Legal Question in Family Law in Iowa

I was just in court with my ex. I filed contempt because he refuses to pay his 75% of our son's ortho bill. The judge did not rule in my favor stating that since my ex husband was not working from Jan to March he had no income to pay his portion. Anyway, the judge ruled that I must pay my ex husbands attorney fees since I lost the contempt case and my ex asked for his attorney fees to be paid. 1,500 total. I was told that there is a law in Iowa that states if you are the person filing for contempt the judge cannot award that you pay the other parties attorney fees. I saw this under 598.24 of the code of iowa. Is this true? Thanks!

Asked on 6/01/13, 7:49 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Luedeman solo practitioner

Your interpretation of 598.24 is erroneous. What it says is that if the person against whom the action is filed (your ex) loses, the court can levy court costs and attorneys fees against that party (your ex). It says nothing about a judge not being able to tax costs against the party that brought the action (you).


When an action for a modification, order to show cause, or

contempt of a dissolution, annulment, or separate maintenance decree

is brought on the grounds that a party to the decree is in default or

contempt of the decree, and the court determines that the party is in

default or contempt of the decree, the costs of the proceeding,

including reasonable attorney's fees, may be taxed against that


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Answered on 6/01/13, 8:51 pm

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