Idaho Marital Property Laws

When a couple divorces, the court has to divide assets or property into “marital property” and “separate property.” The two main ways that states divide marital property are through community property and equitable distribution. Idaho uses the community property system. Legal agreements or contracts, such as a prenuptial agreement, however, can change how marital property is divided in a divorce.

What Is Separate Property and Debt in Idaho?

Separate property in Idaho is any of the following:

  • Owned by either spouse before the marriage
  • Acquired during the marriage by gift, inheritance, or using the proceeds from separate property
  • Acquired by either spouse after divorce or legal separation

Spouses can also have separate debt, which is debt of either party that they were liable for before the marriage or after the divorce. There are other circumstances, such as compulsive gambling or drug addiction on the part of one party, that could lead to debts being considered to be of owed by only one person. Separate debt can’t be paid out of the separate property of the other spouse.

What Is Marital Property and Debt in Idaho?

Community property is essentially any property that isn’t considered separate property and that was acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage. Community debts are whatever isn’t separate debt. Income is community property, including rents and profits of all property, separate and community, unless a written agreement like a prenup says otherwise. If community property is put into a revocable trust, then it’s still community property.

The following table lists additional parts of the marital property laws in Idaho.

Code Sections Idaho Code Title 32: Domestic Relations, Chapter 9: Husband and Wife—Separate and Community Property
Community Property Idaho is a community property state.
Dower and Curtesy Both dower and curtesy have been abolished in Idaho, like most states. Dower is a traditional legal concept where a woman gets a life estate in her husband’s property after his death. Curtesy was the reciprocal for men of their wives’ property, but they only got if they had a child capable of inheriting the property.

If you want to divorce and live in Idaho, the first step is to consult with an experienced local divorce lawyer first. You should understand your rights to marital property and any community debts. You can also negotiate your own property settlement agreement either in mediation or just speaking with your spouse. However, you may waive more of your rights to property or assets than you would if you understood your rights.

Note: State laws are updated frequently. Please contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify these state divorce laws.

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