How to Obtain Legal Separation in Idaho?

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Idaho is a state which does not recognize documentation for legal separation. However, there is a provision where the married couple can sign the separation agreement and get the marital issues resolved so that they can live separate and apart. Legal separation in Idaho can be filed for by any married person who does not want to break the marriage, but wants to resolve the problems in the marriage by staying separate and apart.

As mentioned above, there is no such thing as a court-ordered legal separation in Idaho. The spouses may request the court to resolve the marital issues such as child custody and visitation, alimony, child support, division of property, assets and debts etc. and give the directions regarding the same which are legally binding for both the parties.

The process of legal separation is similar to the divorce process in the state of Idaho. It covers the marital issues and an agreement involving the arrangements regarding these issues which are to be followed by both the parties.

Benefits of Legal Separation in Idaho:

The number of couples opting for legal separation instead of divorce is increasing owing to the flexibility of the provision of legal separation in Idaho. There are some benefits of opting for legal separation instead of divorce. These benefits are as follows:

  • Trial Separation In the state of Idaho, legal separation acts as a trial separation where a couple gets the opportunity to reflect on the causes and consequences of their separation. Legal separation is revocable and thus acts as a buffer where the couple decides whether they want to stay together or get a divorce.
    As the marital issues are resolved by the court and the arrangements are made according to the convenience of the couple and the children, they do not have to worry about these things and can think clearly about the future of their marriage as well as children if they are minor and need their parents to be together.
  • Religious Benefits If the couple belongs to a religion that does not approve the concept of divorce and believes that marriages are made in heaven and need to be protected on the earth, they can opt for legal separation where the couple remains technically married but are legally separated and thus can be said that are married to each other.
    Especially, the religions such as Christianity, Judaism or Hinduism discard the concept of divorce saying that the husband and wife is a single entity as opposed to two different individuals. People who have such religious affiliations can opt for legal separation in the state of Idaho.
  • Financial Benefits Legally separated couple is entitled to have insurance coverage, medical benefits and other health care benefits off each other's investments and policies. They are also entitled to inheritance rights off each other's property and pension as well as investment plans, retirement plans and other savings and investments.
    The other financial benefits include extraordinary health care, medical care, dental care or other emergency expenses such as accident or life-threatening disease. Besides, couples who are married to each other for more than 10 years get military and social security benefits on each other's cards. Thus, for the sake of insurance, pension plans, retirement plans and other financial benefits, it is beneficial to get legal separation instead of divorce in the state of Idaho.
  • Social Benefits There is no social stigma associated with legal separation as it gives the impression that though there are differences between the couple, they are willing to sort them out and be together as a husband and the wife and want to save their marriage rather than break it.
    Besides, the couple can still be together as parents to their minor children who might be too confused or scared to understand the situation their parents are facing, which may affect their emotional as well as mental health.
Separation Agreement in Idaho:

There is no court approved documentation for legal separation in the state of Idaho. The couple has to prepare a settlement agreement in order to resolve the marital issues, which is then notarized and approved by the court. This settlement agreement is legally binding on both the parties and cannot be changed until the parties decide to divorce or reconcile.

The separation agreement entails the following marital issues:

  • Property Division The division of real estate, family home, vacation home, mortgage, loans, monetary rewards or any other property which is accumulated by the couple is done according to the earning capacity of the couple. All the assets, debts, responsibilities are to be divided equitable so that the separation is beneficial to both the parties as well as the children.
  • Alimony or Spousal Support The amount of alimony or spousal support has to be paid by the independent spouse to the dependent spouse so that he / she is able to lead a self-sufficient life by using the funds to secure a job and have a lifestyle which he / she had before the separation was finalized.
  • Guardianship and Visitation The child custody and visitation rights and schedule for the non-custodial parent has to be finalized and put in the separation agreement so that there won't be a chance for conflict regarding these issues. The professions of the parents and the time they can devote to their children is considered while deciding the custody and visitation issues.
  • Child Support The support amount has to be paid by the non-custodial spouse to the custodial spouse so that the day-to-day expenses of the child can be taken care of. Besides, the education expenses, health care, dental and other expenses of the children also need to be considered while deciding the amount for child support and the methods of payment.

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