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Divorce in Bear Lake County
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Online Divorce in Bear Lake County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Bear Lake County, Idaho, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.
The state of Idaho recognizes the right of spouses to have a quick and easy divorce. It provides divorcing spouses with two types of uncontested divorce, which is the fastest way to end a marriage without taking the contested issues to trial. There are also online resources available in Idaho to enable couples to prepare divorce forms online.
OnlineDivorce.com is one of the most affordable and easy to use online resources aimed at assisting divorcing couples in completing the divorce documents online and filing them in a courthouse of Bear Lake County following the provided filing instructions. The petitioner (that is the legal way of referring to the filing spouse) completes a questionnaire on our website and gets state-specific legal forms for couples with or without minor children. Together with the forms, you will also get the procedures and instructions required to file for divorce in Bear Lake County.
Note that the name of our service does not imply that you file for divorce online. E-filing for divorce in Bear Lake County is not possible yet. Idaho Law requires the filing spouse to deliver the completed divorce papers to the court personally.
However, the great advantage of OnlineDivorce.com is that based on the answers you provide in the questionnaire, it selects and fills out all of the relevant documents for your case. And it is all done in the quiet and comfort of your home. Following our step-by-step divorcing guide, you will prepare your Do-It-Yourself divorce online without a lawyer and save lots of money.
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Check if you qualify for an online divorce in Bear Lake County, ID
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Bear Lake County
Like many other US states, Idaho provides both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce. It means that the filing spouse (referred to as the plaintiff or petitioner) could come up with a specific reason for filing for divorce (for more detail, see below). Or the parties could mutually agree to have a divorce, and then their consent is a ground for divorce.
Idaho’s Statutes Title 32 Domestic Relations Ch. 6 § 32-603 provides a list of grounds for divorce in Bear Lake County:
Adultery of one of the spouses;
Cruelty or insults;
Habitual alcoholism or drug addiction of one of the spouses;
A felony conviction of one of the spouses;
The insanity of one of the spouses for over 7 years; and
The last clause is a no-fault ground for divorce as spouses agree that the marriage breakdown is no one’s fault (See ID Code § 32-616).
Additionally, Idaho Family Law allows couples to use uninterrupted separation for more than 5 years as grounds for divorce, as is stated in ID Code § 32-610.
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Given the state’s “independent authority to protect its parents' fundamental right to nurture and direct their children's destiny, upbringing and education” stated in ID Code § 32-1010, Idaho courts balance the parents’ rights and the child’s best interests. Therefore, it is up to the judge in Bear Lake County to make sure that either the parenting plan proposed by the parents is the best variant of child custody, or the court itself crafts a suitable custody agreement for the parents.
By memorializing their custody-related agreement in a Parenting Plan, parents suggest their combination of legal and physical custody. One parent may want to have sole physical custody (having the child reside with them permanently) and joint legal custody (making child-related decisions together with the spouse). However, nowadays, courts encourage parents to share both types of custody, and typically, Idaho courts prefer to award parents with joint physical custody and joint legal custody. In Bear Lake County, sole custody is granted only in exceptional cases when one parent is deemed unfit or is unwilling to share child custody (See ID Code § 32-717B [4-5]).
According to ID Code § 32-1011 & 1012, legal custody gives parents the right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, control, and education of their children. Typically it refers to a wide number of significant and day-to-day decision-making and decisions on health care, religion, education, residence, etc.
As for physical custody, it is also possible that the child will live either with one parent all the time or with each parent by turn. The court may disregard a no-visitation agreement between the parents because it is against the child’s best interests (unless domestic violence was registered in the household previously). A parenting plan must include not only a basic residential schedule but also a holiday and vacation schedules as well as some provisions for modifications.
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Rules for child support in Bear Lake County
To calculate child support in Bear Lake County, the court uses the Idaho Child Support Guidelines, where the Income Shares Model and a number of factors are applied. According to ID Code § 32-706, the court considers:
(a) The financial resources of the child;
(b) The financial resources, needs, and obligations of both the custodial and noncustodial parents which ordinarily shall not include a parent’s community property interest in the financial resources or obligations of a spouse who is not a parent of the child, unless compelling reasons exist;
(c) The standard of living the child enjoyed during the marriage;
(d) The physical and emotional condition and needs of the child and his or her educational needs;
(e) The availability of medical coverage for the child at reasonable cost as defined in section 32-1214B, Idaho Code;
(f) The actual tax benefit recognized by the party claiming the federal child dependency exemption.
When calculating child support, Bear Lake County courts also estimate how much time each parent intends to spend with the child. At that, ‘time’ is defined as staying overnight rather than daytime visitation. The more time the parent spends with the child, the lower the child support amount is for him or her.
In Bear Lake County, the non-custodial parents shall pay child support proportional to their financial status. For example, if Parent One has an income of $4,000 per month, while Parent Two has a monthly income of $2,400, how much will each pay in child support for two children?
If the higher-earning Parent One is the non-residential parent, he or she pays $821 per month in child support to Parent Two.
If the lower-earning Parent Two is the non-residential parent, he or she pays $503 in child support to Parent One.
If Parent One and Parent Two both earned $4,000 per month, and Parent One is the non-residential parent, Parent One pays $756 in child support to Parent Two.
Suppose a parent fails to pay child support. In that case, Bear Lake County has enforcement services able to withhold past-due payments from paychecks, unemployment benefits, income tax refunds, and apply several other measures. For more information about Idaho Child Support Enforcement Services, visit their website.
In Idaho, child support continues until the child turns 18 unless it is stopped by request or a court’s order.
Rules for spousal support in Bear Lake County
Under ID Code § 32-705, a financially dependent spouse may get awarded spousal maintenance from their ex-partner if the court finds evidence that the requesting spouse currently has insufficient income or funds for self-supporting.
To determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance in Bear Lake County, the court shall consider the following factors:
(a) The financial resources of the requesting spouse (marital property, income, employability, training, and other potential and actual sources of income);
(b) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable the requesting spouse to find employment;
(c) The length of the marriage;
(d) The age, health, and emotional condition of the requesting spouse;
(e) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is requested to meet their needs while meeting those of the requesting spouse;
(f) The tax consequences to each spouse;
(g) The fault of either party.
Permanent maintenance is rarely awarded unless the marriage was lengthy, and the requesting spouse has significant needs. Depending on the requesting spouse’s financial and employment situation, the court typically awards either a temporal or interim spousal maintenance.
Any changes in one spouse’s income, health, or marital status can result in changes to the amount of maintenance or elimination of support altogether.
Make an approximate calculation of a spousal maintenance monthly payment in Bear Lake County based on your gross and net salaries and the marriage length here.
Uncontested Bear Lake County divorce with children
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Property division in Bear Lake County
In a divorce, a prenuptial agreement is made to avoid disputes and squabble over property distribution. If you have no prenup, the court will usually accept a reasonable division of the marital assets agreed upon by you and your spouse.
However, if spouses cannot agree, Bear Lake County courts take property distribution upon themselves, following the state’s community property rules. It means that as soon as the court determines which property belonged to each party before the marriage, the rest of the property is considered community property and is split equally between the spouses.
(2) Each spouse’s age, health, occupation, income, employability, vocational skills, and liabilities
(3) Each spouse’s needs;
(4) Spousal maintenance arrangements;
(5) Each spouse’s present and potential earning capability; and
(6) Retirement benefits.
As soon as each spouse’s separate property is determined (including gifts, inheritances, the proceeds of a pension vested before marriage, etc.), all the marital property is assessed and split 50/50.
If a couple has a family house or a lot of marital property, a property appraiser or real estate agent is hired to make calculations and come up with a market value. For example, a family home can be divided between the spouses in one of three ways: (1) the home is sold, and the spouses split the proceeds; (2) one spouse buys out the other spouse’s share; (3) the spouse who is the custodial parent remains in the house until the youngest child graduates from high school and then the ex-spouses choose between the above two options.
In Bear Lake County, pension plans and retirement accounts are also divided as community property. To do so, divorcing spouses need to hire a plan administrator to create QDRPs (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) and explain the terms and conditions of the benefit distribution.
Mediation support in Bear Lake County
In Bear Lake County, divorcing spouses are not subjected to mandatory divorce mediation unless child custody or spousal maintenance is contested. In such a case, the court may give the spouses 20 days more to sort out those issues or 90 days more in case of a possibility of reconciliation.
Mediation is highly advised for disputes during divorce proceedings because it helps the spouses negotiate more effectively and reduce the length of the divorce process.
How to file for divorce in Bear Lake County | Step-by-Step
Make sure you or your spouse meet the filing requirements. (1) Meet the residency requirements. In Bear Lake County, the plaintiff (the spouse who files for divorce) must have lived in the state for six full weeks before filing the divorce papers (See ID Code § 32-701). (2) Pick from the grounds for divorce. For an uncontested divorce, ‘irreconcilable differences’ will make do. However, if you feel your case requires a fault-based ground, consult a local family attorney.
Find the correct court for filing the paperwork. Idaho has seven judicial districts divided into district courts and magistrate divisions. File the divorce documents in your local magistrate division, which can be found through a court locator at the Idaho Judicial Branch.
Obtain and fill out the court forms. Either from a local courthouse or OnlineDivorce.com, obtain the correct court forms and fill them out. To start a divorce process in Bear Lake County, you fill out a Complaint for Divorce, Summons, Family Law Case Information Sheet, Vital Statistics Certificate of Divorce, and Affidavit of Service. If you agree to have an uncontested divorce with children, you can resolve child custody, visitation, support, and division of assets right away by submitting a Parenting Plan, a Custody Worksheet, and an Affidavit Verifying Income. You will get more information on completing and filing the paperwork when you start working through the process. Each courthouse is equipped with self-help resources and qualified staff to answer your questions (not to give legal advice though) while OnlineDivorce.com provides comprehensive divorce paperwork preparation services. Keep at least two copies of all the divorce documents and forms you and your spouse complete.
File the court forms. At the local magistrate division, give the court’s clerk the original copies and pay the filing fees. Keep one copy for your records. Serve the other copy on your spouse.
Serve the spouse. The petitioner must inform the defendant of the divorce proceedings and provide a copy of all the paperwork. The method of serving depends on what you and your spouse can agree on. If your spouse agrees to accept the divorce papers’ service, you mail the complaint and summons to your spouse’s home address or ask a friend to deliver it in person. Your spouse must fill out an Acceptance of Service and mail it back to you or hand it over with the deliverer. Alternatively, you can hire a process server and get an Affidavit of Service after your spouse is served. An Affidavit or Acceptance of Service must be filed with the court to prove that your spouse was served.
Wait 20 days to finalize your divorce. Idaho has a 20-day waiting period before the judge can grant a divorce. Use that time to wrap up all the required paperwork and procedures. If you have minor children and were ordered to take a parenting class, take it, and file proof of attendance. If you haven’t filed it yet, submit your marital settlement agreement. If you are having a divorce by default, you will need to file some additional paperwork. Also, you are required to disclose your financial information.
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Filing fees for divorce in Bear Lake County
To file for divorce in Bear Lake County, you will need to pay around $207. The cost of filing can vary depending on whether you file a Complaint for Divorce with or without Minor Children. If the filing fee is unaffordable for you, request a fee waiver from the court’s clerk. You’ll need to complete a Fee Waiver form and wait for the judge’s approval.
How long will it take?
The timeline for a divorce in Bear Lake County is as follows: the divorce process starts as soon as the defendant is informed and served with the divorce papers; then, it takes 20 days for the judge to finalize a divorce if all the paperwork is done correctly.
However, it can take longer if the judge orders the parents to take a parenting class or mediation. Parents with minor children may wait up to 90 days if the judge sees any chance of reconciliation.
Overall, Bear Lake County courts do not delay the finalization of divorce if the couple has sorted out all the divorce-related issues, such as custody, support, maintenance, and property and debt division.
Filing for divorce in Bear Lake County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Bear Lake County? The price of an uncontested divorce in Bear Lake County depends on if you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your divorce or need to hire counsel to deal with them. By eliminating attorney fees, you cut down your divorce expenses manifolds. At the bare minimum, the cost consists of completing and filing the divorce paperwork on your own. If you do not qualify for a fee waiver, you will need to pay the filing fees of $207 and notary fees. In case you need to hire experts to help you divide property and handle child custody, you will pay an hourly fee to a retirement planner, real estate manager, property appraiser, mediator, etc. However, even in such a case, you can still have a cheap divorce if you manage to find a pro bono program and seek consultation from a law clinic.
How to file for divorce in Bear Lake County without a lawyer? Each state enables couples to file for divorce without legal representation. The State of Idaho Judicial Branch provides self-help resources. If you turn to OnlineDivorce.com for assistance with your divorce, you can get your divorce documents completed online and receive filing instructions. Here’s what you should do when you are ready to start your divorce.
What are the required forms for an uncontested divorce in Bear Lake County? The basic set of divorce court forms is as follows:
Family Law Case Information Sheet
Complaint for Divorce
Summons with Orders
Affidavit of Service with Orders
Vital Statistics Certificate of Divorce
If you have children, you file all the forms mentioned above and add the following:
Affidavit Verifying Income
Shared or Split Custody Worksheet OR Standard Custody Worksheet
Can I file for legal separation in Bear Lake County, Idaho? Yes. If you and your spouse want to be legally separated, you file a petition for separation and resolve the issues of child custody and finances. Since legal separation is not divorce, the couple remains legally married unless they file for divorce.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? The state of Idaho has no restriction for divorced people regarding a waiting period before remarrying.
Divorce in Bear Lake County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
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