How to File for Divorce in Idaho

How to file divorce in Idaho

To make sure you position yourself appropriately in a divorce, you need to fully understand the processes, laws and information that will be critical as you go through your case. Being unprepared is a surefire way to make costly mistakes.

To better understand what’s involved in the actual filing process for a divorce in Idaho, we’ve prepared the following guide:

What Information Should You Gather and Prepare for a Divorce in Idaho?

important information

Before you actually file for divorce, it’s wise to gather all the information you’ll need as you work through your case.

Being organized is the key to saving time, money and frustration.  Also keep in mind that your attorney can represent you the best way possible, if they aren’t armed with everything they need to fight on your behalf.

To see what you need to gather, we’ve prepared a Divorce Information Checklist.   Check out as part of our article, The Ultimate Divorce Checklist:  The Information You Need to Prepare for Divorce.

How Do You Determine Which Divorce Procedure to Use in Idaho?

Divorce Procedure to Use

After you gather your information, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to move forward.

Some of this will be dictated by your relationship with your spouse and whether or not you can agree on all the issues.

To help you fully understand what your options are, take a look at our article What Are the Different Types of Divorce? before you make any kind of decision.

What are the Necessary Forms to Prepare for an Idaho Divorce?

Necessary Forms to Prepare

After deciding what type of divorce to pursue, you’ll need to start your case by completing forms and submitting them to the court.  The exact forms you file will depend on whether or not children are involved.

At a minimum, you’ll file:

  • Family Law Case Information Sheet
  • Petition for Divorce (No Children)
  • Summons with Orders
  • Affidavit of Service with Orders
  • Vital Statistics Form

If you have children, you’ll also file:

  • Petition for Divorce (With Children instead of No Children version)
  • Affidavit Verifying Income
  • Shared or Split Custody Worksheet or Standard Custody Worksheet
  • Parenting Plan
  • Vital Statistics Certificate of Divorce

In some cases you may need to file these forms as well:

  • Affidavit and Motion for Service by Publication
  • Order For Service
  • Summons by Publication
  • Affidavit of Mailing Per Order for Publication

How Do You File Your Divorce Forms with the Court

How Do You File Your Forms for a Divorce

Once your forms are complete, file them in person with your local district court clerk.  You will also need to pay a $137 filing fee.

In some cases, you may be able to have those fees waived.  As the clerk for assistance to see if you qualify.

How do you Serve Your Divorce Papers on your Spouse?

After your forms have been filed with the court, you must complete process of service by having the paperwork delivered to your spouse.

This can be accomplished by having a process server, a sheriff or any third-party over 18 give the divorce papers to your spouse.

After the person completes the service, they must give you an Affidavit of Service that you will then file with the court to verify this step has been completed.

If your spouse agrees, you can also complete process of service by mailing paperwork to him or her.  The spouse would then complete Acceptance of Service and return it to you for filing with the court.

If you can’t locate your spouse, or they are in the military or in jail, other ways to complete process of service may apply.  You will need to check with the courthouse where you’re filing to details for these situations.

Once you Have Filed for Divorce, What are the Steps for Getting a Divorce in Idaho?

Every divorce is a bit different, but the process follows the same general outline in Idaho.

After you have filed for divorce and the paperwork has been served on your spouse, they have a limited amount of time to file a response with the court.

Failure to do so within 20 days could result in the court approving the divorce on a default action.

In addition to filing paperwork, in a contested divorce, you’ll also need to exchange financial disclosure information with each other.  You need to list your income, expenses, assets and debts so that a fair and equitable distribution of assets can take place.  This information will also be used to calculate alimony and child support too.

If you can’t reach an agreement with your spouse on how to resolve your divorce, your case will go to trial and a judge will make decisions for both of you.

Once all decisions have been made, a final decree will be issued and your case will be complete.

FAQs About Getting a Divorce in Idaho

How much does it cost to file for a divorce in Idaho?

cost to file for a divorce

Filing fees are $137 and payable when you submit your initial paperwork.

Learn More: How Much Does Divorce Cost?

Can divorce fees be waived in Idaho?

In some cases, yes.  You will need to prove you are financially challenged and submit a request for a fee waiver to the court.

Can I file for divorce online in Idaho?

divorce online

You sure can. In fact, filing for divorce online in Idaho can be a great way to save time and money.

Online divorce isn’t right for everyone. It only works if you have an uncontested divorce (you and your spouse are able to reach agreements without going to court).

If you have a contested divorce or particularly complicated finances, you should consult with a lawyer.

But if you have an amicable divorce, you might be able to do it yourself. Fortunately, there are tools that can help.

3 Step Divorce is an affordable online divorce service that makes it easy to complete your divorce papers and gives you step-by-step instructions for filing your forms with the court. All you have to do is answer the questions online, which should take less than an hour.

Here’s why 3 Step Divorce stands out:

  • A+ rating with the BBB
  • Over 750,000 customers since 1997
  • Private and secure
  • $299 flat-fee with no hidden charges
  • Flexible monthly payment options (get started for as little as $84)
  • Extensive library of free tools and resources
  • Unlimited live support by phone and email
  • 100% court approval guarantee or your money back
  • Instant access to your completed forms to make any changes and print (or have them mailed to you at no additional cost)
  • Highest-rated customer reviews in the industry (4.6 stars based on 1,575 reviews)

online divorce idaho

One of the things that really stands out is that 92% of all reviews are 4- or 5-stars.

Read our 3 Step Divorce here, or check out 3 Step Divorce to get started >>

For a complete rundown of the best online divorce services, check out our review and comparison here.

Now, you can’t actually file your forms online in Idaho. You need to print your forms and file your divorce papers in person at your local courthouse.

Can I file for divorce without a lawyer?

file for divorce without a lawyer

Yes.  You are never required to hire an attorney to represent you.  You are always free to handle your case on your own in Idaho.  This generally works best in uncontested cases.

However, if there are unresolved issues, your best bet is to seek legal help to protect your interests.

What are the residency requirements for getting a divorce in Idaho?

You must have lived in Idaho for six weeks prior to filing initial divorce paperwork with the court.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Idaho? What is the timeline?

How long does it take

Legally, you can get a divorce in as little as 20 days after filing your paperwork with the court.  It could take a bit longer depending on the court’s backlog and availability of judges.

If you have unresolved issues, a divorce can take much longer.  Mediation or collaborative divorce can last six months or longer.

If you are in a contentious divorce with a lot of unresolved issues that requires going to trial, your divorce could take one or two years, and possibly longer.

Can I file for divorce in Idaho while I am pregnant?

divorce while I am pregnant

You can file for divorce at any time, but paternity and support issues will need to be resolved, and this may not take place until after the child is born.  If there are questions as to who the father is, genetic testing may be required.

If there are disagreements or conflict, your best bet is to consult with an experienced family law attorney to assist you with sorting out the issues of your specific situation.

If I (or my spouse) am in the military, how does that affect filing for divorce?


To file for divorce when one spouse is in the military, either the spouse or the active servicemember must live in Idaho or be stationed in Idaho.

The grounds for a military divorce in the state are the same as they are for a civilian divorce.

Civilian courts handle the divorce for servicemembers, and many of the issues are the same but some things like child custody and visitation issues can be more complicated due to relocation or deployment orders.

In Idaho, child support and spousal support/alimony awards may not exceed 60% of a military member’s pay and allowances.  Courts adhere to normal state child support guidelines to determine how much child support should be paid.

Also, pursuant to the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) of 1982, active-duty members are afforded certain protections.

For example, a military spouse can request a delay in divorce proceedings so that his or her military duties are not impacted.  A service member can delay a legal action when he or she is on active duty plus 60 days beyond the end of his or her enlistment.  Also, a servicemember can waive those rights and proceed with a divorce if they choose that option.

The USFSPA also governs how military pensions are disbursed and whether or not a former military spouse has full medical and commissary privileges.

For this to happen, the former spouse must have been married at least 20 years; the military spouse had at least 20 years of creditable service, and those two overlapped by at least 20 years.

Also, U.S. courts may not recognize a foreign divorce, so it’s usually best to file in the United States.

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