Iowa Divorce Tips

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In Iowa, divorce is legally known as the 'dissolution of marriage'. Chapter 598 of the Iowa code defines all the statues pertaining to divorce. If you are a couple seeking a divorce, you must be aware of all the major issues and complication of your case. Of course, meeting an attorney is important; but at the same time you should know the basics of Iowa divorce. Iowa divorce tips will help you to understand these basics and identify issues that may complicate your case.

Some essential Iowa Divorce Tips:

  • You might be confused regarding where to start from. If you are going to file for a divorce in Iowa, you need to file a written Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the clerk of court office. You can refer to some samples on the Internet for more convenience. You have to send a notice and a copy of the petition to your spouse.

  • If you are the non-filling party who has received a divorce notice, then you have to file a response or answer in a stipulated period of time.

  • Divorce grounds forms a major issue while discussing Iowa divorce tips. According to the Iowa Code - Sections 598.5 and 598.17, if there is no chance or reasonable likelihood to preserve the marriage, then a no-fault divorce case can be filed.

  • Support to or maintenance of any spouse sometimes become a critical part of the final outcome of any divorce. The court may order maintenance to one partner for a certain period considering many factors like the economic condition of both parties, duration of marriage, etc.

  • One of the most common yet critical aspects of divorce is visitation rights. The court does not grant visitation rights to a parent, who has been convicted of murder in the first degree of the other parent, except when the court concludes that the visitation rights are in the best interests of the child.

  • Prior to granting visitation rights to a parent, the criminal history of the parent is checked with respect to the following:
    • The Criminal offense against a minor
    • Sexual exploitation of a minor
    • Sexually violent offense against a minor

  • In case a parent has been granted physical or legal custody of a child, but cannot perform the role of a custodian, due to reasons like those mentioned below, then, the court grants physical or legal custody to the surviving parent, except when the court concludes that such a grant is not in the best interest of the child:
    • The parent dies
    • The parent has been judicially adjudged incompetent

  • Consider that the divorcing partners have more than one child and the court has granted each partner, the physical custody of more than one child. Further, if the parties make an application and each court concludes that it is in the best interest of the child and reasonable, then, the court can pass orders as per which the divorcing parties have to make arrangement for visitation between the siblings.

  • On awarding joint legal custody to both the parents, either or both parents might request for joint physical care. In this case, the court demands a proposed joint physical care parenting plan either jointly or individually. This plan comprises of the following information:
    • How the parents intend to provide a home for the child?
    • How the parents would make decisions that impact the life of the child?
    • Plan for the expenses of the child in addition to child support
    • How each parent would facilitate the time of the child with the other parent?

  • Both parents have legal access to data pertaining to their child (like educational, medical, law enforcement records). However, the court might order otherwise in the custody decree.

  • As per Chapter 598.36, the court might grant the fees of the lawyer to the prevailing party in an amount that is considered to be reasonable by the court. This is applicable in case of a proceeding for the modification of an order or decree

  • A petition may be filed in the District Court by the grandparent or great grandparent for availing grandchild or great grandchild visitation rights. Following this, the court might award these rights if it finds that the grandparent or great grandparent has cemented a considerably dense relation with the child before the filing is done and it is in the best interests of the child to have such a visitation.

  • As per Section 598.33, the court, notwithstanding Section 561.15, can issue orders to any party to vacate the homestead, even while the Decree of Dissolution is pending, if it is proved that the other party or the children are facing a peril of physical abuse.

These Iowa divorce tips provide a comprehensive idea of the basic laws in the state. It is obvious that you won't be in the normal emotional state and thus unable to deal with the complex legal procedures. A professional legal representation is the most preferable.

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