raymond

Tyson N. Raymond