Iowa Lawmakers Push for End to No-Fault Divorce

By Josh D. Simon
Updated: July 16, 2014
divorce news

Not that long ago, Iowa was home to the legendary “Field of Dreams,” which promised if you build it, they will come.

Well, fast forward a couple of decades -- and more than a few pretty bad Kevin Costner movies -- and Iowa legislators are chanting a different oath: if you have kids, you will stay married.

That’s the new normal that Iowans will face if Republicans lawmakers push through their bill to end no-fault divorce in the state for spouses with minor children (those under 18).

While the proposed bill wouldn’t entirely ban divorce, it would oblige either spouse to allege and ultimately prove in court that his or her spouse caused the breakdown of the marriage because of:

  • physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • adultery
  • a felony
  • abandonment for at least two years

Folks in Iowa who are cheering on the bill (whose sponsor, Rep. Tedd Gassman, also suggested that it would prevent children of divorce from becoming “sexually promiscuous”), and those who see it as a huge step back that would give Iowa the dubious designation as being the only state in the country without no-fault divorce grounds, shouldn’t be bracing for war just yet: because the bill hasn’t reached the full committee hearing stage.

In fact, despite across-the-board support from the state’s Republican legislators, The Des Moines Register reported that the bill probably wouldn’t be heard at all this year – which means there’s still time for people on both sides of this very controversial bill to stand up and be heard.

Or, ironically, convince more Iowa spouses to divorce…while they still can.


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March 06, 2013

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