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Kevin O'Flaherty

In this article, we will answer the questions “what factors go into alimony calculation in Iowa?”, “does adultery affect spousal maintenance calculation in Iowa?”, and “how is alimony paid in Iowa?”

What Factors Go into Alimony Calculation in Iowa?

The Court is bound by Iowa law to consider a number of statutory factors when determining the amount and duration of alimony payments, such as:

  • The income of each spouse;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Standard of living during the marriage;
  • Support of the children (if any);
  • How the marital property is to be divided; and
  • Each spouse's income capacity and earning potential.

For a more detailed list of these factors, see our article entitled Iowa Alimony Law Explained.

A judge is less likely to award spousal maintenance if each of the spouses earn roughly the same amount of income and can support themselves.  If the parties have children together and the custodial parent will receive child support, this will also impact the amount of alimony awarded by a judge.

Alimony payments are often rehabilitative, meaning they are only intended to last until the receiving spouse acquires the necessary education and training to maintain a job of sufficient means.  There are two other types of alimony payments as well: traditional and reimbursement.  Traditional alimony is usually awarded when the marriage lasted for many years, and one of the spouses has spent a significant amount of time out of the workforce.  Reimbursement alimony is awarded if one spouse contributed significantly to the other spouse’s earning potential.  An example of this would be a husband working to both support the family and put his wife through medical school.

Does Adultery Affect Spousal Maintenance Calculation in Iowa?

No.  Iowa is a “no-fault” state, which means neither spouse needs to prove who or what caused the marriage to fail when filing for divorce.  This also means that adultery is not considered in the division of property or “spousal maintenance” calculation.

How is Alimony Paid in Iowa?

Unlike child support, alimony must be paid from party to party.  Sometimes, a judge will award one spouse a profit-sharing or trust fund in lieu of alimony.  The Court may also choose to award property to a spouse to balance the terms of the divorce.  Alimony payments are commonly made in cash on a monthly basis, but if you would like to avoid that, paying the amount of alimony awarded in one lump sum is also an option.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.


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