How to File for Divorce in Idaho without a Lawyer

man filing documents for divorce in Idaho

Divorce is normally a hard-fought battle involving expensive and aggressive attorneys, but that is not always the case. If you and your spouse have agreed on getting a divorce in Idaho, you do not need to make the process more complicated or costly. In many cases, it is entirely possible to file for a divorce without hiring a lawyer.

With so many online resources and information, people can easily begin their uncontested Idaho divorce process without legal representation. However, it is important to note that couples can only file for a divorce without a lawyer if:

  • They agree on property division.
  • They mutually decide upon child custody and visitation, including where the children will live.
  • They mutually discuss and agree upon child care, dental and health insurance, and other medical expenses for the children.
  • They have no disagreements regarding tax exemptions or deductions.
  • They are transparent about their assets.

Steps for Securing an Uncontested Divorce in Idaho without a Lawyer

The easiest way to file for divorce in Idaho is when both spouses agree and wish to part ways without any conflicts. They collaborate and draft a settlement agreement or write down their agreements in the divorce paperwork without having to hire a lawyer to handle the process. After that, one of the spouses files their case with the court.

The spouse filing for divorce must have lived in Idaho for at least six weeks before filing. Moreover, you have to provide the court with one of the reasons to file for divorce accepted in the state. Idaho recognizes “irreconcilable differences” as a no-fault ground and seven fault grounds for divorce which are:

  • Extreme cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Willful desertion
  • Habitual temper issues
  • Willful neglect
  • Permanent insanity  
  • Conviction of a crime

You can comfortably divorce without a lawyer, mainly if you file based on no-fault grounds. There are additional requirements that you should meet and procedures you should consider. Listed below are the basic steps to help you get started.

Step 1: Reach Mutual Agreement

shaking hands as proof of mutual agreement on divorce

A mutual agreement is one of the most important uncontested divorce requirements. It is an agreement between the spouses that they are ready to get divorced and go over important topics such as the forms or exercise of parental authority, visitation rights, childcare, the amount of alimony, compensatory pension, asset and debt division, etc. It is best to sit down with your spouse and discuss these topics in detail and draft the final decisions in written form.

Step 2: Prepare the Necessary Documents

The next step is to find the right Idaho divorce paperwork. The documents you must prepare include a Petition for Divorce, Summons, and a Family Law Case Information Sheet. If you have children, you may have to prepare other documents like Custody Worksheet, Affidavit Verifying Income, and a Parenting Plan. Overall, you need to check all of the available forms to choose those suitable to your family situation.

check qualification for divorce

Step 3: Complete the Forms

woman completing the divorce documents

Complete the relevant paperwork for your divorce case, and make copies of it after signing. When filing without a lawyer,  it is your responsibility to download and fill out the correct forms, which can be quite overwhelming. A much easier and cost-effective solution is to seek the help of an online divorce service from where you can receive the forms easily based on your case and get them filled out in no time.

Step 4: File the Forms with a Local Court

filing documents for divorce with a local court

When filing for divorce in Idaho, knowing where to file your papers is important. The state is divided into seven judicial districts, where each county has its district court, and each district has a special sub-court called a magistrate division. A magistrate judge handles all divorce proceedings. If you are confused, use the local court locator for further clarification. You will have to pay a filing fee of about $207 when bringing in your documents.

Step 5: Serve the Divorce Papers

serving spouse with divorce documents

A spouse who initiates the divorce is required to inform their spouse about it. The filing spouse cannot be the one serving papers for divorce according to the rules of civil procedure. They must contact the county’s sheriff or hire a private process server to do it. A petitioner will only be able to serve the papers on their own by hand or mail if the other party agrees to sign a notarized Acknowledgement of Service.

Step 6: Wait for the Waiting Period to Pass

woman waiting for mandatory divorce waiting period to pass

Idaho divorce waiting period is generally 21 days after your spouse has been served with divorce papers. Wait for the waiting period to pass while you prepare for the next steps. Parents of minor children can use this time to take a mandatory Parenting Workshop. You will also have to complete the disclosures by exchanging financial documents with your spouse as per the procedure.

Step 7: Submit Additional Documents

You may be required to submit additional documents at any point during the waiting period. For example, if you have children, a judge might ask you to provide proof of income if alimony or child support is part of your divorce agreement. It is best to be prepared for any such documents that the court may require. You will also need to file a final set of forms with the court before the hearing.

Step 8: Attend Hearings (If Necessary)

court hearing

You may be required to attend a court hearing, during which the judge will ask some questions and ensure that all your paperwork is in order. Make sure that you can justify your decisions, especially those that concern minor children.

Step 9: Obtain the Final Decree

If everything goes smoothly, a judge will sign the final decree. This should then be filled with the clerk, who will also provide you with the certified copies of the final decree and other orders, including those on child support and visitation. You may be required to pay a fee for these documents.

When Should I Avoid Filing for Divorce in Idaho Without a Lawyer?

comparison between filing for divorce with a lawyer vs filing yourself
The main points of comparison between filing for divorce with a lawyer and filing yourself:

If you are facing the following circumstances, you should avoid filing for divorce in Idaho without a lawyer:

  • You are worried about your or your child’s safety
  • Your spouse has decided to contest the divorce and/or has hired a divorce lawyer
  • You cannot reach an agreement, or your spouse tries to manipulate the process
  • You are dividing retirement accounts, investment accounts, or other assets
  • You fear that your spouse has been hiding their money or assets from you
  • You require help understanding complex child custody laws, visitation rights, or other duties

If you are not dealing with the abovementioned issues, you can easily file for a divorce without a lawyer. A good place to start is an online divorce service where you can get all the relevant paperwork and key instructions in a quick, affordable, and hassle-free way.