Iowa Divorce Rules & Regulations

By Bernadette A. Safrath

Divorce laws are different from state to state. Iowa's procedures for divorce, also called dissolution of marriage, are set forth in the state's code. The law addresses the requirements that must be met in order to file in Iowa, as well as the procedures for dividing the marital property and awarding alimony.

Divorce laws are different from state to state. Iowa's procedures for divorce, also called dissolution of marriage, are set forth in the state's code. The law addresses the requirements that must be met in order to file in Iowa, as well as the procedures for dividing the marital property and awarding alimony.

Filing Requirements

At least one spouse must have been a resident of Iowa for at least one year prior to filing for divorce in the state. To begin the proceeding, one spouse must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the District Court located in his county of residence. The Iowa Code has a mandatory waiting period of 90 days, from the date of the initial filing, before the court can finalize the divorce.

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Grounds for Divorce

Iowa law requires that a petition for dissolution state the grounds, or reasons, for which the divorce is being sought. The state recognizes no-fault divorce, so a spouse does not need to establish that misconduct, such as adultery or abuse, occurred and led to the end of the marriage. Instead, the filing spouse must claim "irretrievable breakdown" or "irreconcilable differences." This means the marital relationship has suffered and there is no chance for reconciliation.

Division of Assets

When spouses divorce in Iowa, they are entitled to maintain ownership of their separate property. Separate property is any property owned prior to the marriage and any inheritance received during the marriage, so long as it was never commingled with marital property, for example, deposited into a joint bank account. All other marital assets are divided in accordance with Iowa's "equitable distribution" statute. This means the court will divide property fairly between the spouses, though not necessarily equally, based on such factors as the duration of the marriage, each spouse's income, each spouse's contribution to the marriage (i.e. wage earner vs. homemaker), whether either spouse is receiving alimony, whether the spouses have children, and which spouse has custody.

Eligibility for Alimony

Alimony is financial support paid by one spouse to the other, often when one spouse has significantly less assets than the other. When determining the amount and duration of alimony payments, an Iowa court will consider several factors. They include the value of property each spouse received during division of the marital assets, the requesting spouse's age, any health conditions, and the requesting spouse's ability to work and income earned. Additionally, the court will examine the custody arrangement for any children, especially if there are young children preventing the requesting spouse from working, or if the requesting spouse needs time to complete an education or training program in order to rejoin the workforce.

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References

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Missouri Alimony Maintenance Laws

Alimony, called spousal maintenance in Missouri, is financial support provided by one spouse to another after a divorce or separation. The purpose is to provide for the receiving spouse's basic needs if she cannot support herself through her own income and assets. Maintenance payments are limited in duration and can be court ordered or agreed to between the spouses.

Divorce Proceedings in Kansas

When spouses decide to end their marriage, they must file papers requesting a divorce. Divorce laws vary by state. Spouses are only eligible to file for divorce in Kansas if at least one spouse has lived in the state for no less than 60 days. If the residency requirement is met, divorce papers can be filed and the court will divide the marital property and award alimony, if applicable, before issuing a final divorce decree.

Divorce Laws in Virginia for People Married Over Five Years

Whether spouses are married for five years or 30 years, Virginia's divorce laws are the same. The laws set forth who is eligible for a divorce in Virginia, the grounds for divorce, the procedure for dividing marital assets and the eligibility for spousal support. The duration of a marriage is really only considered when a court is determining the amount and duration of spousal support.

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