Blogs from May, 2018

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Calculating Alimony Payments in Iowa


When you and your spouse decide to go your separate ways, finding a way to move forward financially can be extremely difficult, especially if your incomes differ significantly. One of the best ways to help compensate for such a gap in earnings after your divorce is for the higher earning spouse to compensate the other by means of alimony payments.

Following a divorce or legal separation, either spouse may choose to request alimony, or spousal support, payments from the other. Not all couples are entitled to alimony, and in order to determine whether or not alimony should be awarded, and how much, the court will consider several contributing factors.

Different Types of Alimony

In Iowa, the state honors three different types of alimony payments. Alimony can either be traditional, rehabilitative, or reimbursement, depending on the reason for the financial need. Traditional alimony payments are awarded on a permanent basis, or until the circumstances of either spouse changes. Usually, traditional alimony is granted in cases where the marriage lasted a long period of time and one spouse stayed home, not working, during the majority of that time. This type of alimony is designed to support the spouse who has a significantly diminished earning power in comparison to their ex-spouse.

Rehabilitative alimony, on the other hand, is awarded on a temporary basis and is designed to support the lesser-earning spouse while he or she seeks a higher education or another type of job training. Alternately, Iowa courts may award reimbursement alimony if one spouse was largely responsible for supporting the other’s earning potential. For example, if Spouse A works to pay for Spouse B to go to law school, the state may award Spouse A reimbursement alimony for his or her contributions.

How the Court Calculates Alimony Payments

There are several different factors Iowa courts consider when awarding alimony, though some of those factors often vary depending on the type of alimony the couple qualifies for.

Some of the factors the court will consider include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s mental and physical health
  • The earning capacity of either spouse
  • The education of either spouse
  • How the marital assets were divided
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • If there were children of the marriage, who is primarily responsible for them

Whether you wish to receive alimony or you have been asked to pay, it’s important for you to understand how Iowa courts handle alimony cases after a divorce or separation. In order to protect your rights, it’s important that you work with an experienced divorce attorney who knows how to handle spousal support cases like yours. At The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, our family lawyers are prepared to provide you with the legal support and guidance you need.

Contact The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLCto discuss your case with our Des Moines divorce lawyers.