In order to file for divorce in Idaho, the spouse initiating the divorce (the “Petitioner”) must file a Petition. The non-filing party must be served. The non-filing party (the "Respondent") must then file a response within 21 days of service. From there, a variety of actions may happen until there is a resolution in the case.
We are able to assist you in both contested and uncontested divorces. Even when a divorce is uncontested, it is important to ensure your rights and interests are protected. While the divorce itself may not be contested, accompanying issues, such as custody, child support and property division may need to be resolved.
If you have been served, or expecting to be served, with divorce documentation, we are able to assist you with responding and further needs of the case.
If you have an agreement with your partner that you would like reduced to writing, we can also assist you with completing and filing these documents.
Child Custody and Parenting Time
Child custody is generally a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, residential care, and/or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear.
Often time, parental disputes regarding the custody of child occur long before the parents ever seek legal intervention. However, commencement of custody matters in the legal setting refers to “the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.
In other words, a child custody proceeding is commenced when a parent, or prospective parent, files the initial document pertaining to a child with the court.
It is important for parents to understand the differences between (1) rights and obligations, regarding child custody and parenting time, that have been previously established by the court; (2) those that exist by operation of law; and (3) the interaction and impact of each. Generally speaking, the sooner a parent takes legal action, the better their chances are in attaining a favorable outcome.
Modification of Prior Judgments
Where the ‘commencement’ of a ‘proceeding’ has resulted in a ‘child custody determination’, it may be necessary for a parent to seek modification. Similar to initial custody determinations, modifications must also be considered in terms of what is best for the child. However, legal grounds for modification of custody are limited to situations where there is a substantial, material, and unexpected change. In general, any custodial arrangement that causes detriment to a child will serve as ground for modification.
While for many parents modifying custody can be a suitable and effective approach, it is also important to know that modifications can be far more difficult to attain. Consequently, parents are generally much better off in ensuring that initial custody determinations are properly evaluated and/or defended, and that custody orders are properly established. Parents should not assume that they can always go back and fix a problem that should have been addressed in a prior proceeding. In short, early intervention is best.
Child Support Proceedings
Child support proceedings may be started by a party or the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
If you have a pending divorce or modification proceeding, child support will be addressed there.
Need more information about asking the State for assistance for Child Support Services? Start here:
Paternity is the consideration of rights of a father in cases where the parties were never married, no father is listed on the birth certificate, paternity has not been established, and the only undisputed fact is that the mother gave birth to a child. In this scenario, failing to commence a child custody proceeding, can have a number implications both in regard to financial support, as well as time-sharing and access to the child.
Civil Protection Order Proceedings
Civil protection orders are a legal tool available within the Idaho court system to restrict an abuser’s contacts with a person or persons for a period of time.
The civil protection order orders the person who is abusing or stalking you to stop doing so. A civil protection order may be issued under domestic violence (must have a personal relationship) and malicious harassment (via telephone or stalking).
If the abuser violates the Civil Protection Order, he/she may be criminally punished by the court. Idaho Code § 39-6301.
Check out this informative page on CPO's through Idaho Legal Aid: