Child Support

This section has information and resources about child support in Iowa.


Changes to Child Support Laws in 2015 and 2016

In 2015 there were some changes to Iowa child support law.  The major change makes it easier to suspend child support. 

For several years it has been possible to stop a current support order if both parties agreed and certain other requirements were met.  This is called suspension of support and is done through the Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU).  As of January 1, 2016, both parties no longer have to agree to the suspension.  Now, if just one of the parties wants to stop the order, it may be possible to do so.   Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


How to Change a Child Support Order

Sometimes the judge sets the amount of child support, and then something changes so that the amount is no longer correct. Maybe the non-custodial parent gets a much better job and is making a lot more money. Maybe the non-custodial parent loses his or her job and is not making any money, or can only find a new job that pays a lot less money. Sometimes the non-custodial parent becomes disabled and is no longer able to work at all.  Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


Before You Tell Him He’s The Daddy

Information on a recent Iowa Supreme Court Case and why it is best to be sure before naming someone as the father of your child.  A recent Iowa Supreme Court case said a man could bring a law suit in the following situation:

1)      A mother of a child tells the man he is the father, AND

2)      She knows, or has reason to believe, that he isn’t  the father, AND

3)      She accepts voluntary payments of child support from that man.

This kind of case is called Paternity Fraud.  Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


Help for Disabled Iowans Who Owe Back Child Support

Information that helps Iowans with disabilities who owe back child support. 

A new rule change will help Iowans with disabilities who owe back child support. If a person owes back child support, the back child support is collected through an income withholding order. Under the current rules, a person only has 15 days from the date the first income withholding order is sent to ask for a smaller amount of money to be taken out. This is called asking for a "hardship." To ask for a hardship or reduction, a person must send a written request to lower the amount of money taken for back child support. Send it to your local Child Support Recovery Unit office. The Income Withholding Order has the address. Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


How Judges Decide How Much Child Support a Parent Must Pay

 

How much each parent makes sets the amount of child support due in Iowa. Here are the charts Child Support Recovery Unit and judges use charts called the Uniform Child Support Guidelines (Guidelines).

The incomes of both parents decide the amount of child support in Iowa. Judges use a chart called the Iowa Schedule of Basic Support Obligations (Schedule) to figure the support amount. Judges will order child support to be paid by the person not receiving physical custody of the children (noncustodial parent). Look at the Schedule on the Iowa Child Support website. Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid

 


Not Paying for Child Support Can Mean Loss of Driver's License

If you fail to pay child support, will that affect your driver's license? The short answer is: it might. The law says if people fall far enough behind in paying child support, the Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) can "sanction" drivers' licenses. This means they can suspend, revoke, not issue, or not renew the license if a parent is delinquent in child support payments. Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


Paternity and Child Support Notices

Answers to frequently asked questions on the topics of paternity and child support.

How do I become the legal father or establish my "paternity" of a child?
The term for becoming the legal father of a child is called "establishing paternity." In Iowa, there are three ways for you to become the legal father of a child. First, if you are married to the child's mother when the child is born, you are automatically the legal father of the child. This is true whether or not you are the natural or biological father. Second, if no one is already the legal father of the child, you can sign an affidavit with the child's mother stating that you are the child's father. Third, a court can issue an order stating that you are the child's legal father. Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


Paternity and Iowa Law

A legal finding of paternity involves both rights and responsibilities. Iowa law requires a "legal father" to support his child(ren).  In human biology, paternity refers to the man who is the father of a child. Iowa law uses the word "paternity" to address many more issues. A legal finding of paternity involves both rights and responsibilities. Iowa law requires a "legal father" to support his child(ren). If a man does not provide the support for which he is determined to be responsible, the law also provides ways to enforce the obligation.  Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


Ask an Attorney - How is child support calculated and what's the process for collecting?