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Iowa Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in Iowa, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of Iowa should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of Iowa Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified Iowa Divorce Professional.

  • Iowa law recognizes a "no-fault" divorce. No finding of fault is necessary, but the court can order the spouses to make a reconciliation effort for a period of 60 days.
  • Iowa recognizes common law marriages.
  • Iowa requires a 90-day waiting period for a divorce to be finalized. This begins when the petition is served and continues until the date the court enters a final divorce decree. However, the waiting period can be waived under certain circumstances.
  • If one spouse asks for alimony and/or child support, both spouses must file an affidavit of financial status, which contains information about net worth, income, and expenses.
  • The court divides marital property equitably after considering the length of the marriage, the age and physical health of each spouse, and their earning capacities. Judges also consider the economic value of contributions where one spouse contributed to the earning power of another by paying tuition bills or the efforts of stay-at-home mothers. Separate property is not considered marital in Iowa.
  • Child custody laws try to ensure that both parents develop a strong relationship with their children.
  • Child custody and child support are considered to be two separate areas of Iowa divorce law. The Iowa courts take child support enforcement very seriously. A parent who fails to pay the legally required child support may have his/her wages withheld or driver's license denied. In addition, the courts can apply federal income refunds or money from bank accounts in the parent's name towards the payment of the child support order.
  • Iowa requires that parents provide financial support for their children until they graduate from high school or reach the age of 19. Depending upon the circumstances, medical support and post-secondary educational support may also be required.
  • Child support payments are made to the clerk of court or the collection services center of the Iowa Department of Human Services. Payments should never be sent directly to the custodial parent.
  • Iowa child support payments are based on the net income of both parents, excluding money obtained from public assistance payments or a stepparent's income. It is best to consult a qualified attorney for specific information about child support.

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