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Key facts to understand about child support

When two parents decide to no longer be together, they must still provide for the needs of the child. To ensure this, the court may order the non-custodial parent to pay child support.

In order to properly plan and provide for the child, it is important that both parents know what child support entails.


In the state of Iowa, the courts examine the income of both parents and the custody agreement and use that information to apply the uniform child support guidelines. The Iowa Judicial Branch provides the child support guidelines for the state in a fully detailed document. For further clarification, it may be beneficial to review the law and seek legal counsel for any additional questions.


In most cases, parents must pay child support until a child becomes a legal adult unless the child has special needs. However, there are a few times where the court may cut short a parent's legal responsibilities. The most common cases include:

  • The court emancipates a minor child
  • A child joins the military and goes on active duty
  • Termination of parental rights through a legal process

Outside of these instances, there may be other occurrences where a parent may no longer owe child support. In any situation, the minor child would have to no longer need the income in order for the parent not to be responsible. 


Usually, if both parties agree, the courts allow the modification from a simple paperwork process. In the event the two parents do not agree, the party requesting the change must build and present an argument that clearly shows the change is necessary. There are some common instances where the judge may approve the modification, such as:

  • Change in employment status
  • Medical emergency
  • Economic hardship

In such instances, the judge may increase or decrease the amount.

These are a few key facts to understand about child support. If you are looking to possibly provide or receive child support, take some time to learn about this form of support payment so you may best position yourself moving forward.

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