Iowa Iowa

Divorce Law Guide

Iowa Divorce Overview

Residency Requirement
Living Separate & Apart
Processing Time
Filing Fee
90 days

The facts about divorce in Iowa

Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, is the legal process of severing a marriage contract, which is overseen by a court of law in the state in which one or both of the divorcing spouses live. The process for getting a divorce and acceptible grounds for divorce vary from state to state.

In Iowa, a divorce can be completed on average in a minimum of 90 days, with court fees of $185.00. Unlike many states, Iowa does not have any divorce residency requirements determining how long the appellant must have lived in Iowa prior to filing for divorce.

On this page, you can learn about Iowa's grounds for divorce, how the divorce process works, and about other parts of the divorce process, such as Iowa alimony calculation, the property division process and more.

Iowa Divorce Law Summary

Are There Any Requirements for Divorce?

Iowa is a no-fault state and as such does not require either spouse to prove anything. Courts are required to file a divorce decree even if the other party does not wish to in these types of states. You must simply be a resident of the state of Iowa for 365 days before a spouse can file.

It is very important to make sure all the particulars like alimony, child custody and so forth, have been sorted out to speed along the process.

The Complaint for Divorce and a Decree of Divorce must be filled in the appropriate Court of your county. It is essential to speak with the County Clerk to make sure the right papers are filed and at the right times so that the court case is not delayed or dismissed.

Iowa Divorce Guide - Frequently Asked Questions

In state of Iowa a number of factors are taken into account when ending a marriage.

1. Iowa Grounds for Divorce FAQ

Is Iowa a no-fault divorce state?

Iowa allows no-fault divorces, which means that a divorce is granted without establishing the fault of either spouse for causing the divorce. Grounds for a no-fault divorce in Iowa may be "irreconcilable differences", or similar grounds.

The state of Iowa is exclusively a no-fault divorce state, which means that the only grounds for divorce offered on divorce applications are considered no-fault.

Does Iowa allow at-fault divorces?

Iowa does not support traditional at-fault grounds for divorce, instead offering blanket divorce grounds that do not require either spouse to be proved to be at-fault when filing for divorce.

Does the state of Iowa allow incompatibility as grounds for divorce?

Yes, Iowa does allow incompatibility to be used as grounds for having a divorce.

Can you get a divorce in Iowa for living separate and apart?

In divorce law, "living seperate and apart" refers to married spouses who are living separate from each other, not engaging in a traditional marital relationship, and do not intend to repair the marriage.

Iowa does not allow a divorce to be granted solely on the grounds of living seperate and apart from your spouse. You must instead file for divorce under one of Iowa's accepted grounds for divorce.

2. Iowa Divorce Process FAQ

Does state of Iowa allow legal separation?

Legal separation (otherwise known as "judicial separation") is a legal process that enables spouses to be de facto separated while remaining legally married.

In some cases, Iowa will grant a judicial separation court order to a married couple who wishes to live separately. This order may settle issues generally handled in a divorce such as property division and alimony. A legal separation may be followed up by a full divorce, or the spouses may later reconcile and end the separation while remaining legally married.

What's the difference between a divorce and an annulment in Iowa?

While a divorce is the process of exiting a legally valid marriage, an annulment is the process of rendering a marriage null and void. An annulment makes it legally as if a marriage never took place to begin with.

Generally, annulment is used to conclude a marriage that should not have been legally recognized in the first place, such as a marriage where one of the spouses was unable to consent (by virtue of being underage, due to mental incapacity, or even intoxication), a marriage that was entered into under duress or via fraudulent means, or when one of the spouses was already legally married.

How long do I have to live in in the state of Iowa to get a divorce?

There are no residency duration requirements in order to sue for a divorce in Iowa. Any married couple in the state can file for divorce in Iowa court.

What is the filing fee for a divorce in Iowa?

The court fees for filing the paperwork for a basic divorce in a Iowa court is $185.00. However, the total costs for a divorce can be much higher - especially in the case of a contested divorce, where attorney fees and mediation costs average from $15,000 to $20,000 or more.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Iowa?

If the process moves along without holdups, the paperwork for a divorce in Iowa can be processed in a minimum of 90 days. However, if the spouses are not in agreement about the divorce process, a contested divorce can take significantly longer.

3. Iowa General Divorce FAQ

Can my spouse stop me from getting a divorce?

Even if one spouse is opposed to getting a divorce, they cannot stop their partner from filing for and receiving a divorce in Iowa. While filing a non-contested joint petition for divorce speeds up the process, either spouse can file for divorce individually at any time.

| State Law Official Text

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