Undergoing a divorce, or dealing with any family issue that includes legal action can be very tense. But just because they are your family doesn’t mean you can’t take legal action against them. Family Law is a legal practice field that concentrates on matters that involve family relationships like child custody, divorce, adoption, and so on.
Our Meridian family law attorneys can offer legal representation to clients facing family court proceedings or associated negotiations and also draft requisite legal documentation like property agreements or court petitions. From simple things like name changes to complex ones like contested divorces, we handle even the most complex of cases involving family law.
If you need legal assistance with regard to a family law matter, you should consider talking to our team at Boise Family Law right away. Receive the legal help you require by reaching out to our experienced family law attorneys at 208-504-2837.
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What Qualifies as a Family Law Case?
Family law encompasses a broad spectrum of the law. Here are some of the cases we handle at Boise Family Law:
- Contested and uncontested divorce
- Parental rights, child custody, and child support
- Spousal support and alimony
- Legal name changes in Idaho
- Restraining orders
- DSS Cases
Get in touch with us NOW to book an appointment and discuss your family law needs!
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Idaho?
When it comes to a fault-based divorce case, you’ll need to definitively prove that your partner was involved in some unscrupulous behaviors that resulted in the divorce. The grounds for divorce in Idaho include:
- Extreme cruelty
- Willful desertion (this is where one partner has resided apart for over a year with the intent of ending the marriage)
- Willful neglect (this is where a husband fails to financially support his wife for at least a year)
- Felony conviction
- Habitual drunkenness for over a year
- Permanent insanity (one partner has been admitted to a mental institution for a period not less than three years).
How Do You Start the Divorce Process?
Idaho has one of the shortest residency conditions in the country. When filing for divorce in Idaho, you and your partner must have been living in the area for 6 weeks before you decide to file the divorce complaint. If you’re the petitioner, you’ll need to establish the ground(s) you want a divorce from the respondent. You should note that Idaho permits both fault and no-fault based divorce.
Preparation of Forms
Regardless if you’re using a lawyer or dealing with your own divorce, you are still mandated to file certain documentation with the court.
In Idaho, if you don’t have children and want to file for divorce, you’ll need to prepare the following forms:
- Family Law Case Data Sheet
- Petition for Divorce(no Children)
- Summons with Orders
- Affidavit of Service with Orders, and
- Vital Statistics Form.
In the event you have children, you’ll need to prepare these Idaho divorce forms:
- Family Law Case Data Sheet
- Petition for Divorce (With Children)
- Summons with Orders
- Affidavit of Service with Orders
- Affidavit Verifying Income
- Standard Custody Worksheet or Split or Shared Custody Worksheet
- Parenting Plan, and
- Vital Statistics Certificate of Divorce.
Filing Your Forms
After preparing all the requisite forms, the next step is filing them with your resident district clerk. Together with your filing fee, the clerk will acquire the original copies.
Serving Your Forms
Idaho law mandates the spouse filing the divorce to finish “service of process” on the other non-filing partner. When serving your forms, you’ll need to use a sheriff or any other third-party 18 years and over to make sure the divorce papers have personally delivered.
When your spouse has been served with the divorce papers, the clerk will need to file your proof of service, from where the courts can officially consider the divorce case open. You and your partner can dissolve your marriage at any time through mediation, divorce, or on your own.
How Does the Division of Property Work in Idaho?
When it comes to marital property division, spouses will argue about the smallest and biggest items. There’s no limit to what each party may be claiming when it comes to property agreement negotiations. Couples undergoing a divorce must make a decision on how to split their debts and property – or it will be up to the courts to decide for them. Whether you amicably deal with dividing your property or a court does it for you, here are three essential steps to the process:
- Determining whether it’s community property or a separate property
- Determining property value
- Dividing the property
How Is Child Custody Decided?
Regardless of the circumstances of the divorce, the most challenging part is determining which spouse will have custody of their child. Other than the distribution of assets, the partners have to fight for or agree on child custody because it will directly affect them. When parents separate, it’s the children that suffer. Choosing between the parents isn’t a position any child should be kept in.
When parents don’t agree on how custody should be shared, the next thing is heading to court. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, the judge may decide to give custody to one spouse or mandate joint custody. The decision made will adhere to the Idaho Domestic Relations Law and concentrate on the best interests of the child.
It will be up to every parent to establish that it is in the best interests of the child if they remain with them. The court will need definitive proof of these claims and will consider these factors when making a decision:
- The preference of the child
- The parents’ requests
- The parent-child relationship
- The child’s relationship with other siblings living with the parent
- The employment status, health, living arrangements, and financial situation of every parent
- The ability of a parent to satisfy the emotional, mental, and physical needs of the child
- The fitness of the parent to raise the child (considering factors like drugs, domestic violence, or alcohol consumption).
- Stability of the child’s daily routine and how custody may influence it
What Is Alimony and How Is It decided?
Also referred to as spousal support, alimony is a court-ordered stipend of financial support to a spouse after the dissolution of the marriage. Laws on alimony vary from state to state, and courts usually handle matters on a case-by-case basis when it comes to awarding alimony.
When a divorce is decreed in Idaho, the court may need a maintenance order if the spouse filing for alimony is found to be in need. There are several factors the court will consider before making a decision.
The two key factors to be taken into account by the court are if the partner filing for spousal support doesn’t have the ability to provide for their essential needs, based on the living standards established while married, and whether they can support themselves through employment.
The maintenance order will be for a period of time and amount that the court deems just dependent, and will depend on the following factors:
- Financial resources of the spouse looking for maintenance
- The employment, current income, and other returns each party gets
- The potential earning capability of every party, including job market, experience, training, and skills
- Duration of joblessness of the party looking for maintenance
- The age and mental and physical health of every spouse
- The marriage length
- Living standards established during the marriage
- Tax consequences to each party
- The at-fault party
The scope of both spouses’ estates, which includes property acquired from the division of marital property under the divorce agreement, will also be considered when determining the requirements and amount of alimony granted. Financial responsibility and financial need are also factors that will be taken into consideration.
Child support needed and custody of any child are other two factors that will affect the amount of spousal support. In the event the party with custody of the child(ren) is incapable of supporting themselves because of the child(ren) being in a condition or age that inhibits the ability of the spouse to support them, such that they are obliged to stay at home to provide care, it would significantly impact the alimony amount to be disbursed to the custodian of the child(ren).
All in all, if you cannot reach an agreement regarding the alimony payment, the final judgement will come from the judge and court presiding over the case.
Contact a Meridian Family Law Attorney Now
The majority of family attorneys specialize in divorce cases and other issues relating to divorce. However, family law is a broad practice field that encompasses much more than divorce proceedings. Given how family law is close to home, having reputable legal representation on your corner assists in ensuring you and your loved ones are properly represented and legal rights protected.