Our 3StepDivorceTM Online Divorce for Iowa is offered with a peace-of-mind 100% guarantee.
We offer a 100% guarantee that the documents provided will be accepted by the Iowa courts to finalize your divorce.
In the event that the documents provided are not accepted by the Iowa court due to the fault of 3StepDivorceTM you will be provided a 100% refund (with no handling fee).
Our support staff will always give each individual customer personal attention should they have difficulty. We have both e-mail and phone support. This being said, prior to issuing a refund, we reserve the right to meet any courts requests regarding changes to the documents.
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)
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 Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Iowa 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
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A total of 150 people have started their divorce through 3StepDivorceTM in the last 24 hours and 1467 in the last 10 days. The streamlined and user-friendly process, instant document delivery, and unlimited free support makes us the go-to solution to do your own divorce. Our simple and inexpensive process provides you with all your completed divorce papers in as little as 20 minutes. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times.
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 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your Iowa divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file for divorce in Iowa 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. If you're not ready to file for a no contest divorce in Iowa, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Iowa .
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce (also called “dissolution of marriage”) in Iowa.
Iowa 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Iowa 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
UPDATE: 3StepDivorce™ for Iowa isn’t available right now, while we update our forms and services for Iowa. Check back soon at 3StepDivorce.com for current availability. In the meantime, you might be able to get divorce forms at the Iowa Judicial Branch website or the court clerk’s office in the county where you’ll be filing for divorce (more on that below). And the information below can answer your questions about getting an uncontested divorce in Iowa.
Iowa has two basic requirements to file for divorce in the state: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason for ending your marriage.
The residency requirements for a divorce in Iowa are met when the non-filing spouse (the “respondent”) is in Iowa and is served with the divorce paperwork by personal service. Otherwise, if only the filing spouse (the “petitioner”) lives in Iowa, the petitioner must have lived in Iowa for at least a year. (Iowa Code § 598.5(1)(k) (2022).)
Iowa is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that the filing spouse doesn’t have to prove that the other was at fault for ending the marriage. Instead, the divorce petition will state 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 § 598.5(1)(g) (2022).)
In other words, the marriage must be broken with no hope that the parties can reconcile.
Many Iowa residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
how to divide their property and debts
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Once it’s available in your state, you may use Iowa 3StepDivorce™ as long as you have an uncontested divorce and meet the state’s residency requirement. You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement, signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Iowa 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Iowa 3StepDivorce™ (when it’s available in your state) to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Generally, you can use Iowa 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Iowa 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Iowa 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Iowa with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). (Iowa Code § 598B.201 (2022).) If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule.
In Iowa, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Iowa has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Iowa Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will need to review and approve your agreement. Iowa law requires that any time the amount of child support deviates from the guideline, the judge must find that applying the guideline would be “unjust or inappropriate” under the circumstances.
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
After your divorce in Iowa is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that your circumstances have changed significantly. The judge will review your request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order.
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. As a general rule, you’ll need to submit your agreement to a judge or child support agency.
Iowa Legal Aid’s website provides detailed information about how to change a child support order. If you have a child support order from an Iowa court and are hoping to change only child support, you can file an Application to Modify Child Support in district court. Alternatively, you can ask the Iowa Department of Human Services Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) for a modification of your child support order.
When you fill out your questionnaire for Iowa 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
selling the house and splitting the proceeds
transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
In your Iowa 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Iowa divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
When you get your completed forms with Iowa 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be to file your paperwork in the district court in the county where you or your spouse lives. (Iowa Code § 598.2 (2022).) You are required to file your court papers electronically unless you receive an exemption. For more information about electronic filing, see the Iowa Judicial Branch’s overview of electronic filing.
You will need to pay a filing fee of $265 when you file your divorce paperwork. (Iowa Code § 602.8105(1)(b) (2022).)
If you can’t afford to pay the divorce filing fee, you can ask the court to defer (postpone) your payment of fees. There are two possible forms to ask for a deferral of costs. Use Form 109: Application and Affidavit to Defer Payment of Costs for a divorce that doesn’t involve minor children. Use Form 209: Application and Affidavit to Defer Payment of Costs for a divorce that involves minor children.
If the court grants your motion, you’ll be able to file your divorce paperwork without paying fees. However, the court might require you to pay the fees at the conclusion of the divorce, or might require your spouse to pay them on your behalf.
Iowa courts can’t begin to process a divorce until 90 days have passed since the divorce papers were served on the non-filing spouse (or since the non-filing spouse waived service). (Iowa Code § 598.19 (2022).) After this mandatory waiting period, the court can begin processing your case. How long it will take for the court to finalize your divorce depends on the court’s schedule and availability of the court and parties.
Iowa 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Iowa Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Iowa law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.
3StepDivorce TM is a premium online divorce solution, a sister company of Divorce Source, the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited online divorce resource since 1997.
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