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Iowa Divorce Laws

Iowa Residency Requirements
There is a 1 year residency requirement for all spouses filing in the state, unless the plaintiff in the case is not a resident, then he or she does not have a residency requirement in order to file for a dissolution of marriage. The parties shall file for a dissolution of marriage in the county where either party resides. No decree dissolving a marriage shall be granted in any proceeding before ninety days shall have elapsed from the day the original notice is served. (Iowa Code - Sections 598.2, 598.6 and 598.19)
Iowa Divorce Grounds:
Allege that there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the legitimate objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. (Iowa Code - Sections 598.5 and 598.17)
Iowa Property and Debt Division
The court shall divide all property, except inherited property or gifts received by one party, equitably between the parties after considering all of the following: 1. The length of the marriage. 2. The property brought to the marriage by each party. 3. The contribution of each party to the marriage, giving appropriate economic value to each party's contribution in homemaking and child care services. 4. The age and physical and emotional health of the parties. 5. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other. 6. The earning capacity of each party 7. The desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live in the family home for a reasonable period to the party having custody of the children, or if the parties have joint legal custody, to the party having physical care of the children. 8. The amount and duration of an order granting support payments to either party and whether the property division should be in lieu of such payments. 9. Other economic circumstances of each party, including pension benefits, vested or unvested, and future interests. 10. The tax consequences to each party. 11. Any written agreement made by the parties concerning property distribution. 12. The provisions of an antenuptial agreement. 13. Other factors the court may determine to be relevant in an individual case. (Iowa Code - Sections 598.21)
Iowa Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony:
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: 1. The length of the marriage. 2. The age and physical and emotional health of the parties. 3. The distribution of property 4. The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced. 5. The earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance 6. 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. 7. The tax consequences to each party. 8. 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. 9. The provisions of an antenuptial agreement. 10. Other factors the court may determine to be relevant in an individual case. (Iowa Code - Sections 598.21, 598.22 and 598.32)
Iowa Custody and Visitation:
In considering what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the minor child, the court shall consider the following factors: 1. Whether each parent would be a suitable custodian for the child. 2. Whether the psychological and emotional needs and development of the child will suffer due to lack of active contact with and attention from both parents. 3. Whether the parents can communicate with each other regarding the child's needs. 4. Whether both parents have actively cared for the child before and since the separation. 5. Whether each parent can support the other parent's relationship with the child. 6. Whether the custody arrangement is in accord with the child's wishes or whether the child has strong opposition, taking into consideration the child's age and maturity. 7. Whether one or both the parents agree or are opposed to joint custody. 8. The geographic proximity of the parents. 9. Whether the safety of the child, other children, or the other parent will be jeopardized by the awarding of joint custody or by unsupervised or unrestricted visitation. 10. Whether a history of domestic abuse exists. (Iowa Code - Section 598.41)
Iowa Child Support:
The parties cannot agree on a monthly support amount, the court will apply the support guidelines. This amount determined by the use of the guidelines may be adjusted for fairness or the special needs of a child. The court may subsequently modify existing orders when there is a substantial change in circumstances. In determining whether there is a substantial change in circumstances, the court shall consider the following: a. Changes in the employment, earning capacity, income or resources of a party. b. Receipt by a party of an inheritance, pension or other gift. c. Changes in the medical expenses of a party. d. Changes in the number or needs of dependents of a party. e. Changes in the physical, mental, or emotional health of a party. f. Changes in the residence of a party. g. Remarriage of a party. h. Possible support of a party by another person. i. Changes in the physical, emotional or educational needs of a child whose support is governed by the order. j. Contempt by a party of existing orders of court. k. Other factors the court determines to be relevant in an individual case. (Iowa Code - Section 598.21)

Iowa Common Questions

How Do I Know if I Should File in Iowa?
One would typically file for divorce in the state in which he or she or his or her spouse resides. If you have recently moved to a new state and wish to file in that new state, you may have to establish residency prior to filing.

If you are in the military and are stationed on a base outside your residency state, you typically are able to file in that state or in your residency state.

If you are in the military and are stationed overseas, you would typically file in your home residency state.

Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Have Children?
Yes. The system and your documents will address all the issues regarding your children such as, but not limited to; custody arrangements, visitation and time-sharing, child support, and medical coverage.
How Much Are the Iowa Filing and/or Court Fees?
The filing and/or court fees are not included in our fee and typically range from $50.00 to $350.00 in total depending on your location of filing and whether or not you have children. The 3StepDivorce service will typically help you yield the lowest filing fee for you because both you and your spouse are in agreement.
How Long Will the Process Take in Iowa?
The process takes an average of less than 1 hour to answer the required questions and generate the documents. Once you file your documents with the court according the filing procedures, the length of time will vary depending on the number of cases in front of yours. Each court has only one or just a few Judges, Masters, or Referees to review all the pending cases.
Should I File or Should My Spouse File?
As a rule of thumb, for uncontested divorces, the spouse who really wants the divorce to be finalized typically does the filing.
Where and How Do I File My Documents?
The documents are filed at your local county courthouse in the family law or domestic relations division or department. Inside your account you will receive step-by-step filing procedures.
Can I Mail or Fax My Documents to the Clerk?
Many courts do permit you to mail and/or fax the documents. This will vary from county to county and state to state, so it will be best to check with the clerk at the courthouse when you are ready to file.
Do I Have to Go to Court in Iowa?
Depending on your state and your situation, you may or may not have to attend a short hearing. Most of the time when a hearing is required, it only lasts 10-15 minutes and only the filing spouse must attend. The hearing is where you will be granted your divorce and the judge will sign the final judgment or decree.
Do I Have to Also Hire a Lawyer?
3StepDivorce is designed for you to do your own uncontested divorce without hiring a lawyer. You will be acting as your own lawyer and filing for your own divorce. Should you need or desire legal advice or should your divorce become contested, we do suggest you hire the services of a lawyer.
Will My Name Also Be Changed?
The wife has the option to change her name back to her former or maiden name through the 3StepDivorce solution.
When is the Divorce Actually Finalized in Iowa?
The divorce is typically finalized when the Judge signs the final judgment or decree. We give a window of 30-90 days from the filing date, but this will vary due to case load at the courthouse and any mandatory waiting periods.

Iowa Divorce Forms

This is a partial list of the Iowa divorce forms you will receive with your Iowa 3StepDivorceTM Premium Online Divorce account. Each state has unique forms and requirements for filing for a divorce, which is why we provide Iowa specific forms and filing procedures.

Iowa Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Alaska divorce forms for an uncontested divorce. Our goal is to give you full control and make "doing your own divorce", fast, easy, and affordable.

Iowa Divorce Forms List
  • Iowa Filing Procedures
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Verification (for Petition)
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Schedule for Visitation of Minor Children
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Child Support Schedule
  • Child Support Worksheet
  • Declaration Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act
  • Entry of Appearance, Consent and Waiver of Service
  • Notice of Final Hearing
  • Decree of Dissolution of Marriage
A Simple Divorce Process
Step 1 See if you qualify & create account!
Step 2 Answer the questions at your own pace.
Step 3 Print, sign and file your divorce forms with your local court

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This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the State of Iowa. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.

With 3StepDivorceTM you will complete and instantly print your divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement), and step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy.


3StepDivorceTM is a premium online divorce solution provided by Divorce Source, Inc., the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited divorce resource since 1997.


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Provided by Divorce Source (online since 1997) Over 500,000 forms processed. Have your completed documents within 1 hour (with or without children) Instantly print your documents (free delivery by US Priority Mail is also available). Instantly make changes (gives you full control, the way it should be!) All required divorce documents ready for signing.
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Step-by-Step filing procedures (who, what, where & when) Court approval or your money back (100% guaranteed). Unlimited toll free phone and email product support. Online Divorce Organizer & 40+ Self-Help Divorce eBooks Free Online Negotiation Tool (just in case you can't agree!)


(over 10 years of it!)
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Instantly View, Edit & Print Your Iowa Forms Online.

“ Your web site is very helpful indeed and I found it very easy to navigate and find my way to the right documentation. I like very much the fact that you can partially complete documents and then come back to the questions later. Having Word documents AND pdf formats available also very helpful. ”
- Trevor M., Maryland
5 Stars

A Streamlined Process for Doing Your Own Iowa Divorce.

“ Your service was wonderful! It was so helpful during a difficult time. The site was intelligent, easy to navigate and the divorce went through flawlessly and easily. The information supplied was well thought out, easy to understand and thorough! The forms supplied were quick and easy to fill out....very stress and anxiety free. Any questions that I had during the process were easily answered by visiting the site. Thank you so much for your wonderful service! I would recommend it to anyone who would find themselves in that difficult situation. ”
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(over 10 years of it!)

“ I thought the service was very thorough. All in all I was prepared very well for the vast majority of what was encountered during my divorce. In the end, I saved a great deal of money by performing the work myself. I was very pleased with the service and would recommend it to others. ”
- Duane H., Georgia
5 Stars

All the Required Iowa Forms With Step-by-Step Filing Procedures.

“ Great service! Our divorce was very friendly and simple, but we are in different areas of the country, so this was easy to use because both of us could access it and update it. Plus it saved us about $2000! Thanks for providing the service and the help with our questions. ”
- David H., California
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Easy to Use and Understand from Start-to-Finish.

“ I had a very amicable divorce and this web site was perfect for our needs. I heard nightmares from my friends on the cost of getting a divorce and since my ex and I were in agreement I didn't feel that it was necessary to send someone else's kids to college. The step by step approach made it very easy for me to complete all of the necessary forms. I was a little nervous that I was missing something because it seemed a little too easy ”
- Stephen S., Pennsylvania
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Disclaimer: This is a quality non-lawyer self-help divorce solution. The 3StepDivorceTM Documentation software and service is not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. Divorce Source, Inc. does not practice law and does not give out legal advice. This software and service allows you to represent yourself in doing your own divorce. If you need or desire legal representation, we recommend that you hire a lawyer. Click here to learn more.
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