Iowa Divorce Laws

Iowa Divorce Laws

The people of Iowa host the first presidential primary caucuses every election cycle, because they are supposed to have special insights on electing American presidents.

If you are in Iowa and have not done a good job selecting a spouse, you need to understand the local divorce rules and Iowa divorce laws.

Iowa no fault divorce

State of Iowa divorce laws only allow divorce on a no-fault basis.  

That means that a person filing for divorce in Iowa can only state basic information about the marriage and that “there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship….”

One spouse cannot use a divorce in Iowa as an opportunity to complain about adultery or similar misbehavior.

Both spouses simply go their own way.

Filing for divorce in Iowa

The Iowa divorce process is laid out quite neatly in a series of forms and instructions provided by the state court system.

As per the Iowa divorce laws, the first step is to file a petition for dissolution of marriage.

Iowa has a slightly different process depending on whether the couple has children or not.  Divorce in Iowa with children is slightly more complicated because issues of custody and support have to be resolved with a parenting plan.

Once a petition is filed, divorce laws in Iowa require that the other spouse is notified.

As per Iowa divorce laws, the divorce may be granted after 90 days pass or the courts can waive the time rule.

The parties may also set a temporary arrangement in place while gathering information on their assets or taking other action towards a resolution.

In fact, most divorces will be settled with an agreement between the parties.  Sometimes they will go through a process of doing things like selling the marital house to divide the proceeds, or buying one spouse out of the family business.

How much does a divorce cost in Iowa

One survey by the Iowa Bar found that lawyers most commonly charge between $126 and $200 per hour.

That will add up quickly if each spouse hires their own lawyer and the two go back and forth over financial issues.

One lawyer might be able to serve as a mediator that helps both sides come to a resolution and then gets it approved in court.

Or sometimes only one spouse will get a lawyer, and they will just agree to treat the other spouse fairly despite the other spouse not having representation.

Iowa court rules generally allow people to represent themselves, and that can allow them to get a divorce for just a few hundred dollars.

That said, according to the Iowa divorce laws, people who represent themselves are expected to follow the same rules as lawyers.

Name change in Iowa

Divorce laws in Iowa allow a divorcing spouse to change her (or his) name back to the name he or she had before the marriage or the name on his or her birth certificate.

This is not an opportunity to change your name to whatever you want, but restoring your old name simply requires filling out some paperwork and paying $185 for a legal name change in Iowa.

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