Iowa authorizes alimony (or spousal support) in accordance with Iowa Code Section 598.21A. Section 598.21A states that the court may grant an order requiring support payments to either party for a limited or indefinite length of time after considering all of the following:
- The length of the marriage.
- The age, physical, and emotional health of the parties.
- The distribution of property made pursuant to section 598.21.
- The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced.
- The earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, responsibilities for children under either an award of custody or physical care, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to find appropriate employment.
- The feasibility of the party seeking maintenance becoming self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage, and the length of time necessary to achieve this goal.
- The tax consequences to each party.
- Any mutual agreement made by the parties concerning financial or service contributions by one party with the expectation of future reciprocation or compensation by the other party.
- The provisions of an antenuptial agreement.
- Other factors the court may determine to be relevant in an individual case.
As the highlighted term “may” indicates, the court has substantial discretion in determining an award of alimony. The ultimate decision to award alimony depends on the specific circumstances present in a given case, which the court will assess in light of the various factors outlined above. You should consult an experienced family law practitioner to fully evaluate your options concerning a potential claim for alimony.