Considering divorce means taking a hard look at your finances. How much money do you really make? Can you afford to continue paying for a house? What about health insurance? During the divorce process, one of the issues to be decided is the matter of financial support to the less-entitled spouse.
When it comes to spousal support, the nature of the marriage relationship is considered. A man or woman who stays home to care for the home or the children may view their economic worth and earning potential as declining. Correspondingly, the party able to stay in the workforce has an economic advantage after divorce.
Spousal support in Iowa can be agreed upon by a couple or left to a court for determination. Section 598.21A of the Iowa Code describes factors used by the court to make spousal support decisions.
When considering the financial support needed by one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to provide that support, the court reviews factors that include:
- The duration of the marriage and ages of the parties
- The physical, educational and emotional background of each party
- The job skills and earning ability of each party
- The likelihood that a spouse is able to earn income comparable to that enjoyed prior to divorce
- Factors like previous financial, pre- or post-nuptial agreements
- Agreements or rulings concerning the distribution of wealth
Upon reviewing these factors, Iowa courts may award forms of spousal support including:
- Traditional, longer-term spousal support
- Rehabilitative support to give the economically disadvantaged spouse the opportunity to increase their earning capacity over time
- Reimbursement support for sacrifices made for the economic betterment of the other spouse
Your current quality of life may be more expensive than you think. If you’re considering divorce, speak with an experienced divorce attorney in Des Moines to help determine the spousal support you may need or may need to pay.