A divorce means the end of a legal and emotional relationship where you shared many things, including your assets and debts. The financial benefits of sharing resources and bills can throw many divorcing couples into a stressful budgeting tailspin. When one spouse makes more money than the other, the imbalance can leave the other party in need of financial support to maintain the lifestyle they shared when they were a couple. In Iowa, spousal maintenance is not a foregone conclusion, nor is it automatically terminated if circumstances change. You will need to request financial support, and if you remarry or your circumstances change, a petition for termination may need to be filed to end payments – depending on the type of alimony.
3 Types of Alimony Payments in Iowa
The court awards spousal support by reviewing a variety of factors. If the court determines that you need support, you could be awarded one of three types of alimony based on your situation's specifics and where you are in the divorce process.
- Traditional Alimony: Traditional alimony is awarded after your divorce is finalized, and your ex-spouse will pay maintenance as long as you require support. You will not likely receive maintenance for the remainder of your life, but the order may dictate that you receive support until you retire or remarry.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to spouses who faced employment setbacks in support of their marriage, like a parent staying home with a child or military spouse unable to pursue a career due to moves. Alimony can help the underemployed or unemployed spouse gain the skills necessary to find gainful employment. The intention of rehabilitative alimony is to provide temporary resources to support a spouse until they are self-sufficient.
- Reimbursement Alimony: Reimbursement alimony is awarded to spouses who helped finance their partner’s education as a concerted effort to improve the other spouse’s earning ability. If this alimony is awarded, it is not indefinite. It ends when your spouse has paid back all the funds contributed to their education or certification.
Paying Spousal Support in Iowa
While traditional alimony is the most common type of spousal payment, the other types exist for a reason. A divorce lawyer can help you explore your options. Alimony payments are a form of financial support meant to supplement or provide for your needs beyond your current means. If the benefitting party begins dating, their alimony wouldn’t necessarily be terminated unless the new partner provides proven financial support.
Your ex-spouse would need to prove your financial circumstances have changed because of your new relationship. If your ex could prove your new partner is paying a portion of your bills or rent payments, then your alimony could be reduced or terminated. The most important thing to remember is that alimony termination is not automatic in Iowa, so if you are considering another marriage, consulting an attorney maybe your best course of action.
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