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Online Divorce in Iowa

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Uncontested divorce in Iowa

There are two marriage dissolution options that spouses in the state of Iowa can file for: contested and uncontested.

  • Contested dissolution. A contested divorce is inevitable in cases when spouses are in a disagreement concerning property division, child custody and support, or alimony. That is why they need to hire lawyers that would represent their interests in court, and there might be a few hearings depending on the complexity of the case. That is why this kind of divorce is considered extremely time-consuming and costly.
  • Uncontested divorce. This type of dissolution is much cheaper and faster than the contested one. First of all, a couple does not necessarily need to hire a lawyer if they managed to come to an agreement, which can save them a lot of money. Secondly, an uncontested divorce is usually finalized as soon as it is legally allowed, which makes it rather quick.

Despite the fact that applying for an uncontested dissolution does not require much effort, there is still a large number of papers you must submit to guarantee that your divorce will be finalized. All the required documents need to be filled out accurately to avoid any errors. It is also necessary to select only the forms that are relevant to your particular case. If you prepare the wrong divorce papers or fill them out incorrectly, your petition will likely be rejected by the court. That is why the best option in this case is to use OnlineDivorcer to get your documents.

We a reliable online company with 12 years of experience in the divorce forms market. Working with us, you will get a full package of forms filled out for your specific case along with the filing instructions that will allow you to proceed with your divorce successfully.

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Filing for divorce in Iowa without a lawyer

If you made a decision to complete your divorce without attorney’s help, follow these steps:

  • Check if you meet the residency requirements of the state. In Iowa, unless the respondent is a resident of Iowa and is personally served, the Petitioner must have been a resident of the state for at least 1 year before filing.
  • Collect and fill out all the required divorce forms.
  • File the documents in the courthouse of the county where you or your ex reside and pay the filing fee.
  • Serve the paperwork to your spouse. In Iowa, you can personally hand the forms to your spouse or send them by regular mail. However, in this case, your ex-husband or wife needs to sign Acceptance of Service. Alternatively, you can ask the county sheriff, process server, or any third-party older than 18 to deliver the documents.
  • Wait until the court schedules the hearing.
  • In Iowa, you need to attend the final hearing to answer some questions of a judge if any.
  • Wait until the judge finalizes your divorce.

How to complete a do it yourself divorce in Iowa?

Many people who are striving to save some money consider a DIY divorce in Iowa. However, they usually do not know what they are signing up for. We want to explain the whole DIY dissolution process to you so that you can be conscious of all its pitfalls:

  • Make sure that you meet the state's residency requirements.
  • Additionally, double-check if you and your ex-husband or wife are in complete agreement on all aspects of divorce in order to qualify for an uncontested legal breakup.
  • Find the official website of your state. Here, you need to find out which forms you need to fill out as well as review useful information about the divorce process.
  • If you and your spouse have children, you need to find the following: 1) state custody and support guidelines; 2) all the child-related forms; 3) whether you need to attend parenting classes.
  • Now you can start filling out all the forms, researching any unfamiliar words and phrases to know exactly what is asked of you. This aspect is critical since any incorrect form will be rejected by the clerk.
  • Also, please bear in mind that certain fields in the forms have to be left blank for the county clerk to fill them out.
  • In the end, find out if you need to take some legal lessons before you defend yourself in court.
  • Now you can print and sign the documents. However, please mind that some papers might have to be signed in front of the notary.
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Iowa divorce documents

As there are various forms you may need to fill in, we have decided to provide you with the most common ones:

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Children
  • Confidential Information Form

Iowa divorce papers online

In order to get your Iowa divorce forms filled out, you will need to have the following information on your hands:

  • Your and your spouse’s full name and date of birth.
  • Date and location of your marriage.
  • Your and your spouse’s current address, as well as the address of all real property you own.
  • Full names, dates of birth, and current address of your children.
  • Information about your income, debt, insurance, and taxes.
  • Workplace information – both yours and spouse’s.
  • Info about vehicles you both own, such as model, make, year, and VIN.
  • SSN and driver’s license number.
  • Information about any previous court cases involving you or your children.
  • Description of property you and your spouse own.
  • Financial accounts information.

There might be some additional details required depending on your individual case.

Things you need to know


You have to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the courthouse of the county where you or your spouse live. The paperwork then has to be sent to the other spouse by a sheriff, process server, or a third-party of age. You can also deliver it yourself if your ex-husband or wife agrees to sign Acceptance of Service.

Residency Requirements

Unless the respondent is a resident of Iowa and is personally served, the Petitioner must have been a resident of the state for at least 1 year prior to filing.

Waiting Period

The waiting period in Iowa is 90 days.

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Getting a divorce in Iowa with a child

If you have kids and want to start a divorce process, there are quite a few things you need to consider beforehand:

  • As in many other states, Iowa courts consider child’s best interests while determining custody.
  • The courts are usually inclined to encourage parents to cooperate and share the rights and responsibilities. That is why parents are usually granted shared legal custody unless one of the parents is deemed unfit for it.
  • Joint physical custody (living with both parents) does not necessarily presuppose that a kid will spend an equal amount of time with both spouses. Such aspects will be regulated by a parenting plan and a judge.
  • Before granting any type of custody, a judge needs to make sure that a child will not suffer from a lack of communication with both parents and that both parents have actively contributed to child’s upbringing. Also, the judge takes into account school and household proximity, if there is any history of abuse or neglect, etc.


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