Important Things You Should Know About Child Custody in Idaho

When couples divorce in Idaho and have children together, the court's top priority is the well-being of the children. In deciding child custody arrangements, the court addresses two main issues.

First, it determines "legal" custody - which parent will make important choices about the children's healthcare, schooling, safety, and welfare. Second, it decides "physical" custody - how the parents will divide and share time spent with the kids.

Many factors go into the court's decisions about legal and physical custody in an Idaho divorce. That's why it's crucial for parents facing custody issues to work with an experienced family law attorney. Legal expertise can help navigate the nuances of Idaho's child custody laws.

Gravis Law is a knowledgeable Boise firm that helps clients across Idaho with child custody concerns related to divorce. Keep reading to learn some key points about child custody law in Idaho.

Factors That Determine Child Custody in Idaho

Idaho divorce law requires the court to consider several relevant factors when determining child custody, including:

  • The parents’ wishes and parenting plan that each party submits;
  • The relationship and interaction between the child and the parents, siblings, or any other individuals who may affect the best interests of the child;
  • The promotion of stability and continuity in the child’s life, including the adjustment to any changes in the child’s home life, school, or community;
  • Both the physical and mental health of everyone involved, including histories of abuse;
  • Any intention to move the child’s principal residence; and
  • The child’s wishes.

Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody

As previously discussed, child custody in Idaho has two main components: "legal" custody and "physical" custody.

When the court grants joint legal custody, both parents share the authority, responsibility, and decision-making regarding the child's education, health, safety, and welfare. With joint legal custody, both parents must consult each other before making any choices about the child, unless a judge gives one parent sole decision-making power for specific issues.

Joint physical custody means that each parent will have significant, although not always equal, periods when the child lives with them.

With sole legal custody, only one parent has the authority, responsibility, and decision-making power concerning the child. Similarly, sole physical custody means the child lives exclusively with one parent. Within a sole physical custody agreement, the non-custodial parent can have visitation rights outlined in the final court order.

How an Idaho Child Custody Attorney Can Help

Child custody disputes can be among the most heated issues that families encounter during divorce proceedings. Our seasoned divorce lawyers in Boise can assist you in navigating this process. Whether the divorce is friendly or contentious, we have supported numerous clients like you in understanding Idaho's child custody laws and achieving favorable results.

In addition to guiding you through the legal divorce process in Idaho, we can assist you in preparing for divorce mediation, settlement discussions, evaluations, and litigation when relevant.

Please contact Gravis Law today to schedule a consultation. Learn more about how our family law practice in Boise can help explain Idaho's child custody factors and protect your parental rights.