Iowa Child Custody & Iowa Child Support
UPDATED: February 27, 2020
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Iowa courts, like family courts in all states, encourage divorcing parents to cooperate in working out the details of a parenting agreement for raising their children after divorce. If the parents are unable to come to an agreement on amicable terms, the court will get involved to decide issues of child custody, support, and visitation rights. In making these determinations, the court will always keep the best interests of the children in mind. The following are the laws governing Iowa child custody and support.
Iowa Child Custody:
Iowa courts determine all custody issues in terms of the best interests of the children. The court will consider all relevant facts and give the father and mother the same consideration regardless of the child’s sex or age. Either a sole or joint custody decision will be reached. The factors the court will consider include, among others: children’s age, their health, their wishes, the parental roles, and other needs of the children.
Iowa Child Support:
On July 1, 2009, the Income Shares Model for child support went into effect in Iowa. This model, which is in widespread use throughout the country, considers each parent’s income in relative proportion. The support amounts calculated from each parent then help decide which parent must pay the other in order to maintain the correct proportion and provide for the needs of the child. The particular formulas used are controversial, of course, but they are augmented by numerous other factors, including but not limited to the following:
- Monetary support provided for other family members
- Debts arising during the marriage for the child’s benefit
- Imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed for the child’s benefit
- Court-ordered payments for health care and education for the child’s benefit
- Children’s independent financial resources, if any
- Education, training, and/or career opportunities of the parties and/or ability to pursue those things, and
- A written agreement between the parties including the amount of child support, if one exists.
These guidelines are not always followed, but a decision to follow a standard other than the Income Shares Model will require supportive evidence showing 1) all the factors that affect the parties’ financial obligations differently, and 2) how applying a different standard will more effectively preserve the best interests of the child.
A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities when it comes to raising your kids after a divorce, and can also serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement. You can find a lawyer at:
Iowa Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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