The great mystery of Iowa alimony often leads to frustration for Iowa divorce clients and attorneys alike. This just highlights the need for an experienced divorce attorney when dealing with a high asset or alimony case in Iowa.
Iowa alimony is not an absolute right; an award depends upon the circumstances of each particular case. In Re Marriage of Fleener, 247 N.W.2d 219, 220 (Iowa 1976). Iowa courts consider many factors in determining whether to award alimony and what amount should be awarded. The award of alimony is made after considering the factors listed in Iowa Code, the amount of the property division, and the amount of child support under the Decree. In Re Marriage of Will, 489 N.W.2d 394 (Iowa 1992); In Re: Marriage of Dahl, 418 N.W.2d 358, 359 (Iowa App 1987); In Re Marriage of Brown, 487 N.W,2d 331, 334 (Iowa 1929).
Iowa does not have standard alimony guidelines; thus, there is no accurate way to predict how much alimony or spousal support a party will receive in an Iowa divorce case. Instead it is necessary to look at prior case decisions, and other state alimony guidelines to estimate what alimony may be appropriate in a given case. Aft and Wilson Publishing have created a useful tool to help individuals and attorneys estimate what an appropriate award of alimony may be. Their Spousal Support Calculator may be accessed at:
Upon inputting your income information their alimony calculator will show you what alimony would be awarded in states that currently have alimony guidelines. Although not binding in Iowa, this information helps us approximate what alimony might be appropriate in a given case. Their site also provides a link to appellate case decisions here in the state of Iowa that have dealt with the issues of alimony. This too is helpful in approximating alimony in cases.
At the end of the day though, the best calculator of what appropriate alimony may be in an Iowa case is an experienced divorce attorney who has tried hundreds of alimony matters. After dealing with a wide scope of alimony matters an experienced divorce attorney can give you a pretty good idea of what a trial court judge would order in your given matter.