Idaho Divorce Laws

In order to file for divorce in Idaho, the filing party or non-filing party must have residence in the state for 6 weeks prior to commencement of divorce proceedings.  The filing should take place in the county that either parity resides.  If the court discovers that jurisdictional rights do not exist to hear the case it will be dismissed.  Below are the Idaho divorce laws that are currently in place.

Who Can File for Divorce and On What Grounds

  • No-fault:  Either party can file for dissolution of marriage based on irreconcilable differences.  Also, if spouses have lived apart for a continuous period of 5 or more years, they may also file a no-fault divorce.
  • Fault:  There are several grounds for divorce that allow a fault divorce.  Among them are adultery, desertion, neglect, felony conviction, permanent insanity of either spouse, extreme cruelty, excessive drunkenness.

The essential documents necessary for divorce proceedings are the Complaint for Divorce and the Decree of Divorce.  There are any number of other documents that will be filed by either the plaintiff or defendant in order to complete the dissolution of marriage.

Division of Property

Property Distribution is Idaho is split equally in accordance with the “Community Property” rules in the state.  All property acquired during the period of the marriage will be divided 50-50 by the court.  The involved parties are encouraged to reach their own agreement to avoid the court intervening in the division of assets.

Child Custody

It is the priority of Idaho courts to protect the children involved in a divorce and make decisions based on their best interests.  Parents are encouraged to find common ground and agreement regarding the care and custodial situation of their children.  If they are not able to then the court must intervene and based their decisions regarding child custody on several factors including but not limited to:

  • The wishes of the child as to which parent they would prefer, this dedans on the child’s age at the time of divorce.
  • The overall character and deportment of all individuals involved.
  • Any issues of domestic violence present in the familial relationships.
  • The relationships with the child and his/her parents and siblings.
  • School and community and what affect a custody arrangement would have on the child.
  • The wishes of the parents.
  • Any other factor that the court feels is relevant to the decision.

The court may order counseling where they feel that it could result in an outcome favorable for the best interests of the family.


Child support will be determined based on the Income Shares Model.  Past W-2’s and child support worksheets will help to verify income and the determined amount is divided proportionally with regard to each parent’s income.  Child support can be ordered up until the child is 18 years of age regardless of the situation of divorce.

Spousal support is not a requirement in any dissolution of marriage in Idaho; it is decided on a case by case basis.  If a judge rules that maintenance is warranted in a case, it will be dependent on several factors. M First the judge must determine that the spouse seeking support is unable to support themselves with employment and/or that they do not own sufficient assets to provide for their own reasonable needs.  Once determined, the court may consider the resources, financial and otherwise of both spouses, the length of the marriage, the financial consequence to each spouse if maintenance is ordered, the fault of either party in the divorce and any other factors deemed relevant.  The maintenance ordered will be specific in duration and amount.