Coeur d’Alene Divorce Attorney
Divorce in Coeur d’Alene
According to World Population Review, as of 2021, 12 percent of Idaho marriages end in divorce. The highest rate of divorce is in Maine at 14 percent, and the lowest rate of divorce is in California, at 9 percent. Nationally, the average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30. Those that married between the ages of 20-25 have a 60 percent likelihood of divorce, while those that waited until they were over the age of 25 are 24 percent less likely to get divorced. The top three reasons cited for divorce in the United States are incompatibility, infidelity, and money issues. If you are considering divorce, it is imperative that you consult a Coeur d’Alene divorce attorney before you make any decisions that could adversely affect your future. With an office located in Coeur d’Alene, our firm serves all of Kootenai County.
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While some divorces seem to come of out nowhere, taking one of the spouses by surprise, other times a divorce has been a possibility for a significant amount of time. Both spouses may be in agreement regarding the divorce, or one spouse may be opposed. Whatever your circumstances, it is important that you map out a plan for your Idaho divorce so important details do not become lost in emotions. No doubt about it, divorce is difficult and emotional, yet staying organized and focused on your future is critical. Many spouses walk away from assets that are rightfully theirs because they feel overwhelmed and want the divorce to be over. While this is understandable, it is never a viable option, as you must always consider your financial future as well as your emotional future.
Why Choose a Coeur d’Alene Divorce Attorney from Crouse Erickson?
When you are considering divorce—or have been served with divorce papers—there are many details that must be worked out. Attempting to do this on your own is not only an overwhelming task, it could end badly for you. If you and your spouse are both 100 percent on the same page about the divorce, have no children, and are in total agreement regarding the divorce, you might get by with handling your own divorce. Keep in mind, however, that many divorces that begin amicably, soon become extremely contentious. Having a highly experienced divorce attorney from Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys can make all the difference in the outcome of your divorce.
The Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys have 30 years of experience, helping people just like you get through a divorce in the best way possible. We are exclusively a family law practice—unlike other law firms, we do not “dabble” in other areas of law. We concentrate only on family law issues, using intense case preparation, as well as a client-centric practice to ensure the very best results for our clients. We understand that divorce is one of the most challenging events in a person’s life—emotionally, mentally, and financially. The way your divorce is handled, and the outcome of your divorce will affect your future for a very long time. With so much on the line, it makes good sense to have an experienced, knowledgeable, highly skilled divorce attorney facilitate the process.
What are the Residency Requirements for a Coeur d’Alene Divorce?
Idaho has one of the shortest residency requirements in the United States. Either you or your spouse must have lived in the state of Idaho for at least six weeks prior to filing for divorce. You will file your divorce in the District Court of the county in which you both live or that one spouse lives. Most courts will accept a sworn authentication through signed documentation as proof of your residence. You can also use your driver’s license, your voter registration card, a utility bill, or a pay stub that shows your place of employment can all be used to verify your residency.
What are the Grounds for Divorce in Idaho?
You will need to determine whether you will file a no-fault divorce, simply claiming irreconcilable differences, or whether you will file a “fault” divorce. The “faults” which are allowed under Idaho law include:
- Permanent insanity, evinced by three years in a mental institution
- Being habitually drunk or high for more than a year
- Mental or physical cruelty in the extreme
- Conviction for a felony offense
- Desertion by one spouse who left the marital home to live elsewhere for a period of at least one year, intending to leave the marriage for good.
- Willful neglect—this can only be claimed by a woman and is defined by the state as a husband who has failed to provide his wife with the basic necessities of life because he is too lazy to get a job.
- Desertion (one spouse lived apart from the other for a year or more with the intent of leaving the marriage)
Remember, that if you claim fault in your divorce, you will have to have proof to back up that claim. Most people prefer a no-fault divorce, however, in some instances, you could be entitled to a larger share of the marital assets if you can prove fault. As an example, if your spouse has been seeing another person for a considerable length of time—and has spent significant amounts of the marital assets on that person, then it could be of benefit to claim adultery in your divorce papers and ask the judge to award you sufficient assets to make up for the marital assets your spouse dissipated during the marriage. Generally speaking, however, claiming fault is unlikely to benefit you in areas such as asset division, child custody, maintenance, and child support.
What is the Process for a Divorce in Idaho?
Either you or your spouse will file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. If you file, you will have the papers sent to your spouse, or have him or her “served,” and vice-versa. If the served spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, they can contest the divorce, basically telling their own side of the story. If there are no disagreements, the served spouse could simply sign the papers and send them back.
This is known as an uncontested divorce. Unfortunately, most divorces are contested, at least to some degree. You will have to make decisions regarding the division of assets, maintenance, child custody, and child support. If the two of you are unable to agree on these issues, the judge will make those decisions on your behalf.
Assets will be divided, and spousal support or maintenance will be determined based on need, as well as the education and job prospects of each spouse. If one spouse gave up his or her own career or education in order to help the other spouse reach their career goals, or if one spouse stayed home to take care of the children and home, then they could potentially receive spousal support. There are many factors involved in the award of spousal support, including:
- The length of the marriage;
- The physical, mental, and emotional condition of each spouse;
- The earning ability of the spouse seeking spousal support;
- The paying spouse’s ability to pay spousal support;
- Whether one spouse needs time to obtain education or training to find suitable employment, and
- The tax consequences of spousal support to both spouses.
Since there is no actual “formula” to determine the amount of spousal support, the judge will make the determination based on the factors above as well as prior alimony cases. Child custody and child support will also be determined during this phase of the divorce. Child custody will be based on the best interests of the child, and child support will be determined via a formula that inputs both parents’ salaries, as well as additional information.
How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?
There is a waiting period in Idaho of 20 days after you file the initial paperwork. During this time period, the court could possibly ask you and your spouse to meet with a counselor to determine whether reconciliation is a possibility. An uncontested divorce in the state of Idaho generally takes from 30-90 days to finalize the divorce, although the start to finish time can vary depending on the caseload of the court and the availability of judges to sign the final divorce decree.
When there are disagreements regarding the division of assets, child custody, or maintenance, the divorce will take much longer. You may choose to go through mediation to settle disagreements, or the judge may make those decisions for you. The more things there are to disagree about, the longer your contested divorce will take.
How Is Property Divided in an Idaho Divorce?
As a community property state, the theory on the division of assets is a true 50/50 split. Any assets you or your spouse had prior to the marriage (so long as they were not commingled with marital assets) remain the separate property of that spouse. Likewise, any gifts or inheritances given to either spouse prior to the marriage or during the marriage remain the separate property of that spouse—again, so long as no commingling occurs. Any property specifically addressed in a prenuptial agreement, or a postnuptial agreement falls outside the community property split.
How Can a Coeur d’Alene Divorce Attorney from Crouse Erickson Help Me?
If you have unexpectedly been served with divorce papers, or you have been thinking of divorce for a significant time, Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys can help you now. We have been helping people from all walks of life, with every type of family law issue imaginable for thirty years. We can handle every type of divorce—uncontested, contested, high asset, complex, contentious, or simple. With an office located in Coeur d’Alene, our firm serves all of Kootenai County. Our highly skilled attorneys consistently go above and beyond to ensure our clients receive unparalleled service and are satisfied with our work. We help you navigate emotionally charged processes like divorce with as little stress, frustration, and anxiety as possible. Contact Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys today.