Iowa Divorce Steps

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Iowa is a state where the residency requirement for filing a divorce petition is one year. A person has to reside in the state for at least a year if he wishes to file a divorce. The county court can be chosen between the county where an applicant resides or a county where the spouse resides. Iowa divorce steps explain the whole procedure of dissolution of marriage in Iowa.

Summary of Iowa Divorce Steps

  • The Petitioner can obtain a form for dissolution of marriage from a court clerk in this state
  • After completing this document, the Petitioner should file this petition in that county in which the spouses used to stay together or any other county in this state
  • While filing the petition, the court clerk will indicate the appropriate filing fee that must be paid. Sometimes the Petitioner cannot afford this fee. In order to get a postponement for disbursing of this fee, the Petitioner must file Form FL-109
  • The next divorce step is the service of the Petition to the Respondent
  • The Respondent is allocated twenty days to file an Answer. In this period, the respondent is supposed to file a response or send an attorney to do the job on behalf of him or her
  • From the date of service of the Petition to the Respondent, a period of ninety days must elapse, only after which, the divorce can be finalized. It is known as a waiting period that is given to a couple to reconcile by solving the conflicts between them

Iowa Divorce Steps discussed randomly


Any divorcing partner may request the court to issue orders stating both the partners must attend counseling. The intention of the partner making the request is to preserve the marriage. This request is done briefly after the Petition has been filed and prior to the trial. In some cases, the court may suggest a couple to go for counseling before divorce.


In Iowa, a Judge and not a Jury oversees a Trial. Usually, the Petitioner initially presents his or her evidence. Then, the Respondent tests this evidence by asking questions. This divorce step is called as "cross examination." Next, the Respondent presents the proofs and the Petitioner cross examines those. Also, if there are any other witnesses, they might offer testimony. In this whole process, a petitioner and a respondent may take help of the attorneys and lawyers who are experienced in this fields. These professionals have the knowledge of legal procedures and thus, can strive for a better result for their client.

Trial Setting Conference

In this state, every judicial district creates its own rules pertaining the settlement of a case for trial. Usually, the court administrator talks with the lawyers of the divorcing parties or the non-represented parties. This group of people decides a date for trial. Sometimes, a trial conference is arranged as a last chance to resolve the issues.


Discovery is a process during which a divorcing partner collects information relevant to the divorce case from the other divorcing partner or / and from third parties. This process is arranged after the Petition has been filed and prior to the final trial date. The various steps taken are as follows. According to the discovery made at this stage, alimony and child custody matters are settled by the court.

  • Formal examination or inspection of a residential place
  • Court ordered home studies
  • Depositions (recorded sworn testimony)
  • Request for production of documents
  • Interrogatories (Formal Questions answered under oath)
  • Court ordered disclosure of certain information

Temporary Orders

While a divorce case is pending, temporary orders regarding some topics can be enforced. When the final order is issued by the court, the temporary orders are no longer enforceable. Some of the topics decided by temporary orders are as follows -

  • Award of attorney fees
  • Spousal support or alimony
  • Responsibility of physical care of children
  • Child support
  • Property division


The divorcing parties are inspired to undergo mediation. This may happen at any moment during the divorce proceeding. A mediation process is handled by a trained mediator. It includes several sessions of both parties with the mediator for finding new solutions for their problems. The frequency of such sessions depend on the requirement and condition of a couple. However, the judge possesses the power to waive such a requirement.

The Iowa divorce steps mentioned above is a generalized version of divorce process. Many spouses prefer a mutual separation in which some steps get eliminated automatically. The procedure for such termination of marriage ends quickly.

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