Spousal support (often referred to as alimony), is an obligation of financial support paid by one spouse to the other.
There are three types of alimony recognized in Iowa. Permanent alimony is an allowance for support and maintenance of a spouse. Permanent alimony is generally reserved for long-term marriages. Case law in Iowa supports the idea a marriage of approximately twenty years is often a candidate for permanent alimony. If permanent alimony is requested, it must be proven there is a need for support and the other spouse has adequate means and ability to provide for the need. Reimbursement alimony is intended for spouses who have supported their partners through years of advanced schooling. Rehabilitative alimony is designed for spouses who need some assistance reestablishing themselves in the job market until they can become self-supporting.
Some of the factors that weigh on the amount and length of the support are:
A. Length of marriage
B. Age and Health of the Parties
C. Property Distribution
E. Earning capacity of the parties
F. Ability to become self-supporting
G. Tax consequences
H. Agreements between parties
I. Antenuptial agreements
J. Other relevant facts
K. Standard of living during the marriage
Modification can occur at any future date depending on a change of circumstances by either party on appropriate notice to the other party as well as application to the court. The courts are generally reluctant to modify an existing agreement unless there are compelling reasons.
Alimony must be included in the recipient's gross income and can be excluded from the payer's gross income. In order to qualify as alimony, the payments must meet the following five criteria:
1. Payment is in cash.
2. Payment is received by a divorce or separation instrument.
3. The instrument does not specify that the payments are not for alimony.
4. The payer and the payee are not members of the same household when payments are made.
5. There is no liability to make payments for any period after the death or remarriage of the recipient.
If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa family law attorney, representing clients in Manchester, Iowa at the Dillon Law P.C. Give us a call at (563) 578-1850 or complete our inquiry form.