How Long Does Divorce Take in Idaho?

woman calculating waiting period for divorce in idaho

According to Idaho law, there is a mandatory 20-day waiting period from the time the divorce petition is filed until the divorce can be finalized. The average time to complete a divorce in Idaho typically ranges from a few months to a year or more, depending on the complexity of the case and the cooperation of both parties.

What Is the Waiting Period for Divorce in Idaho?

Idaho divorce timeline with average waiting periods
Idaho divorce timeline with average waiting periods

The mandatory Idaho divorce waiting period is 20 days. It starts after the following steps have been completed:

  • the petitioner prepared the divorce petition, filling it out with the necessary information on the divorce case, and filed it and other required documents with the court;
  • the respondent received a summons stating that the other spouse has initiated the divorce process.

An uncontested case can be finalized shortly after the minimum 20-day waiting period for divorce has ended. On the other hand, a contested divorce may take from a few months to a year or more because many hearings will likely be required if spouses disagree on the division of property, custody of minor children, and the payment of alimony, among other divorce issues.

Exceptions to the Idaho Divorce Waiting Period

According to the state laws, every couple who files for divorce in Idaho must wait a minimum period of 20 days before their divorce case can be finalized. It typically cannot be waived. On the contrary, it can sometimes be extended by the court due to the specific circumstances of the case, for example, if children are involved. If a judge thinks the reconciliation is possible, the waiting period may be prolonged to 90 days to give a couple enough time to go through family therapy and possibly get back together.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Idaho?

An uncontested divorce in Idaho usually lasts for 1-3 months after a minimum waiting period is over. The duration of the process will mainly depend on the court caseload. To reduce the Idaho divorce timeline, do the following:

  • Agree with your spouse on child custody and support, property division, alimony, etc., so your case is uncontested.
  • Make sure to complete your divorce papers properly and prepare all required documents to avoid court rejection due to mistakes in the paperwork.
  • Consider using online divorce services which provide a full set of divorce papers for the case at a reasonable moderate cost.
check eligibility for divorce in Idaho

How Long Does Contested Divorce Take in Idaho

A contested divorce in Idaho takes much longer than an uncontested one and can last from 6 months to a year or more. The exact time depends on the number of disputes between spouses. The more unresolved issues spouses leave for the court to decide, the longer the divorce will take.

Also, the duration may be impacted by the ground for divorce. It can be either no-fault, based on the irreconcilable differences between parties, or fault-based. If one spouse claims that the other one is guilty of marriage termination due to adultery, extreme cruelty, prison confinement, willful neglect, etc., they should be able to prove the other party’s fault, which may take quite a time.

Why Does It Take So Long to Finalize the Divorce?

The list of factors that can potentially prolong the Idaho divorce process
The list of factors that can potentially prolong the Idaho divorce process

The divorce process usually lasts long due to disagreements regarding the division of property, custody of children, and other divorce terms. If parties cannot agree, they need to hire lawyers and resolve all issues with legal assistance, leading to delays in the divorce process. The main stages that can prolong the case are:

  • Filing for divorce. One spouse can file for divorce in Idaho only if they live here for at least six weeks. This residency requirement is mandatory, and the divorce process cannot be initiated earlier. Before filing, it is also necessary to ensure the paperwork is properly prepared. Any mistakes in the forms may lead to delays and the need to file the documents all over again. 
  • Deciding on a marital settlement agreement and child-related issues. Resolving matters related to property division, child custody, parenting plan, and more can take much time. If spouses are cooperative, they can greatly reduce the divorce timelines.
  • Attending court hearings and waiting for the divorce to be final. The number of hearings will depend on whether the case is contested or not. In an uncontested one, there may be no need for a hearing if it is a divorce by stipulation. Usually, divorce can be finalized in at least 21 days after filing, though it takes a bit more in reality. If the divorce is contested, be ready for several hearings, which may greatly prolong the marriage termination process.

To sum up, a divorce can take much time due to disputes between spouses, the workload of the court, and the unwillingness of a couple to cooperate. For a quick divorce in Idaho, spouses should try to come to an agreement on all divorce matters and apply for a no-fault uncontested divorce. Ordering divorce paperwork online is also a smart decision for those who would like to finalize their divorce faster.

check eligibility for divorce in Idaho