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Divorce Laws in Iowa

In the state of Iowa divorce is called “dissolution of marriage.” There is a 90 day waiting period for dissolution of marriage, from the time papers are properly served. The court can order couples to engage in conciliation efforts for up to sixty days. Acceptable forms of conciliation services include but are not limited to:

  • Domestic relations division of the court
  • Public or private marriage counselors
  • Family service agencies
  • Community health centers
  • Physicians
  • Clergy

Residency and jurisdiction
The filing spouse does not have to live in Iowa, but if living in Iowa, he or she must have lived in the State for at least one year prior to filing. Dissolution of marriage can be filed in the county where either spouse resides.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce
Indiana only grants no fault divorce, based on the grounds that there is a complete and irreparable breakdown of the marriage.

Division of property
Iowa is an "equitable distribution" state meaning the property is not divided 50/50 but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties.
The parent who is awarded child custody is favored in the allocation of the family home, at least temporarily.
In Iowa most couples come to an agreement, outside of court, regarding property division. If they cannot agree the court will decide for them taking into consideration the following factors:

  • Length of marriage
  • Prenuptial agreement
  • Property brought to the marriage by each spouse
  • Contribution to the marriage, including homemaking and child care
  • Contribution by one spouse to the other spouse’s earning capacity
  • Physical and emotional health
  • Age
  • Earning capacity
  • Spousal support
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Tax consequences

Spousal support
Spousal support in Iowa may be temporary or permanent. The following factors are considered in determining support:

  • Length of marriage
  • Prenuptial or any other agreement made between spouses
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Physical and emotional health
  • Age
  • Property distribution
  • Earning capacity and any damage to earning capacity caused by the marriage, such as time away from the workforce due to homemaking duties
  • Potential for the spouse seeking support to become self supporting and maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Tax consequences

Child custody and support
When determining child custody in Iowa the court must consider the following factors:

  • Suitability of the parents
  • Potential impact on psychological and emotional needs and development of the child
  • Parents’ ability to communicate with each other regarding the child’s needs
  • Parent’s role in caring for the child
  • Ability to support the other parent’s relationship with the child
  • Wishes of the child
  • Wishes of the parents
  • Geographic proximity of the parents
  • Safety of the child, other children, and other parent
  • History of domestic abuse

Iowa uses the Percentage of Income formula to calculate child support.

If you are considering a divorce in the State of Iowa, please contact an Iowa divorce lawyer today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Iowa and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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