Money-Saving Tips for Those with Divorce or Child Custody Cases

A child custody or divorce case can be one of the most important events in a person’s life.  It can also be one of the more expensive events too.  However, there are things that a person can do to help minimize that expense while also seeking the best possible outcome for the case.

What is a Motion?

Motions are a key part of just about every type of court case. This article discusses Motions in the Iowa and Illinois legal systems.

Military Divorces in Illinois

In cases where a person or their spouse is a military service memver, there are special consideration when getting divorced in Illinois.

Military Divorces in Iowa

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

Interrogatories in Divorce and Custody Cases

In Divorce and child custody cases, Interrogatories are a common discovery tool. Interrogatories can help a party to obtain information that is needed to reach a favorable settlement, or to take the case to trial.

Summer Visitation

It is common in divorce and custody cases in Iowa and Illinois for the court to award a non-custodial parent (a parent who does not have primary physical care) an extended block of visitation in the summer months.  Summer visitation is also commonly awarded to both parents so that each parent can have an opportunity to take a vacation or otherwise spend time with the child.  Summer visitation can be a great opportunity for a parent to spend more time with … Continued

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which is found at 50 U.S.C. sections 501-597b, was enacted to allow servicemembers to devote their energy to the defense needs of the nation and to provide for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings, except criminal proceedings, that may adversely affect the civil rights of servicemembers during military service.

Complying with Discovery in Divorce and Custody Cases

In divorce and child custody cases in Illinois and Iowa, Discovery is an important part of the case. Discovery refers to the process through which each side in a divorce or custody case is entitled to gather information from the other side, for use in court later.  It is important to comply with discovery, as a failure to do so can result in significant harm to a case.

Common Pitfalls for People Why Try to Represent Themselves in Divorce Cases

People will sometimes attempt to represent themselves in a divorce case.  When a person acts as their own lawyer (pro se) in a divorce, there are often serious problems created, both in the short term and the long term. Anyone who is considering representing themselves should consider the possible ramifications before proceeding.

Military Orders and Domicile for Divorce Cases

The first step in the divorce process, is determining where exactly to file the divorce and begin court proceedings. This process is usually simple, but it can be difficult for military families. For a divorce judgment to be valid, one of the individuals usually must be domiciled in the State issuing the divorce decree.

How Long it Takes to Get Divorced

A common question in divorce cases is how long it will take for the divorce to be completed.  The answer to that question depends upon many different factors that are unique to each case.  Those factors include the following:

What to Say and Not to Say to Children During a Divorce

During a divorce case, it is critical that both spouses carefully choose their words when discussing the situation with their children.  This is important for both the mental wellbeing of the children, and each spouse’s legal interests in the case.

Deciding Where to File For Divorce

The question of where to file for divorce is one that can be complex, especially when a person has moved recently or has a spouse who lives in another state.  Selecting the right jurisdiction and venue for the divorce case is important, as incorrect choices can cause significant harm to a person’s case and interests.

Things to Discuss with a Lawyer During a Family Law Consultation

When a person consults with a lawyer about their family law case, there are many different things that should be discussed so that the client is as informed as possible about how the case would proceed and the terms of representation.  While each situation is different, there are some common things that are applicable in every case:

Bigamy Charges in Iowa

The crime of bigamy in Iowa is defined by Iowa Code section 726.1, which provides as follows:

Spyware and Other Snooping During a Divorce

Those involved in a divorce case are sometimes tempted to use spyware or other snooping techniques to spy upon their spouse.  Such spying is not favored by the courts in Illinois or Iowa, and can even result in criminal charges.

Finding Hidden Assets During a Divorce Case

In divorce cases, it is not uncommon for a spouse to try and hide assets from the other spouse and the legal system.  It is important to properly handle such attempts to hide assets.

How to Talk to Your Spouse About Divorce

In divorce case, there is always the question about how to break the news about a divorce to one’s spouse.  The right way to handle the sharing of that information is something that will be different for each person, depending upon the unique facts in each case.

Deciding Whether to Move Out During a Divorce Case

Before and during a divorce is started, many people consider moving out of the marital home.  The decision as to whether to move out or remain in the marital residence is a complex one that has significant ramifications upon property, custody, alimony, and other issues for those with cases in Illinois and Iowa.

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.

Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

Unlike many states that have switched to “no fault” divorces, the state of Illinois still requires that person wishing to be divorced prove “grounds” for the divorce.  There are many grounds that can be used to obtain a divorce in Illinois.

The Pros and Cons of the “One Judge One Child” Rule

In some counties, there is a “one judge one child” rule which means that a single judge is assigned to handle each hearing in a divorce or custody case that involves one or more minor children.  The purpose of that rule is to ensure that the judge who makes the final custody determination is as familiar with the case as possible, since that judge’s ruling will have a long-lasting effect upon the child’s life.  The one judge one child rule … Continued

The Marital Settlement Agreement

In a divorce case that is resolved by agreement, a Marital Settlement Agreement will set forth the specifics of that agreement.

What is a Divorce Decree

A divorce decree (often formally called a Decree of Divorce or Decree of Dissolution of Marriage) is the formal legal document entered by the court that dissolves the marital relationship between the spouses.  Essentially, a divorce decree is the document that

Illinois “Heart Balm” Lawsuits Abolished, Effective January 1, 2016

The term of legal causes of action (lawsuits) where a person sues another over a “matter of the heart” have long been referred to as “heart balm” lawsuits.  Illinois is in the minority of states that allow such causes of action, although that comes to an end on January 1, 2016.

Father’s Rights in Child Custody and Divorce Cases

The term “father rights” is often informally used in connection with a divorce or child custody cases in Illinois.  This article addresses father’s rights and the state of the law in Iowa and Illinois insofar as the gender of a parent is concerned.

Dealing with a Manipulative Spouse During a Divorce Case

At some point during their divorce case, many people will encounter attempts at manipulation from their spouse.  This manipulation can center around just about any of the matters that exist in a divorce case, and is important to handle correctly as the outcome of a divorce case will affect a person’s life for years and years.

The Best Interests of the Child Standard in Illinois and Iowa Family Law Cases

In family law cases, the best interest of the child is the court’s highest priority.  The Iowa District Court and Illinois Circuit Court judges who handle custody and divorce cases are required by law to follow that standard.  This article discusses the best interests of the child as applied by the courts.

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.

Dealing with False Domestic Abuse Accusations

False accusations of domestic abuse are common in divorce and custody cases in Illinois and Iowa.  Properly handling such accusations of domestic violence is of the highest importance.

Parental Alienation in Illinois Custody and Divorce Cases

Parental Alienation is a situation that is often created in custody and divorce cases when one parent (or other individual) attempts to destroy the relationship between a child and the other parent.  Illinois law quite correctly sees such improper action on the part of a parent, grandparent, or other person as seriously damaging to the child, and the Illinois

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.

Mediation in a Divorce Case

Mediation is a process employed by many courts to try and resolve some or all of the contested matters in a divorce case, without having to proceed to a trial.  Sometimes mediation is mandatory, and other times it is voluntary.  The mediation process has the potential to be useful to parties in a divorce case, but mediation also can lead to problems if it is not handled properly.

Dealing with Pets in Illinois Divorce Cases

Pets are an important part of many people’s lives.  Indeed, I have seen Illinois divorce cases where there was more concerns over a dog or cat then some people people sadly show for their children.  As such, handling pet matters in a divorce case can be of great importance.

Dealing with a Spouse’s Improper Spending During an Illinois or Iowa Divorce

During divorce cases, it is not uncommon for a spouse to try and spend marital money in an inappropriate manner.  Sometimes that involves emptying out bank accounts.  Other times, a spouse will overuse credit cards during the divorce case.  It is important to address that improper spending quickly in Illinois or Iowa.

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.

Dealing with an Ex Who Wastes Time on Frivolous Court Appearances

All too often in divorce and custody cases, the opposing party will purposely waste a client’s time and money on frivolous court appearances.  Such a situation can often be addressed in Illinois or Iowa through a Motion with the court, when such behavior rises to the level of violating various Rules of Civil Procedure.

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

Emergency Injunctions in Custody and Divorce Cases

In some situations, a court can grant an emergency injunction as part of a divorce or custody case.  That emergency injunction can be used to prevent parental kidnapping, injury to children, or other serious

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.

Overview of the Divorce Process in Illinois

A divorce, also referred to as a marital dissolution, is the termination of a marriage by court order. In Illinois, there is a 90 day residency requirement, meaning that the husband or wife must have lived in Illinois for 3 months. If neither spouse has lived in Illinois for the required 90 days, then the Illinois court system cannot grant a divorce. The proper court for filing for divorce in Illinois is the circuit court for the county where either … Continued

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