How to Figure Alimony Payments in Iowa

By Heather Frances J.D.

After divorce, one spouse is sometimes left without financial resources to support herself, but alimony -- sometimes called spousal support -- can help. An Iowa court can award alimony to either spouse based on certain statutory factors. However, unlike child support, it is not awarded according to a formula or percentage of the other spouse’s income.

Alimony

In Iowa, alimony is a payment that replaces a spouse’s legal obligation to support his spouse during the marriage and it must be court-ordered. Spouses do not have a right to receive alimony, and alimony is not ordered in every case. Whether the court in your divorce will award alimony depends on the circumstances of your marriage and whether you and your spouse are capable of supporting yourself.

Types of Alimony

Iowa courts may award three types of alimony: traditional, rehabilitative or reimbursement. Traditional alimony is awarded permanently, generally in cases where the spouses were married for many years, during which one spouse stayed at home while the other worked outside the home. If the dependent spouse cannot support herself, often because of many years spent outside the workforce, the court could award traditional alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a period of time that will allow one spouse to receive training or education to become capable of supporting herself. Reimbursement alimony is awarded in cases where one spouse contributed significantly to the other spouse’s earning potential, such as a wife who works to put her husband through medical school.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Factors

Iowa does not use a formula to calculate alimony in every case. Rather, Iowa courts look at various factors to decide whether alimony is appropriate in each case and, if so, how much the court should award. Factors include the length of the marriage, health of the spouses, how the marital property is to be divided and each spouse’s earning capacity and education level.

Modification

An Iowa court can modify an alimony award if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the alimony was originally ordered. A substantial change in circumstances could include dramatic changes in employment, changes in one spouse’s needs or a spouse’s remarriage. For example, when a spouse supported by rehabilitative alimony has completed her education plan early, the paying spouse may ask the court for a modification to end the alimony early. Similarly, if the supported spouse remarries, the paying spouse may ask for a modification since the supported spouse now has other means of support.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Alimony Laws in Tennessee

References

Related articles

Is it True a Husband Always Has to Pay Alimony When They Get Divorced?

When couples divorce, one or both spouses may ask the court to award alimony, also known as spousal support and maintenance. The court looks at a variety of factors when determining whether alimony should be granted, in what amount and how long it should last. However, courts are prohibited from awarding alimony based on gender or excluding a spouse from receiving it for the same reason.

How Is Alimony Calculated in Ohio?

Ohio's legislative code doesn't contain a mathematical equation for calculating alimony, also called spousal support. What it does include is a list of 14 factors that judges are supposed to consider when deciding whether to order alimony and, if so, for how long. These are somewhat loose guidelines, however, because they don't say how much weight a judge should give to each factor. Ultimately, it comes down to the opinion of the judge deciding each individual case.

Iowa Divorce Rules & Regulations

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.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Will He Still Have to Pay Alimony With a No Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania?

When spouses file for divorce in Pennsylvania, a financially weaker spouse may be entitled to alimony. Pennsylvania ...

How to Determine Alimony in SC

To prepare for a divorce, it is important for both parties to have an understanding of the factors a court will ...

How Are Michigan Alimony Payments Calculated?

Divorce frequently causes a financial strain for one spouse when the money used to support the household suddenly ...

Washington State Alimony Laws

Washington state law sets forth the procedure for dividing property and awarding alimony when spouses divorce or a ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED