Saturday, October 29, 2011

Non-Monogamous Families and the Law, Part 12: Summary of Idaho Laws

Non-Monogamous Families and the Law, Part 12: Summary of Idaho Laws

Adultery:

Idaho's adultery law affects not only those within a legal marriage, but also those having a sexual relationship with a married individual are liable (Idaho State Legislature, 2011g). Additionally, Idaho has a law against 'fornication,' which applies broadly to unmarried individuals who have sex (Idaho State Legislature, 2011h). This creates a strong network of liability that doesn't exempt any form of non-monogamy from liability, including those existing outside of a legal marriage.

Adultery is punishable with a fine of $100-$1,000 or imprisonment of 3 months to 3 years (Idaho State Legislature, 2011g). Fornication is punishable with a fine up to $300 or imprisonment of up to 6 months (Idaho State Legislature, 2011h). Escalating punishments appear to not apply to adultery; however solicitation and conspiracy apply (Idaho State Legislature, 2011d; Idaho State Legislature, 2011e), with the same liability as adultery (Idaho State Legislature, 2011d; Idaho State Legislature, 2011f). Idaho appears to not have attempt, though this doesn't limit liability much for non-monogamous families and their associations.

Bigamy:

Idaho's bigamy law is targeted specifically at actual bigamous marriages, and not at purported marriages or cohabitation (Idaho State Legislature, 2011a), though liability isn’t limited to just the bigamist, but also those who marry a bigamist (Idaho State Legislature, 2011c). This drastically limits liability for non-dyadic non-monogamies as control over cohabitation and public image are not factors of bigamy.

Punishment between bigamy and marrying a bigamist are slightly different with bigamy being a fine up to $2,000 and up to 3 years imprisonment (Idaho State Legislature, 2011b), whereas marrying a bigamist is a fine of no less than $2,000 and up to 3 years imprisonment (Idaho State Legislature, 2011c). There is no escalating punishment, but inchoate solicitation and conspiracy laws apply.

Round-Up of Laws:

The combination of adultery and bigamy create the expected web of liability, but thankfully the worst of liabilities for non-dyadic non-monogamies is avoided due to a lack of purportation and/or cohabitation clauses.

It is impossible for non-monogamists to avoid all liability, including their partners, because of the large reach of the adultery laws, as well as the extra potential liability from the solicitation and conspiracy laws. Even avoiding a legal marriage doesn’t allow for exemption under Idaho law due to the fornication law.

Non-Monogamous Strategies:

Unfortunately there's little that can be done to avoid the liability under adultery, as it's based on sexual contact, and not things like public perception or cohabitation. The fornication laws extend liability beyond legal marriage, which creates an extra level of challenge for non-monogamists. The lack of cohabitation and/or purportation creates an even liability distribution among non-monogamous styles however.

References

Idaho State Legislature. (2011a). Bigamy defined. (Idaho Statute 18-1101). Boise, ID: Idaho State Legislature.

Idaho State Legislature. (2011b). Punishment for bigamy. (Idaho Statute 18-1103). Boise, ID: Idaho State Legislature.

Idaho State Legislature. (2011c). Marrying the spouse of another. (Idaho Statute 18-1104). Boise, ID: Idaho State Legislature.

Idaho State Legislature. (2011d). Criminal conspiracy defined. (Idaho Statute 18-1701). Boise, ID: Idaho State Legislature.

Idaho State Legislature. (2011e). Definition of solicitation. (Idaho Statute 18-2001). Boise, ID: Idaho State Legislature.

Idaho State Legislature. (2011f). Punishment for criminal solicitation. (Idaho Statute 18-2004). Boise, ID: Idaho State Legislature.

Idaho State Legislature. (2011g). Adultery. (Idaho Statute 18-6601). Boise, ID: Idaho State Legislature.

Idaho State Legislature. (2011h). Fornication. (Idaho Statute 18-6603). Boise, ID: Idaho State Legislature.

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