Child support and spousal support, or alimony, address the financial issues relevant in divorces and custody proceedings. Generally, child support and alimony tend to be high-conflict issues because they relate to each party’s financial security.
In almost every action in which custody of minor children is at issue, the court will require one party to pay child support to the other party. The court requires each party to submit a Child Support Guideline Worksheet, which calculates the amount of support owed. Typically, the parent with primary physical care receives the support payment in a primary care situation, whereas the parent who makes less money typically receives the support payment in a shared care situation. Although uncommon, deviations from the guidelines are allowed, but only after a showing of special circumstances warranting the deviation.
There are three types of alimony awarded in a dissolution: traditional; rehabilitative; and reimbursement. Each type has a specific purpose – self-support, retraining or re-education, and fairness or equity. When determining the amount and duration of alimony, the court considers the 10 factors laid out in Iowa Code § 598.21A. For the most part, the decision to award alimony is ultimately up to the discretion of the judge.
Child support is addressed in every case in which custody are in issue, and spousal support is almost always disputed. For answers to questions related to child support and spousal support, please click here to be taken to our Q & A page.
Child support is normally collected through the Child Support Recovery Unit.