How is Spousal Support Determined in Iowa?

When you and your spouse decide to pursue divorce, one of the things your judge will consider is your independent financial standing and ability to maintain your quality of life, both during and after the proceedings. If you or your spouse do not have the financial ability to maintain your quality of life, you may be eligible to receive support from the better-earning spouse, known as “alimony” or “spousal support.”

Spousal support can be awarded in two ways: as a temporary order during your divorce proceedings, or as permanently as a provision in your final agreement. Obtaining temporary support does not disqualify you from receiving permanent support, but it also does not guarantee you will receive permanent support either. Likewise the amount paid in temporary support has no influence over the amount to be paid as part of the final order.

Factors Used in Determining Eligibility

Spousal support can be a hotly-contested issue in a divorce, particularly on the part of the spouse who may be forced to pay. To find out if spousal support is warranted in a particular case, the judge considers a number of factors from both spouses. These same factors are also used to help determine how much the paying spouse should be required to provide and how often (usually monthly, but can sometimes be a single lump-sum).

Some factors frequently used in determining spousal maintenance include:

  • Income of both spouses
  • Which spouse keeps the family home
  • Overall quality and standard of living during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Employability of the receiving spouse
  • Any training or education the requesting spouse
  • Ability of the giving spouse to pay

Spousal support can also be used as a way for one spouse who has invested a significant amount resources in the other to recoup what they lost. For example, if one spouse worked full-time to support another that obtained an advanced college degree, then they could request that the spouse reimburse them for the money they earned that went towards their education.

At Family Law Solutions of Iowa, we help you turn the page on your life and get a fresh start on your future. As a Des Moines divorce attorney with over 30 years of litigation experience, Attorney Gary Hill knows how important quality legal representation is for clients facing a family law issue. Attorney Hill knows how to put the law to work protecting your best interests, and can help put you and your family on the right track to a better, happier life in the future.

Have further questions about spousal support? Want to find out if you qualify? Call Family Law Solutions of Iowa today at (515) 305-3474 and get a free consultation today!
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