How To File For Full Custody in Idaho

by Hannah Arroyo

The purpose of child custody is to ensure that children have a safe and secure living arrangement with adults who will care for them. While it is preferable that both parents share custody, there are times when one parent may seek full custody.

If you are a parent in Idaho who is seeking full custody of your child, find an experienced Idaho Falls family law attorney to guide you through the process.

Here are some things you need to know.

Physical Vs. Legal Custody

Physical custody and legal custody are both recognized under Idaho’s child custody laws. One parent may be given sole physical and/or legal custody, or parents may share physical and legal custody (referred to as “joint custody”). The sort of custody that is ultimately granted in your case will rely on what is best for your child.

A parent has “physical custody” if the child resides with them. The parent who has primary physical custody spends a lot of time with the child. However, even under shared custody agreements, parents may not spend all of their time with their children equally. Each week, one parent could spend three nights with the child while the other spends four.

Legal custody is the authority a parent has to make important choices on behalf of the child. Parents who have legal custody have the power to make decisions about their children’s education, healthcare and even their religious upbringing.

Typically, sharing legal custody between parents is in the best interests of the kid. When parents are estranged from one another or have a tense relationship, a judge may grant one parent exclusive custody of the kid. See Idaho Code, Section 32-1011 (2020).

parents and lawer discussing joint physical custody and joint custody arrangements in the court system

How To Win a Full Custody Case

There are a few things that you can do to give yourself the best chance possible of winning a full custody case in Idaho.

First, try to put your personal feelings about the other parent aside and focus on what is in the best interests of your child.

Second, be prepared to explain to the court why joint custody would not work in your particular situation.

Finally, be sure to gather as much evidence as possible to support your position. This may include witness statements, court documents and any other relevant information.

If you are considering filing for full custody of your child in Idaho, follow the steps below to give yourself the best chance of success.

1. Understand Your Reasons for Seeking Full Custody

Before taking any legal action, it is important to understand your reasons for seeking full custody of your child.

In some cases, parents seek full custody because they believe it is in the child’s best interests.

In other cases, parents may have concerns about the other parent’s ability to care for the child or may believe that the child would be better off living with one parent.

2. Speak to an Attorney

If you are considering seeking full custody of your child, it is important to speak to an experienced family law attorney.

An attorney can explain the custody laws in your state and help you understand what you need to do to seek full custody.

Learn more about what family law attorneys do here.

Alan Johnston - idaho falls attorney in Idaho courts

3. File a Motion for Custody

If you and the other parent cannot agree on custody, you will need to file a motion with the court.

The first step is to file a petition or complaint with the court.

The next step is to complete and file a motion for custody, which will set forth your request for full custody and the reasons why you believe full custody is in the best interests of your child.

4. Serve the Other Parent

After you have filed your motion, you will need to serve the other parent with a copy of the motion and all supporting documents.

The best way to serve the other parent is to have a process server hand-deliver the papers to him or her.

An attorney can guide you through filing and serving, as well as represent you in court.

5. Attend the Hearing

Once the other parent has been served, there will be a hearing.

At the hearing, both sides will present their evidence and argue why full custody should or should not be granted.

The judge will then make a decision.

If the judge grants your motion for full custody, he or she will sign an order to that effect.

The order will state who has primary custody, what the visitation schedule will be, and any other terms and conditions of custody.

The order will be enforceable by the court.

If you have any questions about how to file for full custody in Idaho, you should contact an experienced family law attorney for help.

MZJ — Family Attorneys You Can Rely On

Full custody in Idaho can be an incredibly complex process. There are many different types of custody, and the laws vary from state to state. If you are considering filing for full custody, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney.

At MZJ, our attorneys have experience handling all types of custody cases, including full custody. We will work with you to ensure that your rights are protected and that your best interests are represented. From filing and serving to finalizing the paperwork and representing you in court, we will be there with you every step of the way.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

parent and child touching hands during child's adjustment to reasonable visitation rights and custody arrangement
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