How to File for Divorce in Idaho
Even though divorce works in much the same way through the entire United States, each state has different divorce laws with slightly different time limits and requirements. This guide will teach you how to file for divorce in Idaho step-by-step.
1. Determine Your Eligibility
Before you file for divorce in Idaho, you will need to meet the state's residency requirements. Unlike many states that have a long residency requirement, Idaho only requires you to have lived in the state for six weeks. You may file your divorce paperwork in the county where you live or where your spouse lives (if your spouse lives out of the state, you must file in your own county).
2. Fill Out Divorce Papers
Before you can file for divorce in Idaho, you will need to fill out divorce paperwork. You can generally obtain these forms online, but if you have difficulty obtaining or reading them, you may wish to seek out paper copies at your local courthouse, where you may also be able to receive guidance about filing steps.
Your divorce papers will need to be completed carefully and thoroughly to avoid legal hassles later. In addition to information about you, your spouse, and any children you may have, the forms will also ask for information about when and where your marriage began and your finances. You may wish to have copies of your marriage paperwork and your financial records available before you begin to fill out the papers.
The paperwork must include the reason for your divorce, called grounds. This is usually a no fault ground, incompatibility when spouses file for divorce in Idaho, because fault divorces cost more and take longer. It will also need to include the terms you are requesting, called relief. You may ask for child custody or support, alimony, or anything else you wish to get in the divorce.
3. File the Complaint
When you have finished the divorce forms and checked them for accuracy, you are ready to file for divorce in Idaho. You should go to your local district courthouse and give the clerk of the court your paperwork to file. You will be asked for a filing fee (which may be waived if you do not have enough money to file for divorce in Idaho) and given a receipt. You will see your forms stamped and dated by the clerk.
4. Serve Your Spouse
As soon as possible after you file for divorce in Idaho, you are legally required to notify your spouse in order for the divorce action to continue. The process of giving them the divorce papers, called “serving,” can be accomplished in several ways.
If you file for divorce in Idaho and your spouse lives within the state, you can pay the sheriff's office or a private process server to hand-deliver the papers. You can also deliver them by certified mail, which takes slightly longer. If you no longer know where your spouse lives, you can talk to the court about publishing notice in a newspaper instead.