Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that nearly 243,000 individuals received alimony in 2016. In a typical divorce situation, alimony or spousal support is often awarded to the spouse who has a lower income or has been out of work during the marriage and needs financial assistance from the other spouse following the divorce. If you’re wanting to understand your options regarding alimony in a divorce, consulting with experienced Idaho family law attorneys is important for proper guidance.

At Shep Law Group, we are dedicated to offering comprehensive legal guidance and support to individuals and families facing complicated divorce issues and alimony matters. Our attorneys are available to discuss your unique situation and help you understand the different legal options available to you. As your legal counsel, we can offer you the detailed guidance and direction you need to establish a spousal maintenance agreement or change an existing alimony arrangement.

Our team at Shep Law Group proudly serves clients across Boise, Meridian, Ada County, and Canyon County, Idaho.

Overview of Alimony in Idaho

Alimony is a court-ordered financial payment from the higher-wage-earning spouse to the non- or lower-wage-earning spouse during the divorce process or for a period after the divorce has been finalized. The purpose of alimony is to help reduce any unfair economic impact of the divorce on the non-earning or lower-earning spouse by providing financial help or continued income.

Alimony payments ensure that both spouses maintain a post-divorce lifestyle similar to their marital standard of living. Even after your marriage has ended, your obligation to support your spouse financially is not automatically terminated.



Types of Alimony

There are three different types of alimony available in Idaho — temporary, fixed-duration (rehabilitative), and permanent support.

Temporary Alimony

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 Alimony

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

  • Retirement

  • 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.


Get the help you need from a team of legal professionals. If you are considering filing for divorce and need proper guidance on how to establish alimony arrangements, our team at Shep Law Group is available to help. Contact us to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. We’re proud to serve clients across Boise, Meridian, Ada County, and Canyon County, ID.