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Divorce in Iowa

Nicknames the “Hawkeye State,” Iowa doesn’t support legal separation but recognizes divorce. Divorce in Iowa is legally known as Dissolution of Marriage.

To file for divorce in Iowa, you must be a resident of Iowa for at least one year if your spouse (defendant) doesn’t live in Iowa. A “resident of Iowa” has a fixed, permanent t home in the sate with no intention of leaving. However, if your spouse (defendant) lives in Iowa, you (plaintiff) can file for divorce if you’ve lived in Iowa for any amount of time. You can also file for an Iowa divorce petition if you’ve never lived in the state, but you need to get your spouse served by “personal service.”1 Talk to a divorce lawyer in Iowa to explain this.

Iowa is exclusively a no-fault divorce state, and the only grounds considered here are no-fault. The court in Iowa will grant a divorce decree if (i) there has been a breakdown of the marriage, and (ii) there is no likelihood that the marriage will be repaired.2

Iowa is an equitable distribution property state, and assets acquired during and prior to the marriage are subject to divorce following divorce. In a property division case, the judge will consider non-monetary contributions, contributions to a partner’s education and other factors listed in Iowa law.3

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1Iowa Code § 598.5(1)(k)

2Iowa Code § 598.5(1)(g)

3Iowa Code § 598.21

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