Blogs from September, 2023

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Types of Alimony in an Iowa Divorce


Divorce is a difficult process for all parties, and it often requires working with attorneys to create a settlement that works for everyone.

Alimony, or spousal support, is an important aspect of any divorce. This is a court order where one spouse makes regular payments to the other after the marriage ends.

If you believe you will need financial aid after a divorce, you should learn about the types available and when they may apply to you. Doing so helps you plan your financial future post-divorce.

Here is a deeper look into the various forms of spousal support Iowa offers.

Permanent Alimony

Just as the name suggests, a permanent alimony ruling in Iowa lasts indefinitely. A spouse will make this payment until either they or the other party passes on. In most cases, permanent alimony also ends when the receiving party remarries.

Permanent alimony is a hotly debated topic in most states. Some see the entire concept as unfair. They argue that alimony should have an end date, encouraging the recipient to become self-sufficient.

Others argue that permanent alimony is necessary to help someone maintain financial stability and a decent standard of living. This argument seems particularly strong in situations where a spouse gives up career opportunities to support the family. Proponents of permanent alimony may also point out a recipient’s age or earning potential. If the marriage lasted a long time, and one spouse did not work during that time, they can have a difficult time reentering the workforce.

Regardless of the outside world’s opinions, people who need help after a divorce should seek it. Our world runs on money, and you should not be left destitute simply because your relationship didn’t work out.

Reimbursement Alimony

Reimbursement alimony is designed to reimburse one spouse for expenses incurred during the marriage. Generally, Iowa grants this alimony when one spouse funded the other’s earning capacity. For instance, one spouse may have supported the other’s continuing education.

The state generally folds reimbursement alimony into a property division settlement. This means that reimbursement could be added to other forms of spousal support.

Transitional Alimony

In Iowa, transitional alimony helps couples transition from a two-income household to a one-income household. This type of spousal support usually lasts up to three years. It is intended to cover the cost of job training or education, helping the receiving spouse become financially self-sufficient.

Transitional alimony is appropriate for shorter marriages. It is also used when one spouse put their career on hold to support the family.

Determining Spousal Support Rulings in Iowa

When making an alimony ruling, courts consider:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Contributions to the marriage
  • Each spouse's earning potential
    • Many factors can influence this determination. Courts consider each spouse’s age, work history, health (both mental and physical), education, occupational field (including the current job market), and so on.
  • Each spouse’s assets after property division
  • The lifestyle spouses enjoyed while married
  • Whether there is evidence of abuse in the relationship

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure both parties can maintain their current standard of living.

Proving That You Require Alimony

Remember, spousal support is not guaranteed. You must first prove your need.

First, gather all the relevant documents and information that support your case and demonstrate your financial situation.

Next, prepare a budget. It helps to show the court that you are working toward self-sufficiency. Include a plan for your future financial stability, and give evidence of your attempts to support yourself. This documentation helps prove that you are not simply a freeloader, and you genuinely require extra financial support.

With determination and proper legal guidance, you could receive the extra help you need to begin your new life.

The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC is here to help divorcing couples come to fair alimony terms. To meet with our team, call us at (515) 200-7571 or contact us online.