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What you should know about alimony in Iowa

Your spouse got an amazing job offer and you agreed that it was too good to pass up, even though it meant making some sacrifices in your own career. While your relationship was smooth, it seemed like the right decision. Now that the two of you are talking about divorce, though, your much lower earning potential feels very unfair. Fortunately, Iowa judges take factors such as earning potential into account when determining - on a case-by-case basis - whether a spouse should receive alimony or maintenance.

Alimony is not gender-specific

Women are more likely to request and thus receive alimony, but gender is not one of the factors the courts include as a determining factor. In addition to earning capacity, the following may be important to the decision:

  • The lifestyle you and your spouse had during your marriage
  • How long your marriage lasted
  • Whether you need the support
  • Whether your spouse can afford to pay the support
  • What resources you each have, including what you receive in the property division settlement
  • Custody and child support responsibilities

Alimony comes in different forms

Because, in your case, one of the primary issues was putting your own career advances on hold, some education or training may do a lot to make up for the experience you lost. In this case, a judge may decide that your spouse should pay alimony while you get the instruction you need. Or, if there is no getting back the earning potential you lost, a judge may order your spouse to reimburse you for the sacrifices you made. 

Judges rarely award long-term alimony to people who are young enough to still become self-supporting. If you were close to or older than retirement age, for example, that might keep you from getting a decent job, and a judge might decide you need long-term support. Usually, though, alimony is temporary. 

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