Iowa Divorce Laws

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According to the Iowa divorce laws, the residency requirements in the state are of six months. That means, if a person is a resident of Iowa for six months or more, then he or she is allowed to file for a divorce in Iowa court. The requirement can be fulfilled by the spouse of non-resident applicant.

Grounds for divorce in Iowa

The divorce laws in Iowa describe the valid grounds for divorce in its statues. According to them, a divorce can be granted on no-fault ground or fault-grounds. In no-fault divorce, the spouses need not prove any kind of marital fault to obtain an official termination of marriage. The fault grounds vary from adultery to violent behavior of the partner.

Iowa Divorce Laws regarding Child Support

The Court can issue an order directing one or both parents to pay an essential and reasonable amount to support their child. The child support amount is to be used for the development and welfare of the child till he or she attains the age of maturity. These payments are to be made to the collection services center or the clerk of the District Court. When there is a considerable alteration of circumstances, there is a modification in child support. Before reaching a conclusion that the circumstances have been considerably changed, the Court takes into account the following points -

  • Remarriage of the partners
  • Alteration in the residence of the partners
  • Alteration in the emotional, mental or physical health of the partners
  • Alteration in the needs of the family or number of dependents of the partners
  • Alteration in the medical expenditure of the partners
  • Receipt of any gift, pension or inheritance by the partners
  • Alteration in the resources, income, earning capacity or employment of the partners
  • Contempt of the existing orders of the Court by the partners
  • Changes in the educational, emotional and physical requirements of the child supported by the Court's order
  • f the partner's are supported by another individual from the circle of friends or relatives
  • Any other relevant issues that the court may wish to consider

Iowa Divorce Laws regarding Child Custody

In this state, usually joint legal custody is awarded, unless there exists proof of domestic abuse. In this type of custody, both parents are supposed to participate equally in decisions pertaining to the religious instruction, extracurricular activities, education, medical care and legal status of the child. The other type of custody is single parent custody. Here, one parent is offered a custody and other is eligible for child visitation rights only. Prior to taking the decision regarding the custody arrangement, the Court ponders upon the below mentioned factors -

  • Any domestic abuse in the past
  • Whether custody to both parents or visitation without any limits visitation or unsupervised visitation would be harmful for the children or the other parent
  • The geographic closeness of the parents
  • The opinion of the parents regarding joint custody
  • Whether the child agrees or opposes to the custody plan (in this the age and maturity of the child is taken into account)
  • Whether each parent endorses the other parent's relation with the child
  • Before and since the separation, if the parents have displayed active care for the child
  • Whether the child's needs can be discussed between the parents
  • Whether the scarcity of active contact between the child and parents and lack of attention from the parents towards the child that is hampering the emotional and psychological requirements and development of the child
  • Whether each parent can play the role of a proper custodian

Spousal support

Spousal support is an essential amount that is required by the partner who is unable to survive after a divorce. It is paid by the partner who is financially and educationally well-off than the other. The Court is guided by the following issues while taking a decision regarding spousal support.

  • The education stage of each partner at the moment when the marriage took place and when the action of alimony would begin
  • The property distribution
  • The emotional and physical health and age of the partners
  • The duration of marital life
  • The following issues pertaining to the partner requesting spousal support -
    • Earning capability
    • Educational background
    • Work experience
    • Employment skills
    • Training
    • Duration of absence from job market
    • Responsibilities of children due to award of physical care or custody
    • The expenditure and duration essential to attain enough education or training to seek apt employment
  • The provisions of any ante-nuptial agreement
  • The consequences of tax of both partners
  • The contribution of the partner to the maintenance of home and upbringing of children, if any

This is the general outline of Iowa divorce laws. The requirements and submissions of documents related to divorce are explained in these laws in detail.

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