Alimony in Iowa is gender neutral and is usually considered an order to set the finances of both parties in the divorce equal, but paying off martial debts, ensuring both spouses can be financially independent and maintain the same standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. Ensuring a stable standard of living is critical when the custody of children is involved. Not only does this limit the amount of alimony available, it also ensures that the alimony must be sufficient to ensure stable households. Permanent alimony is not always the chosen option for alimony in Iowa and there are a number of factors that affect the nature and length of an alimony arrangement.
What are the types of alimony in Iowa?
The different forms of alimony in Iowa are ordered based on a circumstances related to the dissolution of the martial union. High dependency of one spouse on the other will lead to rehabilitative alimony, which will cover the costs of schooling, job training and/or support until the spouse can become financially independent. This ensures that the spouse does not become destitute as a result of the divorce and will not have to draw public assistance. The rehabilitative alimony continues as long as the court is satisfied that the recipient of the alimony has pursued financial independence in good faith and has made sufficient progress towards financial independence. This is not a permanent arrangement by any means.
Traditional alimony involves the indefinite payment of alimony to the divorced spouse. This is tempered by factors such as the age of the spouse, the health and needs of the spouse and the length of the marriage. Earning potential and potential income from investments are also assessed to ensure that creative accounting to hide income will not cheat the other spouse out of deserved alimony. Traditional alimony arrangements last until death or the remarriage of the spouse receiving the alimony, as it is implied that such support is no longer needed. A spouse paying alimony may challenge the alimony agreement if it can be proven that the recipient lives in a “marriage-like” arrangement with another individual, drawing support from that cohabitating person.
Reimbursement is a less common form of alimony in Iowa that is usually typical of shorter term marriages. In this arrangement, one spouse pays the other spouse for substantial expenses occurred when supporting that spouse. This is regardless of who files the divorce petition. The most common example used is having one spouse support the other through professional training school, only to divorce a short time later. The spouse will be compensated by the graduate for the investment into their schooling.
Ways to pay alimony in Iowa
For some arrangements, such as reimbursement alimony, you may pay this off as a lump sum, either in full or in partial payment, as long as the spouse agrees to that arrangement. All others will be assessed monthly, either through direct payment or wage garnishment, pursuant to provisions in the alimony order.