How to File for Divorce in Idaho (2022 Step by Step Guide)


Undergoing a divorce is often a draining process, especially if your spouse puts up a fight. There can be many reasons why couples file for divorce, and each state has its own procedures for filing. If you are considering filing for a divorce, here is what you need to know about divorce procedures in the state of Idaho and how to protect your rights.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Idaho?

Every state has its own rulings, so the fault grounds for divorce will vary across each state. The two fault grounds are:

  • Fault states: While not as common, in this case, the spouse must prove who is at fault for the divorce and why. Reasons can include adultery, prison confinement, abandonment, and having caused emotional and physical abuse.
  • No-fault states: It is not required to prove who was at fault.

Idaho is both a fault and no-fault state, meaning that neither party has to prove who is at fault in order to file divorce papers. You also won’t need to state the reasoning that led to the divorce, only that it is based on “irreconcilable differences.”

You can also choose to live in separate homes for a period of 5 years without cohabitation. However, if the divorce is due to separation, you will be sworn under oath and may even have to prove that you haven’t been living together during that period.

If you would like to file a fault-based divorce, you can consult with your divorce attorney to discuss the necessary steps for proving who was at fault.

Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?

Divorce cases get complicated quickly, so it’s highly advised that you hire a divorce attorney to keep your best interests protected. Filing for divorce can be stressful in anyone’s life, and a divorce attorney will help ensure you are taken care of throughout the case. This includes:

  • Making sure you get your share of the settlement
  • Giving you the expert advice you need
  • Helping you remember all important details for the case
  • Ensuring you won’t pay more than you have to in legal fees
  • Helping you negotiate custody rights

Knowing that you have someone on your side can feel very empowering. Hiring a divorce attorney is especially important if your spouse has hired their own, or in situations of domestic abuse, child abuse, or if there is a power imbalance that could cause difficulties in getting a fair negotiation.

How to File for Divorce in Idaho

You will need to follow a few steps to make sure you abide by Idaho law, including where to file, how to file, and the steps to take for each.

There are two types of divorce filings:

  • Uncontested: In which both parties agree to the divorce regarding child custody, spousal support, and property division.
  • Contested: In which there is a dispute over one or more divorce-related matters. In this case, the decision is taken to court, which will make the final decision.

Uncontested divorces resolve faster than contested divorces and won’t cost as much in legal fees.

Steps for Filing a Divorce

Here are the steps you need to take to file for an uncontested divorce:

File a Petition for Divorce

First, to begin the divorce process, you must fill out a petition that gives the Court information about you, your spouse, and your marriage. A divorce petition is a legal document telling the Court what you want to do.

Tell Your Spouse

The next step is to serve your spouse a Summons, which is an official court paper that notifies your spouse that you have filed for a divorce. Your spouse will have a limited time to act on the notice. You cannot serve papers yourself. Your divorce attorney will handle the technical details of filing documents and serving your spouse.

Family Law Case Document

A Family Law case involves child custody or divorce. If your divorce case involves child custody, a family law case information sheet or “civil case information sheet” will need to be filed. This sheet must be filled out and filed at the start of the divorce. As with any divorce documents, you should speak to your divorce attorney for advice before completion, as it covers information regarding your children.

Certificate of Divorce or Annulment

You will also need to fill out a Certificate of Divorce, which includes the date and time of the finalized divorce.

Where to File for Divorce

It’s very important to file for divorce in the right court, as filing in the wrong court can delay the divorce proceedings and even lead to a dismissal of your divorce. In Idaho, divorce filings are sent to the state district court in the county where your spouse resides. However, if your spouse lives outside of Idaho, you can file in the county where you live.


Filing for divorce involves several important steps you will need to follow to ensure that you abide by Idaho’s procedure. The 2022 court filing fee is $207 and the waiting period to receive a final divorce decree from an Idaho court is a minimum of 21 days after the filing and service of process.

For any additional questions, our family law attorneys are here to help. Contact our law firm today for assistance.