Des Moines, Iowa Divorce Lawyers Serving Polk County, Iowa, and the Surrounding Areas
If you are going through a divorce in Des Moines, Iowa, you must seek caring and dedicated representation. The results of these cases will likely have a significant effect on you and your family and can also be long-lasting.
At Stange Law Firm, PC, we have dedicated our practice to solely handling matters relating to divorce and family law. Because of this, our lawyers have the knowledge needed to help compassionately guide you through the process of your case. If your divorce case needs to be litigated in court, or if your cases need to be resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods, Stange Law Firm, PC has the legal staff and resources to assist.
From our family law office in Des Moines, Iowa in Polk County, we can serve residents in Des Moines, IA, and in the surrounding areas, with a wide range of family law matters, including:
- Des Moines, Iowa Family Law Attorneys in Polk County: We can help you with your family law needs in the Des Moines, Iowa area in Polk County.
- Des Moines, Iowa Child Support Attorneys in Polk County: If you are near Polk County, Iowa, and are interested in finding out more information about child support, our webpage has additional information.
- Des Moines, Iowa Child Custody Lawyers in Polk County: If you need a child custody attorney in or around Polk County, IA, we have attorneys who can help.
- Des Moines, Iowa Paternity Attorneys in Polk County: If you are an unmarried parent in Polk County or nearby in Iowa who needs a custody lawyer, we have attorneys who can assist.
- Des Moines, Iowa Fathers’ Rights Lawyers: If you are a father in need of a divorce or family law representation near Polk County, Iowa, we have lawyers who can help.
- Des Moines, Iowa Estate Planning Lawyers: Need assistance with a will, trust, or probate matter? We can help.
- Des Moines, Iowa Adoption Lawyers in Polk County: Are you interested in finding out more about your adoption options in Polk County, IA? Our attorneys can assist.
- Des Moines, Iowa Modification Lawyers: Need help with modifying a previous custody or support order? Our family lawyers in Iowa are here to help.
- Des Moines, Iowa Guardianship Attorneys: Are you needing assistance establishing or revoking guardianship in Polk County? You can find out more at this link.
- Des Moines, Iowa Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers: These documents must be carefully & accurately drafted. More information is available at this link.
The lawyers that you will find at Stange Law Firm, PC know that your divorce and family law matter in Des Moines, Iowa may be one of the most emotionally stressful and trying times in your life. That’s why our Polk County divorce attorneys, are ready to advocate for you, whether your divorce is uncontested or contested. Whether your case can be settled outside of court, or if your case is forced to go to trial, the divorce lawyers at Stange Law Firm, PC are here to help you.
You can also find out more information about Polk County, IN here:
- Government Website for Polk County, Iowa: Interested in learning more information regarding the government for Polk County, IA? Click this link to learn more.
- Polk County, Iowa Court Information: If you are interested in learning more about the rules and/or procedures of the Polk County, Iowa Court, please click this link to read more.
- Polk County, IA Courthouse: Click here for a Google Maps link for directions to the Polk County Courthouse.
- Des Moines, Iowa Children’s Advocacy Center: Looking for assistance for a child facing sexual or physical abuse in Polk County, Iowa? Click here for helpful information.
COMMON DIVORCE QUESTIONS IN IOWA
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Iowa?
It is important to note that the State of Iowa recognizes “no-fault divorce,” which is dissolution based on an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The petitioner is not required to blame the other spouse nor are they required to prove any wrongdoing. The main issues addressed in the divorce decree are:
- Child support
- Child custody & visitation
- Property division
- Spousal maintenance
Residency Requirements for Divorce & Waiting Period in Des Moines, Iowa
If the respondent is a resident of the State of Iowa and is served the divorce papers personally, there is no residency requirement. Otherwise, the petitioner must have resided in Iowa for a minimum of one year.
In regard to a waiting period, in most circumstances, the court must wait a minimum of 90 days from the date that the respondent was first served dissolution papers to enter a final decree. There are situations, however, where the courts will waive the waiting period requirements.
Name of Court and Title of Action/Parties in Des Moines, Iowa
The action for dissolution of marriage is filed in the District Court. The action that begins the process of the divorce proceedings is called the Petition for Dissolution. The action that removes your marriage is known as Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage. The person who files for divorce is the Petitioner and the other spouse is the Respondent.
Legal Separation in Des Moines, Iowa
If you and your spouse have been living away from each other but aren’t seeking a divorce then you can look toward a judgment of legal separation. In Iowa, couples seeking legal separation may ask the court to decide issues that are common to divorce matters, such as child custody, visitation schedules, child support, property division or separate maintenance, and living arrangements. A petition for legal separation can be filed in the same manner as filing a petition for divorce.
Spousal Support in Polk County, Iowa
The state of Iowa refers to “alimony” as “spousal support.” This is designed to provide financial assistance for a spouse in need both during and potentially for some time once the divorce is finalized. Most states, including Iowa, have taken great strides toward revamping their alimony laws. Currently, the State of Iowa recognizes three types of spousal support: traditional, rehabilitative, and reimbursement.
- Traditional Support – Traditional support is designed to benefit spouses who are no longer capable of being financially independent. This could be due to advanced age, illness, or certain other reasons. In most cases, traditional support is reserved by judges for marriages that are more longer term and where one of the spouses primarily stayed home to care for the family. This type of support is usually long-term, or even permanent, unless circumstances change for either spouse significantly enough for the court to consider changing or terminating the support order.
- Rehabilitative Support – Rehabilitative support is a more temporary option. This type of support is designed to provide financial assistance to help one spouse work to become self-supporting. This can include time for them to obtain the necessary education or job training. It is important to note as well that courts often ask spouses who are receiving rehabilitative support to present a plan as to how they intend to become self-supporting.
- Reimbursement Support – This type of support is less common in Iowa. It is designed to reimburse a spouse who financially supported the other spouse’s career development and education. In this scenario, the court may order the spouse who obtained the degree or training to pay back the spouse who was working full-time to financially contribute to the training. The type of support is also temporary and ends once the paying spouse has satisfied the judges specific order.
Distribution of Property in Des Moines, Iowa
The State of Iowa is an “equitable distribution” state. The court has the responsibility to divide all of the spouses’ property, no matter if the property was acquired before or after the marriage. There is an exception for gifts and inheritance before or during the marriage. The courts may also decide to set aside a portion of the property in a fund to be utilized for support, maintenance, and education of any minor children between the spouses.
When determining how to divide property in a divorce, many factors are considered. This includes the contribution of each spouse in acquiring marital property, the value of any property that was brought into the marriage, the term of the marriage, as well as the age and health of the spouses.
Child Custody in Polk County, IA
In terms of child custody in Iowa, the courts will play a role in determining the custody of any children under the age of eighteen. Iowa law requires that courts consider the best interest of the children when developing a child custody arrangement.
Legal Custody – Legal custody involves the rights and responsibilities that parents have toward their children and their well-being. This includes making decisions regarding their legal status, medical care, education, safety, religion, and other major life decisions. Legal custody can be awarded as “sole” legal custody, where one parent has the legal responsibility for any minor children, or as “joint” legal custody, where the legal custody of any minor children is shared between the two spouses.
Physical Placement – Once an Iowa court decides on the legal custody of minor children in a marriage, they must then decide on the physical care of the children. This involves determining which parental home the children will live at on a regular basis. The parent living with the child is known as the “custodial parent” and the other parent is known as the “non-custodial parent.” The custodial parent is responsible for any day-to-day decisions that may impact the children. It is important to note as well, that Iowa courts may grant the parents “joint physical care” of the children, where both parents will share equal care for the children.
Child Support in Des Moines, Iowa
After a divorce or legal separation in Iowa, both parents have a legal obligation to provide ongoing financial support to their children. Child support is calculated by applying uniform child support guidelines created by the Iowa Supreme Court, which is designed to recognize the duty of both parents to provide support to their children.
Name Change in Polk County, Iowa
A spouse may seek a name change as part of a divorce matter by including a request for a name change in the divorce petition (petitioner) or the answer (respondent). In this situation, the court can include the change as part of the final divorce decree. If a name is being changed as part of the divorce, the party may only change to the name on their birth certificate or the name they had immediately prior to the marriage. Parties may also file a name change petition, if separate from a divorce, to request to change a name.
It is important to note as well that when attempting to change the name of minor children, the process is similar to adults. A minor child’s name can be changed through either being included as part of a divorce or custody case, or through being included as part of an adult name change petition.
Contact Our Des Moines, Iowa Divorce Attorneys Today to Schedule a Consultation in Polk County, IA
When you have a divorce or family law matter and need assistance in the Polk County, Iowa area, our lawyers at our divorce office in Des Moines are ready to help. The attorneys of Stange Law Firm, PC know how important family is to you and are ready to help you rebuild your life.
Polk County (Des Moines), Iowa Office (515-706-9130) | 699 Walnut St., Suite 455, Des Moines, Iowa 50309