One of the most common issues Idaho family law attorneys deal with is divorce. Those who are contemplating this usually have many questions, requiring knowledgeable, thoughtful answers. Although some people attempt a do-it-yourself divorce, this rarely works to their benefit. If you are considering a divorce, having an experienced Idaho divorce lawyer by your side can help you navigate the sometimes complex laws in the state, and almost guarantee a better outcome for you.
The Beginning of Your Idaho Divorce
Once you have made the determination to seek a divorce, your next step will depend on whether your spouse is in agreement, the division of assets, and child custody, if there are children involved. In fact, even among those divorces which begin in a friendly manner, few actually end up that way. This means that if you think you don’t need an attorney because you and your spouse are in agreement about everything, you may find, down the road, that you were not as much in agreement as you thought.
Emotions run high during a divorce and it can be difficult to reach mutually acceptable agreements when those emotions are clouding your judgment. This is the best reason to have a skilled Idaho attorney by your side from start to finish. Your Idaho divorce lawyer will consistently look out for your best interests, allowing you the time and space necessary to process your divorce.
So, in short, there is the relatively easy, uncontested divorce in which there is agreement regarding all aspects of the process. There is the contested divorce in which you and your spouse disagree on some issues and must spend some time working out those disagreements in order to appear for a final hearing with a proposed settlement agreement. Finally, there is the really contested divorce in which you and your spouse agree about exactly nothing. If your case is one of the really contentious ones, you may be looking at a long, expensive, and unpleasant time.
The Division of Assets and Child Custody
The two areas in which couples spend the most amount of time in disagreements are asset division and child custody and support. Idaho is a community property state, meaning the marital assets will be divided as equally as possible. The judge will take many factors into consideration such as the standard of living established during the marriage, the age and health of both spouses, the childcare or homemaking contributions of one spouse to the marriage, whether one spouse contributed to the education or career of the other, the income level of each spouse at the time of the divorce, and the ability of each spouse to earn a living. The division of assets will be considered in conjunction with any award of spousal support as well as how the debts will be divided.
Idaho—Reasons for Divorce and Residency Requirements
Although most states require six months’ residency in order to file for divorce, Idaho only requires six weeks. Further, while most states have gravitated to no-fault divorce, Idaho allows both a no-fault and a fault-based divorce. In a no-fault divorce you simply state there were irreconcilable differences in your marriage which led to your divorce. If you file under a specific “fault,” then, under state law you must choose from the following: adultery, extreme cruelty, willful neglect or desertion, a felony conviction, habitual drunkenness which lasts longer than one year, permanent insanity, or living apart for five years or more.
The Divorce Trial
If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement about your divorce issues, you will likely be looking at a trial, where the judge will determine asset division, child custody, spousal support and any other issues regarding your divorce. When your trial begins both attorneys will give their opening statements which are meant to summarize the disputed issues, explaining how the evidence will support a favorable decision for their client. There will be evidence presented on behalf of the plaintiff and the defendant, and expert witnesses will be called if necessary.
During closing arguments both lawyers will summarize the evidence and a final ruling will be made on all disputed issues by the family court judge. Finally, the attorneys will create a Judgment for Dissolution which will reflect the final ruling of the court, and the dissolution of the marriage will be complete. Your divorce attorney can advise you on any issues you are confused about, so use that resource when you are in the midst of a divorce.
Getting the Legal Help You Need
If you are going through a divorce, you deserve a strong legal advocate who can ensure your rights are fully protected during the divorce. Experienced Idaho divorce lawyer Joe Frick will look out for you and for your future, and is crucial in this situation. Don’t wait — contact an Idaho divorce attorney today.