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The Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment in Idaho

In Idaho, marriage is a civil contract between two consenting adults who understand the ramification of the contract. The Idaho family law entrusts the formation, dissolution, or termination of family units to the Idaho judiciary. Following the adjudication of a divorce or annulment, records of the proceedings are available to interested persons unless restricted by court order or statute.

What is an Idaho Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree in Idaho is a judicial order, written and signed by a family court judge, that dissolves a marriage and frees the divorcees from the bonds of matrimony. Furthermore, the divorce decree rescinds the entitlements, benefits, and obligations of married persons in Idaho. Instead, the divorces enjoy the legal status of unmarried persons and may remarry.

The records contained in documents related to family court include both marriage and divorce records. Both types of records contain information that is considered very personal to the parties involved, and it is recommended that those parties maintain these records with care to make changes in the future. The personal nature of these records results in both being considerably more difficult to find and obtain when compared to other types of public records. In many cases, these records are not available through either government sources or third party public record websites.

What is an Annulment in Idaho?

An annulment is a judicial decree that renders a marriage contract null and void (ID. Code § 32–5).. Upon petition and investigation, the presiding judge issues an annulment decree based on one of six causes existing at the time of marriage (ID. Code § 32–501).. These include:

  • Marriage of persons below the age of legal consent;
  • Marriage of persons who are still lawfully married to another spouse;
  • A marriage where either party is of unsound mind;
  • A marriage where either party obtained consent by fraud;
  • A marriage where either party obtained consent by force; and,
  • A marriage where either party was physically incapable at the time of marriage

Annulment and divorce actions are very dissimilar. Still, both follow the Rules of Practice and Procedure for Family Court, and court records are regarded as public unless contrary to a court order or statute.

Annulment vs. Divorce in Idaho

Divorce and annulment accomplish the same goal, i.e., frees both parties from the bonds of matrimony. Nevertheless, the two actions differ in court requirements and the subsequent legal ramifications. Also, marriage is regarded as legally valid pending the absolute decree of divorce. Conversely, an annulment upholds that the marriage was invalid and did not take place under Idaho laws. Meanwhile, an intending divorcee may initiate the suit at any time, but this freedom does not extend to annulment. On several of the aforementioned grounds, the plaintiff must file for annulment as soon as he/she is aware of invalidity or voidability. Else, the court will recognize the marriage contract if both couples continue to live together freely, knowing that the marriage is null and void.

Is an Annulment Cheaper Than Divorce in Idaho?

No, an annulment is comparably more expensive than an uncontested divorce. Court fees, attorney fees, and the cost of medicolegal investigations drive up the costs of filing and obtaining a decree of annulment in Idaho.

What is an Uncontested Divorce in Idaho?

Suffice to say that an uncontested divorce is a no-fault divorce that allows for the dissolution of a marriage without the arguments and acrimony that is patent in many divorces. Here, the parties typically file based on irreconcilable differences and submit a divorce agreement along with the necessary divorce forms (ID. Code § 32–616)..

Generally, the divorce agreement must detail the equitable distribution of property and debts, alimony, parental responsibility, and child support. The process is orderly and does not require a court appearance once the papers are in order.    

Where to get an Uncontested Divorce Form in Idaho?

Divorcee forms and application instructions are available at the local county courthouse. Alternatively, interested persons may find divorce forms online at the court assistance website. Meanwhile, all intending divorcees must meet the Idaho residency requirement of six (6) weeks before commencing the divorce action (ID. Code § 32–701).. Upon adjudications, the associated court records are available to interested persons at the courthouse, online, or by mail. For in-person and mail requests, consult the Idaho court directory. Visit the iCourt portal to access digital copies of the court records of interest.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching for records simpler, as geographic locations do not limit their activities. Thus, the search engines on third-party sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or persons involved in the case. These include information such as the city, county, or state of residence or accusation.

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not government-sponsored. Consequently, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How Do I Get a Copy of my Divorce Decree in Idaho?

Concerned persons can get copies of divorce decrees at the district court that adjudicated the divorce. The requester must visit the office of the clerk in-person and during business hours to submit a request. Depending on the court record request protocol, the concerned party may mail a written request in a self-addressed stamped envelope. Either way, the necessary details to get a divorce decree are the case number, the names of divorcees, and the date of the divorce decree. Note that mail requests must have a government-issued photo I. D. and payment for the applicable fees enclosed.

Divorce and marriage records may be available through government sources and organizations, though their availability is not guaranteed. Similarly, their availability through third-party websites and companies is not guaranteed, as these organizations are not government-sponsored, and record availability may vary. Finally, marriage and divorce records are considered extremely private due to the information they contain and are often sealed. Bearing these factors in mind, record availability for these types of records is not guaranteed.

How Do I Get an Idaho Divorce Decree Online?

Idaho divorce decrees are not available online. Thus, the concerned requester must visit the district court to get a copy of the divorce decree.

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