Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Iowa No Fault Divorce


According to Iowa no-fault divorce laws, a person can be granted divorce on the grounds of no-fault as well as fault grounds. In the case of no-fault grounds, a spouse who wishes to divorce the other partner need to just state in the complaint that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down” due to “irreconcilable differences” and “incompatibility of temperament”. The courts are also convinced that any attempt to patch up the marriage would is not suitable for the best interests of the parties.

Choosing no-fault grounds or fault grounds

Iowa is a “mixed state”, meaning that the grounds of divorce can be both “fault” as well as “no-fault”. Spouses can choose any grounds to get a divorce. However, some spouses choose to file on “no-fault” grounds even if there are substantial ‘wrongdoing” because they wish to avoid the ugly court battles that a “fault divorce” would ensue. They also wish to avoid children getting involved in the bitter contest. But, there are other people who wish to file on “fault” grounds because they would like to have an edge over the other spouse on matters of child custody or property division etc. If they can prove the “incapability” of the spouse in custody matter or establish a “wrongdoing” that has affected the financial situation, then they are likely to get a higher share.

The decision to choose the grounds for divorce lies with the party filing the divorce case. It is important to note that “uncontested no-fault divorce” where both the parties wish to settle the matters regarding child custody or property division or child support or spousal support etc outside the court, are quicker and extremely economical to both the parties. Contested divorces take longer time. Now-a-days, courts often treat a divorce case as “no-fault” and do not dwell on which spouse is more at fault for breaking up the marriage. Issues of child custody and property division are debated upon in the curt if these matters have not been already settled.

Residential requirements in IO no fault divorce

No-fault divorce laws in Iowa specify that at least one spouse must have been residing in for the last 12 months in that state.

Child custody and IO no-fault divorce

According to IO child custody guidelines, the best interests of the child are taken care of while considering child custody. It is often observed that the spouses wish to settle the matter of child custody outside the court, maybe taking the help of a custody mediator. In such uncontested no-fault divorce, courts ask spouses to submit a “marital agreement form” where they have made written statement of how they wish to take care of the child, his/her primary residence, the visitation schedules and a sound parenting plan. If the spouses are unable to arrive at an agreement then courts would handle the matter following the guidelines of welfare and security to the child. Child support is to be extended by taking a proportion of the incomes pooled in by combining the incomes of both the parties.

Property division in IO no fault divorce

Iowa is an “equitable property division” state where the marital property is equitably divided among the spouses and not exactly split up. The property acquired during the course of the marriage is called “marital”. In most of no-fault divorce cases in Iowa, spouses prefer to settle the matter “outside the court”. But in case, the mater is “contested”, judges look into the matter of fairly and equitably deciding on how to divide the property. The actual “fault” of the spouse is not considered to “punish” him/her; rather property is divided to mitigate financial hardships on the spouse due to that “wrongdoing”.

IO no-fault divorce can be handled by the parties as do-it-yourself divorce instead of approaching an attorney. However, it is always advisable to have a DIY divorce if the divorce is uncontested no-fault one. If otherwise, you must seek the advice of an attorney or you could just end up looking silly in the court! It might prove to be a costly matter also.


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