Mental Health Commitment in Iowa

Under Iowa law, a person who is “seriously mentally impaired” can be taken into custody and committed to a mental health treatment hospital until they are no longer seriously mentally impaired.

Extension of Domestic Abuse Protective Orders in Iowa

Under Iowa law, a Final Domestic Abuse protective order is entered by the court for a term of up to one year. It is possible for such an order (often called a protective order, or a restraining order) to be extended by the Iowa District Court that granted the

Military Divorces in Iowa

When a person or their spouse is in the military, there are special consideration for a divorce case in Iowa.

Premarital (Prenuptuial or Antenuptial) Agreements in Iowa

Iowa law permits couples to enact premarital agreements (also known as prenuptial agreements or antenuptial agreements) prior to marriage. Premarital agreements are becoming increasingly more common and enables couples to come to a mutual understanding of the distribution of property prior to

Grounds for Divorce in Iowa

Iowa is a “no fault” state when it comes to divorces, although the Iowa Code requires certain grounds be alleged in order for a divorce case to proceed.

Annulments in Iowa

In Iowa, one spouse may obtain an annulment of marriage under the following grounds

Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) Appeals in Iowa

When the Iowa juvenile court takes action against a parent’s rights, that parent can appeal. Child in need of assistance (CINA) appeals in Iowa are governed by the Iowa Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Rules on Electronic Document Management System, which are the electronic filing of court documents. Because appeals are time sensitive and have specific requirements, it is highly advisable

Effect of a Parent Moving Away 150 Miles in an Iowa Custody Case

In situations where the parents of a child are no longer together, the parent with primary care of the child may decide to move at some point.  For the other parent, that could in essence mean losing their child.  Iowa law addresses that by considering a move of 150 miles to be a material change in circumstances, which justifies a Petition to Modify custody and physical care.

Grandparent Visitation and Guardianship in Iowa

Grandparents are often very involved with grandchildren, and those bonds that are formed can be meaningful to both the grandparent and grandchild.  In many situations, events will occur that result in the child’s parent or parents no longer allowing the grandparent to see the child. Depending upon the circumstances, there may

Overview of the Child Adoption Process in Iowa

 Adoption proceedings in Iowa are governed by Iowa Code Chapter 600. An adoption is a legal process whereby a parent-child relationship is established.  This article addresses the adoption process in Iowa.

Spousal Support (Alimony) in Iowa Divorce Cases

As part of a divorce or legal separation case in Iowa, the court can award spousal support (also called alimony). There are a few types of spousal support in Iowa that the court can award, for various reasons.

Parental Alienation in Iowa Custody and Divorce Cases

Parental Alienation is a situation commonly produced in divorce and custody cases when one parent (or other person) tries to destroy the relationship between a child and the other parent.  Iowa law recognizes such improper action on the part of a parent, grandparent, or other person is seriously harmful to the child, and the Iowa court system can address the situation.

Dealing with Pets in Iowa Divorce Cases

In the hearts of their human owners, pets can feel like as much a member of the family as a person.  As such, getting the right resolution for the distribution of pets in an Iowa divorce case is often of great importance.

Rule to Show Cause (Contempt Action) in Iowa

In Iowa, when a person fails to follow a court order, the matter can be addressed through a Rule to Show Cause (which is sometimes also called a contempt action).  A Rule to Show Cause is most commonly used in family law cases to address violations of court orders involving custody, visitation, child support, and spousal support.

Conciliation in Iowa Divorce Cases

Conciliation is part of the Iowa divorce process in some cases.  The purpose of conciliation is to attempt to save the marriage by getting the spouses to work out their differences.  Iowa code section 598.16 addresses conciliation.

Settlement Conferences in Iowa Divorce and Custody Cases

Many Iowa counties require that a Settlement Conference be held in divorce and custody cases.  The purpose of the Settlement Conference is to get the parties and attorneys to try and work out some of all of the issues in the case, so as

Appealing a Custody or Divorce Case in Iowa

Divorce and custody cases can be the most important legal system event in a person’s life, as the outcome can influence custody, visitation, property, and financial aspects of the person’s life for years to come.  If the outcome of the trial is not favorable, then an appeal should be considered.

Guardianship of Children in Iowa

A guardianship is the legal process through which someone other than the parent of a child can legally care for the child.  Guardianship are commonly used when a child’s parents are unable or unwilling to care for a child.  For example, a relative may seek a guardianship of a child when the parent(s) are

Child Custody in Iowa

Under Iowa law, either unmarried parent of a child can seek to have the court establish their respective rights and responsibilities as parents of the child.   Essentially, that involves establishing paternity, custody, physical care, visitation, child support, tax exemptions, and other similar matters.

Child Support in Iowa

When an Iowa court grants a divorce, annulment, or separate maintenance, it may order either or both parents to pay a “reasonable and necessary” amount towards the support and maintenance of a child.  The court is required to consider the responsibility of both parents to provide for the minor child’s needs and welfare.  The child support payments are

Protective Orders (Restraining Orders) in Iowa

An order of protection, also sometimes informally called a “restraining order,” is a court order that is intended to stop domestic violence, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, or interference with personal liberty. Men, women, and children can seek an order of protection in Iowa.  The law surrounding orders or protection can be complex, so I always recommend that those seeking an order of protection – or those defending themselves against a wrongfully filed Protective Order –

Overview of the Divorce Process in Iowa

A divorce, also referred to as a marital dissolution, is the termination of a marriage by court order. In Iowa, there is a 1 year residency requirement, meaning that at least one of the spouses must have been an Iowa resident for a least a year. If neither spouse has lived in Iowa for a year, then the Iowa courts do not have the authority to grant a divorce. The proper court for filing a divorce petition in Iowa is