Harrison & Smyth, P.A.

How Long Should I Be In Idaho Before Being Able To File For Divorce?


Before you can file for divorce in Idaho, you have to have lived in Idaho, as a resident with an established address, six weeks prior to filing. If you want the courts in Idaho to have jurisdiction over your children, they would have to have lived in Idaho for the previous six months. The way around this would be if you and your spouse agree that the case should be filed in Idaho. Absent an agreement, the court will transfer your case to wherever the children have been living for the past six months.

One of the issues that often comes up in this situation is when you are dealing with domestic violence and you need to protect your children. In this case, you can file an order in Idaho; but if your spouse seeks to have the case moved to a different state, the court will be very careful about working with courts in the other jurisdiction to make sure that the children are being protected.

Are There Benefits To Filing For Divorce Prior To Your Spouse?

Yes, there can be. If there is a question about your child being abused or neglected and you want to ensure that your child is protected and taken care of, then you would want to file first by seeking temporary custody of your child. If you are concerned that your spouse is trying to hide or move assets without your knowledge, then you definitely want to file first because the court automatically issues an order where each party is prohibited from such behavior or risk being found in contempt of that order by the court.

Another benefit to filing first would be where your spouse has moved out of the state of Idaho with your children and it looks like you are headed for a divorce. In this case, you would want to file for divorce before six months have passed; otherwise, jurisdiction over the children will be determined based on where they are living. The result would be that you would have to resolve the divorce in that jurisdiction along with any future modifications you might need regardless of how inconvenient or costly it might be for you.

Do You Need A Reason To File For Divorce In Idaho?

In Idaho, you technically do need a reason to file for divorce. Under the statutes there are several reasons that you can cite for divorce. Reasons include adultery, extreme cruelty, and willful neglect, conviction of a felony and a handful of others. The most common reason is for irreconcilable differences. All that really means is the couple just cannot get along anymore. In a case where you have adultery or extreme cruelty, you may want to cite that as your reason for divorce because that gives you additional benefits under the law if you can prove it. A lot of times couples really just do not get along anymore and want to be divorce which qualifies as an irreconcilable difference. So technically, yes, you need a reason to divorce, but it is a minimal consideration.

Is There A Required Period Of Separation Before Being Able To File For Divorce In Idaho?

No, there is not. Essentially, there is no requirement to meet if you have been a resident of Idaho for at least six weeks.

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

HARRISON & SMYTH, P.A.

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