- Residency Requirements
- Grounds for Divorce
- Division of Property
- Spousal Support
- Child Custody
- Child Support
To file for divorce in Iowa you must meet the residency requirement of having lived in the state for one (1) year prior to filing. The plaintiff does not have to meet the residency requirement as long as the respondent has lived in the state for the previous year.
Grounds for Divorce
A decree dissolving the marriage may be entered when the court is satisfied from the evidence presented that there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the legitimate objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.
Division of Property
The court shall divide all property, except inherited property or gifts received by one party, equitably between the parties after considering all of the following:
a.) The length of the marriage.
b.) The property brought to the marriage by each party.
c.) The contribution of each party to the marriage, giving appropriate economic value to each party’s contribution in homemaking and child care services.
d.) The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.
e.) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other.
f.) The earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.
g.) The desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live in the family home for a reasonable period to the party having custody of the children, or if the parties have joint legal custody, to the party having physical care of the children.
h.) The amount and duration of an order granting support payments to either party and whether the property division should be in lieu of such payments.
i.) Other economic circumstances of each party, including pension benefits, vested or unvested, and future interests.
j.) The tax consequences to each party.
k.) Any written agreement made by the parties concerning property distribution.
l.) The provisions of an antenuptial agreement.
m.) Other factors the court may determine to be relevant in an individual case.
Spousal support is decided upon a case-by-case basis and can be ordered to either party for a limited or indefinite length of time after considering all of the following:
a.) The length of the marriage.
b.) The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.
c.) The distribution of property.
d.) The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced.
e.) The earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, responsibilities for children under either an award of custody or physical care, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to find appropriate employment.
f.) The feasibility of the party seeking maintenance becoming self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage, and the length of time necessary to achieve this goal.
g.) The tax consequences to each party.
h.) Any mutual agreement made by the parties concerning financial or service contributions by one party with the expectation of future reciprocation or compensation by the other party.
i.) The provisions of an antenuptial agreement.
j.) Other factors the court may determine to be relevant in an individual case.
The court, insofar as it is reasonable and in the best interest of the child, shall order the child custodyaward, including liberal visitation rights where appropriate, which will assure the child the opportunity for the maximum continuing physical and emotional contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved the marriage, and which will encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of raising the child unless direct physical harm or significant emotional harm to the child, other children, or a parent is likely to result from such contact with one parent.
In considering what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the minor child, the court shall consider the following factors:
a.) Whether each parent would be a suitable custodian for the child.
b.) Whether the psychological and emotional needs and development of the child will suffer due to lack of active contact with and attention from both parents.
c.) Whether the parents can communicate with each other regarding the child’s needs.
d.) Whether both parents have actively cared for the child before and since the separation.
e.) Whether each parent can support the other parent’s relationship with the child.
f.) Whether the custody arrangement is in accord with the child’s wishes or whether the child has strong opposition, taking into consideration the child’s age and maturity.
g.) Whether one or both the parents agree or are opposed to joint custody.
h.) The geographic proximity of the parents.
i.) Whether the safety of the child, other children, or the other parent will be jeopardized by the awarding of joint custody or by unsupervised or unrestricted visitation.
j.) Whether a history of domestic abuse exists.
The court may order either parent or both parents to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for supporting a child. In establishing the amount of support, consideration shall be given to the responsibility of both parents to support and provide for the welfare of the minor child and of a child’s need for a close relationship with both parents. Iowa maintains uniform child support guidelines and criteria in determining the child support obligation.
http://www.legis.state.ia.us/ (Iowa divorce code)