Iowa Divorce & Separation

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Getting a legal separation or divorce is a common occurrence in every state, but the laws and procedural rules that govern these processes can differ significantly depending on your state of residence. It’s important to know the details of the divorce laws in your state. What are the requirements for getting a divorce in Iowa? Is mediation a requirement before you can get an Iowa divorce? What is the law on Iowa annulments? Find the answers to your Iowa divorce questions here.


Iowa Legal Separation:

Legal separations are allowed in Iowa and granted on the same grounds as divorces (see “Grounds for Divorce” below). Nearly all issues resolved in divorce can be resolved via separate maintenance agreements in separation as well.  

Grounds for Divorce/Fault – No Fault:

Iowa is a no-fault divorce state. This means that there is only one recognized ground for dissolution of the marriage: the marriage’s irretrievable breakdown, or “to the extent that the legitimate objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.”

Residency/Where to File for Divorce:

To file for divorce, either party must have been a resident of the state for at least a year before filing, and the petition must be filed in the circuit court with jurisdiction over the county in which either party resides. There is a mandatory waiting period of 90 days between the date the first notice is served and the last date on which the divorce is decreed in court.

Availability of Simplified or Special Divorce Procedures:

Joint petitions may be filed in which both parties are referred to as “co-petitioners” rather than “petitioner” and “respondent.”  Some counties in Iowa have also allowed settlements and pre-printed forms, all of which allow for faster and easier marriage dissolution. See the local court clerk for details and more information.  

Iowa Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:

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Divorce Mediation in Iowa:

For marriages with children, the court has the right to order a reconciliation conference and/or counseling for the parents and/or children, which would likely involve the services of a well-trained, court-appointed mediator. A mediation session might also be called for if there are issues that could be resolved and agreed upon amicably through a conference rather than forcing the parties, the children, and the court system to suffer unnecessarily through litigation. 

Iowa Annulment:

An annulment is a court declaration that your marriage is legally invalid. In other words, rather than ending a marriage via divorce, an annulment is a declaration that the marriage was never valid to begin with, for reasons including fraud, duress, impotence, one party’s minor status at the time of marriage, consanguinity, or prior un-dissolved marriage.

Iowa Online Divorce Services: – An online documentation service that helps users file for divorce. – Offers an affordable way to file for uncontested divorces online.

Iowa Divorce Laws: Click below to find the Iowa Divorce laws you’re looking for: 

Iowa Divorce Law, Lawyers & Attorneys
Iowa Divorce & Finances
Iowa Child Custody & Iowa Child Support
Iowa Divorce Laws & Resources

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