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Idaho Family Law: An Overview

Since family issues are often emotionally and socially complicated topics, Idaho enforces a set of family laws to ensure that every family member’s rights are protected. These state family laws also serve as guidelines toward healthy resolutions for matters like marital property distribution after divorce and child custody.

If you have a family law case in Boise, Meridian, Nampa or elsewhere in Idaho, LawInfo is your source for information and legal help. LawInfo’s Idaho Family Law section includes legal overviews, summaries of state laws and other resources to help you make the right decisions for you and your family.

If you need help navigating the complex laws governing your case, an Idaho family law attorney can help and treat your case with the sensitivity it deserves.

Idaho Child Support

Both parents of a child are legally responsible for that child’s welfare according to Idaho law. This responsibility extends into divorce as well even if one parent isn’t awarded custody over the child. The noncustodial parent is responsible for financially helping the child’s upbringing and education through child support.

Child support is paid monthly until the child reaches 18 years of age (or 19 years until they graduate high school). An Idaho court may include mandatory income withholding in a child support order. You could also request for income withholding for convenience. Income can also be withheld from unemployment and Social Security Disability benefits.

Idaho courts use a set of guidelines to determine child support payment amounts. The guidelines include qualifications and calculations for adjustments to a parent’s gross income.

Idaho Community Property

One of the most stressful parts about divorce is dividing up property between both parties. Idaho’s community property laws attempt to simplify each party’s rights to property by first identifying separate and marital property. Marital property is then considered to be community property, which means that both parties have equal rights and interest to the marital property.

Marital property is defined as most property acquired during the marriage by either party, including income, real property and debts. Both parties can come to an agreement on how to divide their marital property after a divorce or they can let the court decide how to evenly divide it.

Separate property includes property and debts that either party acquired:

  • Before the marriage,
  • During the marriage as a gift, insurance benefit, bequest (i.e. inherited by a will) or other means, or
  • After a divorce or legal separation.

Each party retains their separate property after a divorce unless the other party contributed to the separate property’s maintenance or appreciation, which can create a complex situation that a court may need to settle.

Idaho Marriage Licenses

A marriage can only be legalized in Idaho after the marrying couple acquires a marriage license prior to their marriage ceremony. If you were to get married in Idaho without first attaining a license, the marriage would be considered legally void.

Both residents and nonresidents may apply for an Idaho marriage license, which can be used anywhere within the state. To attain a license, both parties must:

  • Appear before a County Recorder.
  • Pay a fee and provide proof of identity and social security numbers for both parties.
  • Either be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian or submit a notarized letter of consent provided by the parent/guardian if a party is under 18 years of age.
  • Provide written permission from an Idaho court in addition to parental consent if a party is under 16 years of age.

Once you receive the license, you don’t have to wait to perform the marriage ceremony. The license also doesn’t have an expiration date.

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