Idaho Divorce & Spousal Support

By Elizabeth Rayne

Spousal support serves an important role in helping a divorcing spouse with insufficient income make the transition to single life. Courts in Idaho may award support if one spouse is not able to support himself; couples also have the option to negotiate and enter into a spousal support agreement on their own. Spousal support may automatically end after a period of time and either spouse may petition the court to modify support if circumstances change.

Requirements for Divorce

In order to get a divorce in Idaho, you must meet the residency requirements and have grounds for divorce. You may only file for divorce if at least one spouse has resided in the state for at least six weeks prior to filing. Idaho recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Fault divorce places the blame for dissolving the marriage on one spouse. Available fault grounds include cruelty, neglect, adultery or willful desertion. More commonly, couples divorce on no-fault grounds, meaning that they have irreconcilable differences.

Spousal Support Overview

Idaho courts will only grant spousal support, or maintenance, if one spouse is unable to reasonably support herself. Depending on the facts of a particular case, the court has discretion to award either permanent support or fixed-term support, which expires after a certain amount of time. The court will consider spousal support after the property division is determined, as the spouse may be able to support herself with the property she received from the divorce settlement. Only if the spouse is unable to support herself, and not able to secure employment, will the court award spousal maintenance. Whether the spouse's current resources reasonably allow her to support herself will be based on the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.

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Support Factors

If the court determines that one spouse should receive spousal support, the court will then consider a number of factors to establish the amount of maintenance. Factors may include the length of the marriage, details of the property settlement, financial resources of spouse seeking support, and ability of the other spouse to pay. Additionally, the court will consider the time it may take for the spouse to receive training or education to pursue employment, as well as the physical and mental health of the spouse. In a divorce case pursued on fault grounds, the court may take fault into consideration when determining the amount of support.

Modification

If circumstances have substantially and materially changed since the original support order was put in place, either spouse may file a petition to modify spousal support. Material changes generally refer to a substantial increase or decrease in either spouse's income. The same court that awarded spousal support has discretion to modify the order.

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References

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Minnesota Spousal Maintenance Laws

When spouses divorce, one spouse may be eligible for "spousal maintenance." This is money you receive from your ex-spouse upon divorce if you are unable to support yourself with your income and assets alone. The Minnesota Statutes set forth the procedure courts use to determine who may receive maintenance and the amount of the maintenance award.

Can You Be Ordered to Pay Spousal Support After a Divorce Decree Is Final in Pennsylvania?

Before heading to court or negotiating a divorce settlement, it is essential to understand the timing of alimony payments. You may be ordered to pay temporary alimony while the divorce proceedings are ongoing. After the divorce is finalized, you may be responsible for rehabilitative, compensatory or permanent alimony. Although the other spouse must request alimony during the divorce proceedings, alimony payments ordered in a divorce decree will not begin until the divorce is finalized. After the divorce is finalized and the decree has been entered, you will not be ordered to pay spousal support by a Pennsylvania court.

Wyoming Laws on Alimony

Alimony, or spousal support, is money paid by a party to a former spouse. Wyoming, like all states, has a specific set of laws governing alimony awards. Wyoming, also like all states, allows individuals to obtain a divorce without proving the other party was at fault. Alimony is not intended to punish a paying spouse, but rather to provide fair and necessary assistance to the spouse who needs it. Alimony statutes are gender neutral; both men and women can receive it.

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