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Iowa Child Support Definitions

Definition of Income and Adjustments

In the guidelines the term "net monthly income" means gross monthly income less deductions for:

1.Federal income tax (properly calculated withholding or estimated payments);

2.State income tax (properly calculated withholding or estimated payments);

3.Social security deductions;

4.Mandatory pension deductions;

5.Union dues;

6.Dependent health insurance coverage deducted from wages or paid for dependent medical insurance pursuant to court order;

7.Actual medical support paid pursuant to court order or administrative order;

8.Unreimbursed individual health/hospitalization coverage or medical expense deductions not to exceed $25 month;

9.Prior obligation of child support and spouse support actually paid pursuant to court or administrative order;

10.Qualified additional dependent deductions; and

11.Actual child care expense while custodial parent is employed, less the appropriate income tax credit.

Other items, such as credit union payments, charitable deductions, savings or thrift plans, and voluntary pension plans, are not to be deducted from a parent’s income, since the needs of the children must have a higher priority than voluntary savings or payment of indebtedness.

Gross monthly income does not include public assistance payments.

Child Support Principles:

1. Upon every judgment of annulment, dissolution or separate maintenance the court shall divide the property of the parties and transfer the title of the property accordingly. The court may protect and promote the best interests of children of the parties by setting aside a portion of the property of the parties in a separate fund or conservatorship for the support, maintenance, education and general welfare of the minor children. The court shall divide all property, except inherited property or gifts received by one party, equitably between the parties after considering all of the following:

a. The length of the marriage.

b. The property brought to the marriage by each party.

c. The contribution of each party to the marriage, giving appropriate economic value to each party’s contribution in homemaking and child care services.

d. The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.

e. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other.

f. The earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.

g. The desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live in the family home for a reasonable period to the party having custody of the children, or if the parties have joint legal custody, to the party having physical care of the children.

h. The amount and duration of an order granting support payments to either party pursuant to subsection 3 and whether the property division should be in lieu of such payments.

i. Other economic circumstances of each party, including pension benefits, vested or unvested, and future interests.

j. The tax consequences to each party.

k. Any written agreement made by the parties concerning property distribution.

l. The provisions of an antenuptial agreement.

m. Other factors the court may determine to be relevant in an individual case.

2. Property inherited by either party or gifts received by either party prior to or during the course of the marriage is the property of that party and is not subject to a property division under this section except upon a finding that refusal to divide the property is inequitable to the other party or to the children of the marriage.

3. Upon every judgment of annulment, dissolution or separate maintenance, the court may grant an order requiring support payments to either party for a limited or indefinite length of time after considering all of the following:

a. The length of the marriage.

b. The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.

c. The distribution of property.

d. The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced.

e. The earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, responsibilities for children under either an award of custody or physical care, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to find appropriate employment.

f. The feasibility of the party seeking maintenance becoming self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage, and the length of time necessary to achieve this goal.

g. The tax consequences to each party.

h. Any mutual agreement made by the parties concerning financial or service contributions by one party with the expectation of future reciprocation or compensation by the other party.

i. The provisions of an antenuptial agreement.

j. Other factors the court may determine to be relevant in an individual case.

Child Support Modifications

The court may subsequently modify orders made under this section when there is a substantial change in circumstances. In determining whether there is a substantial change in circumstances, the court shall consider the following:

a. Changes in the employment, earning capacity, income or resources of a party.

b. Receipt by a party of an inheritance, pension or other gift.

c. Changes in the medical expenses of a party.

d. Changes in the number or needs of dependents of a party.

e. Changes in the physical, mental, or emotional health of a party.

f. Changes in the residence of a party.

g. Remarriage of a party.

h. Possible support of a party by another person.

i. Changes in the physical, emotional or educational needs of a child whose support is governed by the order.

j. Contempt by a party of existing orders of court.

k. Other factors the court determines to be relevant in an individual case.