Once a divorce is on the table, it’s not uncommon for emotions to run high and to the left. Marriage is a legally binding contract, but it’s also about love and emotion. It’s difficult for many couples to get through the rational and cerebral part of the divorce because the emotional part becomes all-consuming. No one gets married planning for their divorce, and yet, divorce happens often. When a marriage doesn’t work out, and bad things happen, like infidelity, it can be tempting to seek revenge or work hard to sabotage the divorce, but it won’t save your marriage. If you caught your spouse cheating and now you want to file for a divorce in Iowa, you should know what to expect. You and your spouse will work with your attorneys to split your marital assets and debts, and if one of you is unable to meet your financial obligations and will be left in a precarious position post-divorce, you can file for alimony, sometimes referred to as spousal maintenance.
Iowa Alimony Requests
Once a couple has finished the property division portion of the divorce process and completed their settlement agreement, their case will go before a judge to be finalized. The judge awards alimony payments and sets the terms of the award. For example, they can determine details like how much and how long the payments exist. The judge has quite a bit of leeway regarding alimony orders, but they are required to follow state law regarding payments and award eligibility.
The judge will review several factors before making a decision about payments:
- The property division outcome post-settlement
- The ability of the intended spouse to be independent and self-supporting
- Whether the intended spouse would need to acquire the education and training to become financially independent
- How long the parties were married
- Age, health, and emotional condition of the intended party
- How any award would impact the tax liability of either party
If you are caught cheating, you may find it makes the divorce process difficult. Your estranged spouse may be hard to work with as you negotiate the terms of your divorce, but cheating will not otherwise impact the process. Your settlement agreement, alimony payments, and any other factors of your divorce are not ammunition for your estranged spouse to exact revenge against you or vice versa. The purpose of maintenance payments is to ensure both spouses will have access to the same quality of life they enjoyed when married. An alimony award seeks to balance the financial disparities between a financially dependent spouse and a higher earning one.
What Divorce Means for Your Iowa Divorce and Alimony Decision
Like most states, Iowa offers no-fault divorces, so infidelity is a nonissue with regards to being allowed to file for divorce and finalize the dissolution of your marriage. The only reason alimony can be awarded is that there is a need. Issues of adultery or any other problems within your marriage do not impact this decision. Adultery can leave your marriage in shambles and cause a bitter divorce process, but it will not interfere with a necessary alimony award request.
The Law Office of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, can discuss the details of your divorce case with you. Call us today at (515) 200-7571 to schedule your initial consultation.