Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Iowa Divorce Laws

Just as states have regulations on the marriage process, they also have legal requirements for divorce that define the procedures a person must go through in order to get divorced. This article provides a brief introduction to divorce laws in the state of Iowa.

Iowa Divorce Laws: The Basics

Not all of the state laws governing the divorce process are the same nationwide. For instance, under Iowa law one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least one year in order to file for divorce. Iowa also has a 90-day waiting period before a divorce becomes final, though this time may be reduced in cases of emergency.

The chart below lists the details of Iowa's divorce laws.

Code Section

§ 598, et seq. of the Iowa Code – Dissolution of Marriage

Residency Requirements

Unless the respondent is a resident and given personal service, the petitioner must have been a resident for the last year

Waiting Period

90 days after service of original notice (time may be shortened by the court in an emergency)

"No Fault&" Grounds for Divorce

Irretrievable breakdown

Defenses to a Divorce Filing


Other Grounds for Divorce


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

No-Fault Divorce Laws

All states, including Iowa, allow "no-fault" divorce. Under a no-fault divorce, you don't have to accuse your spouse or prove any specific wrongdoing on their part in order to get a divorce. Instead, you only have to demonstrate 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 also offers alternatives to the traditional divorce process, known as annulment and legal separation. These only apply in certain circumstances and may have separate requirements. If you and your spouse have any shared minor children, Iowa child custody laws will apply to your case, as well as state statutes regarding child support guidelines and child support enforcement.

Iowa Divorce Laws: Related Resources

A divorce can be emotionally tumultuous and legally complex as well. You can find additional articles and resources in FindLaw's section on divorce.

Getting Divorced in Iowa? You'll Probably Want Legal Help

Getting divorced is never a fun experience and can be downright stressful for everyone involved. It's usually best to let an attorney handle the legal intricacies of your case. An experienced attorney will look out for your best interests and stay on top of the legal filings and other processes.

Get a head start today and find an experienced Iowa divorce attorney near you.

Was this helpful?

Response sent, thank you

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Divorces are tough and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Divorce lawyers can secure alimony, visitation rights, and property division

Get tailored divorce advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


 If you need an attorney, find one right now.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options