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How Does a Court Determine Alimony?

Alimony (or spousal support) is a court-ordered mandate for one party to financially support the other following a divorce. The court may grant temporary or permanent alimony; the length of time and amount of alimony are based on a variety of factors.

Court Considerations

Before a judge can award alimony to the party seeking this order, they must consider a few marital factors.

These factors often include:

  • marital length;
  • the age and health of both spouses;
  • how the marital property has been distributed;
  • the education level of both spouses;
  • the earning capacity of the spouse seeking alimony;
  • if the spouse seeking alimony can maintain a standard of living comparable to the marital standard of living; and/or
  • any other factors the court finds relevant.

Types of Alimony

Once a judge determines whether the party seeking alimony should be awarded this mandate, they must decide the duration. In Iowa, there are 3 types of alimony a judge may grant. These types are:

  1. Traditional Alimony: This type of alimony is permanent and is usually awarded to spouses who have been married for many years or are unable to financially support themselves. This award can end if the spouse seeking alimony’s circumstances change significantly. For example, if the supported spouse remarries or the supporting spouse passes away.
  2. Rehabilitative Alimony: This type of alimony is temporary and lasts until the supported spouse can become financially self-sufficient. For example, the supported spouse may receive rehabilitative alimony while they further their education.
  3. Reimbursement Alimony: This type of alimony is not often awarded in Iowa. The spouse seeking this alimony usually does so because they financially supported the other party while they were developing their career. For example, if one party worked while the other went to law school, the working party could seek financial reimbursement for the financial contributions they made to the marriage while the other was in law school.

Advocating for Your Best Interests

At Hope Law Firm, our alimony attorneys will provide you with aggressive legal representation. We are dedicated to upholding your rights and will do everything we can to help you maintain your marital standard of living.

Contact our firm online or call us at (515) 305-2772 for your legal consultation.

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