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Can I Get More Alimony if My Spouse Cheated on Me?

A cheating spouse can leave you feeling hurt, angry, and betrayed. These intense feelings might also make you want to punish your soon-to-be-ex. That reaction is certainly understandable, but divorce is less about hurting your spouse and more about giving you the foundation to begin anew.

The court doesn’t consider adultery when determining whether you should receive alimony or how much to award. Since Iowa is a no-fault state, it doesn’t matter if an affair caused the divorce.

Calculating Alimony in Iowa

Spousal support, commonly called alimony, can be granted on a temporary or permanent basis based on several factors.

The Iowa courts look at the following in spousal support decisions:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Ages and health of both spouses
  • Earning capacities of both spouses
  • Distribution of marital property
  • Standard of living established in the marriage
  • Education levels of both spouses at the time of marriage and divorce
  • Existence of any prenuptial agreement

Like other terms in a divorce, spousal support can be later modified if circumstances change for either spouse.

While infidelity itself is not a factor in alimony decisions, the court may compensate a spouse if marital funds to carry out the affair. This behavior is referred to as the dissipation of marital assets.

Dissipation of Marital Assets

When it comes to divorce, a district judge does not assess the moral character of the spouses. Instead, their job is to determine what is financially fair and equitable as well as the best interests of minor children.

Iowa divides marital property using equitable distribution. The court divides assets and debts based on what each spouse contributed to the marriage. If your spouse uses marital funds to lavish expensive gifts on their lover or to whisk them away on five-star vacations, you are denied those marital assets.

At the Hope Law Firm, we have experience in crafting the argument for dissipation. Forensic accountants are sometimes used to help unearth wasted money and hidden assets. We can use evidence of dissipation as leverage in negotiations outside of court or present our findings in front of a judge.

Compensation for Dissipation

In cases that go to trial, only the judge can determine whether dissipation occurred. They will evaluate how the money was used, how much money was used, and how long the money was wasted.

An affair is not the only form of dissipation. Other common forms of dissipation include the following:

  • Spending money on drugs or alcohol
  • Extreme gambling
  • Risky investments
  • Spending or giving away money in anticipation of divorce

If a judge finds that dissipation has occurred, the other spouse may be awarded a greater share of the remaining marital assets.

Fighting for Your Interests in a Divorce

Each marriage is unique and so is every divorce. The Hope Law Firm looks at every aspect of the divorce and the goals of our client to provide the best advice and guidance possible. We always remember that we represent people going through a traumatic, life-changing experience. Compassion is the foundation of how we treat our clients. In the end, we want our clients to feel secure in their new single life.

Reach out to our law firm today if you are considering divorce. Located in Des Moines, we have helped Iowa families throughout the state. Call (515) 305-2772 to schedule a no-cost initial consultation.