Is It Possible to Get Spousal Support for Life?

It is possible to get spousal support for life under specific circumstances.  The Iowa Supreme Court upheld a ruling, saying spousal support for life is fair and equitable.  However, there were very specific circumstances in the case (In re Marriage of Gust, 858 N.W.2nd 402, 2015) that led to the court’s decision.  Among these:

  • The significant length of the marriage
  • The age of the parties in the marriage.

Generally, the thinking is that a very short marriage between young adults would not necessarily receive the same treatment as the Gust case, given that a lifetime of spousal support would constitute many more years of payments and a very short marriage would suggest that the couple had not built up as much common equity together.

If you are in the process or have completed a divorce and have questions about spousal support for life, the best thing to do is to contact lawyers handling divorce cases to discuss the particulars of your specific case.  Depending on the facts involved in your divorce, you may or may not qualify or be responsible for spousal support for life.  The skilled and experienced attorneys at Hall Law Firm would be glad to speak to you.  Please call us at 712-226-4255.  The initial consultation is free.

Iowa Supreme Court holds spousal support for life is fair and equitable

Spousal support in Iowa is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.  Each support decision will be decided based on the facts at hand.  In this case, a husband appealed a decision by the district court, among other things, which ordered him to pay spousal support for life to his former wife, with no termination date. The district court’s original order provided that the husband should pay $1,400 per month in spousal support for life, increasing to $2,000 per month upon the termination of child support.

One of the issues is whether traditional spousal support of unlimited duration was fair in this particular case.  The Iowa Supreme Court held that traditional spousal support for an unlimited duration in the amount of $2,000 per month was fair and equitable. It based its reasoning on an analysis of the statutory factors; nevertheless, the length of marriage was given the most weight as the parties were married for twenty-seven years. In re Marriage of Gust, 858 N.W.2d 402 (2015).

Supreme Court rules on spousal support in Iowa

It must be noted that in this case both parties were in their fifties when the district court handed down this order with respect to spousal support for life to the wife. This case should not be construed to imply that any person can seek and obtain spousal support for life upon the dissolution of marriage. It is within the sound discretion of the court to determine the duration and amount of spousal support based upon the statutory factors. Here the determinative factor in this case was the long duration of the parties’ marriage.

Hire a skilled Sioux City spousal support lawyer today

If you are going through a divorce or renegotiating spousal support, you probably have a lot of questions and want to get sound legal advice.  The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld spousal support for life, but your particular situation may or may not meet the threshold for this.  Depending on the length of your marriage and the age of you and your former partner, courts may view your case differently.  So many factors come into play.

If you are wanting to achieve spousal support for life or if you are highly motivated to defend against it, an experienced divorce lawyer at Hall Law Firm can help.  We have spent years negotiating on behalf of clients and are committed to seeking the best outcome possible.  Our attorneys are both compassionate and aggressive, depending on the goal and the willingness of the opposing attorney to negotiate in good faith.  We always keep your goals front and center, and we keep you informed every step of the way.  For strong and informed legal guidance and representation on spousal support, contact Hall Law Firm today at 712-226-4255 for a free initial consultation.