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Do you have to prove “fault” in your divorce to get alimony?

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2021 | Divorce |

Most people believe they must provide the court with a legal reason for wanting a divorce, but nearly all states provide a no-fault divorce option. What this means is that you can seek a divorce for no reason other than irreconcilable differences.

On the other hand, citing grounds for your divorce is necessary for some situations. For example, if your spouse staunchly opposes the breakup, you may resort to a fault-based divorce in order to move forward.

What are the divorce grounds in Idaho?

While it may seem archaic in the 21st century, spousal adultery is one of the most cited divorce grounds. Other fault grounds include:

  • Extreme cruelty and physical or mental harm by the non-filing spouse
  • Willful desertion of the filing spouse
  • Habitual alcoholism affecting the life of the filing spouse
  • Permanent insanity (accompanied by proof of treatment)
  • Conviction of the non-filing spouse for a felony offense
  • Willful neglect in providing for the basic needs of the filing spouse

At this point, we still have not provided an answer to the question in the title of this post. Although you do not necessarily need to cite fault grounds when seeking alimony, doing so may have the potential to benefit lesser-earning spouses.

According to a case involving an Idaho divorce, family court judges can consider fault when making decisions. The case cited in this text clearly shows how fault (including adultery) could play a role in court decisions involving alimony in our state.

For spouses with little future earning capacity, citing a fault might improve the odds of a spousal support award when the other spouse has better financial prospects. However, each divorce is unique, so it is best to learn more about how your divorce and alimony request may play out based on your specific situation.