Types of Alimony
There are three different types of alimony available in Idaho — temporary, fixed-duration (rehabilitative), and permanent support.
Also referred to as pendente lite, temporary support is available to spouses who need financial assistance to meet basic expenses, such as rent, mortgage, utility bills, and attorney fees during the divorce proceedings. Temporary alimony automatically terminates once the divorce has been finalized.
Fixed-Duration or Rehabilitative Alimony
Rehabilitative alimony is the most common type of spousal support in Idaho. This type of alimony is available to the lower-earning spouse who needs time and financial assistance to learn a skill or find proper employment in order to become self-supporting.
Permanent spousal support is available to spouses who are not able to work as a result of old age, physical condition, or mental disability. This type of alimony ends once the supported spouse remarries or dies.
Who Qualifies for Alimony?
In Idaho, alimony is gender-neutral. Either spouse can petition for spousal support. According to Idaho Code Section 32-705, when a divorce is decreed, the court may grant a maintenance order if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:
- Lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs
- Is unable to support themselves through employment
Determining Type, Amount, and Duration
In order to determine the amount, type, and duration of alimony, the court may consider all relevant factors, including:
- The length or duration of the marriage
- The age and physical and emotional health of the supported spouse
- The financial resources available to the supported spouse, including the marital property awarded in the divorce
- The ability of the supported spouse to meet their financial needs independently
- The time required for the supported spouse to acquire the sufficient education, skill, and training needed to enable them to gain employment
- The ability of the paying spouse to meet financial needs while also paying alimony
- The tax consequences for either spouse
- The fault or marital misconduct of either spouse
Modifying Alimony Agreements
Unless it was earlier agreed by both spouses that the support agreement is non-modifiable, Idaho law allows either spouse to request a modification of the alimony order. The requesting spouse must show a “substantial and material change of circumstances” since the last decree. Such changes in circumstances may include:
- Involuntary loss of employment
- Diagnosis of a physical or mental disability
- Increase in cost of living
- Increase or decrease in income
- Loss of a home
- Remarriage or cohabitation with another person
Work with Experienced Family Law Attorneys
Divorce and spousal support cases in Idaho involve several complex procedures. Negotiating a divorce settlement with your estranged spouse or establishing an alimony agreement can make the whole process even more stressful. If you are preparing for a divorce, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney to receive proper legal guidance on spousal maintenance agreements.
At Shep Law Group, we have the resources and experience to guide clients in different family law matters, including alimony and divorce issues. As your legal counsel, we can review your unique circumstances and educate you about the possible legal options. Our team will work diligently with both parties to establish a fair settlement agreement. We will also help resolve divorce issues and settle relationship differences amicably and quickly. Our attorneys will fight to protect your legal rights, your best interests, and your future.