Harrison & Smyth, P.A.

How Does Idaho Handle The Division Of Property In A Divorce?

Idaho is one of the few community property states in the United States. This essentially means that all assets acquired, during marriage, with a handful of exceptions, are owned in equal measure by both spouses. It also means that both spouses are equally liable for any or all debts that were accumulated during the course of their marriage. If a couple is unable to agree on how to divide their assets and debts, the court will generally default to dividing them equally between the parties.

Some exceptions to this would be when one spouse acquired money or property prior to the marriage or where one spouse received gifts of money or property during the marriage. These can be considered separate property.

Whenever a party want to claim separate property, they cannot co-mingle that property. Commingling is generally not an issue for physical assets like a car, a painting or property. It can become an issue if community assets or community money is used to improve the value of that asset. For instance, if one party came to the marriage with a piece of property and then used community assets to build a house on it, then a certain amount of commingling of property has occurred. We have to figure out how much of the value of that property goes to the community and how much of that is separate property.

The more common issue that typically arises is when dealing with money. Commingling of assets with money means that one spouse has taken their separate money and put it into a community bank account where the other spouse can withdraw from the account whenever they need to. In other words, there has been no effort to trace the separate money from community money as it moves through that account. If you have commingled your separate property without tracing it, then it will generally be considered community property in the state of Idaho.

What If I Just Want Out Of The Marriage And Don’t Care About The Property?

It is surprising how many people feel this way, but you should consider a few things first. You will need to ask the question: do I have a good source of income or the education and skills to create a good source of income? Do I have a savings account or other resources that I could use to provide for myself until I am able to get back on my feet? The reality is that getting divorced creates a lot of additional expenses that people fail to think about. Upon separation or divorce, you will either need to get your own place or remain in the one you are currently in. Either way, you will bear the cost of living by yourself, mortgage/rent, utilities, etc. You may be required to pay child support. If you have vehicles that require fuel and insurance, which used to be shared expenses, they now become separate expenses. In other words, you need to be sure that you can provide for your needs before you just walk away from all your property.

One of the other issues we repeatedly see regarding the division of property is when there is an outstanding debt on the property. People often think that if they have verbally agreed that one party will be responsible for a debt or will otherwise refinance a debt, they will no longer be held liable for that debt. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Many times even where a spouse has agreed to refinance a debt, they either fail to do so out of spite for them because the financial institution will not refinance it due to poor credit or lack of income. When this happens, it will affect you, your credit and your ability to move on with your life. These are things that you want to resolve up front and rather than hoping they will not become a problem down the road.

For more information on Division of Property In A Divorce, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (208) 552-1165 today.


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