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Family Law Answers from Hope Law Firm, PLC

Divorce

Child support

Child custody

Is your “retainer” my total cost?
A retainer is like a deposit, or down payment. In a very simple uncontested divorce, our retainer may be your only legal cost except for a few mandatory filing fees. We do everything we can to keep your case simple, but often a divorce becomes more complex than you expected. If we have to spend additional time in court on your behalf, we charge a reasonable hourly rate for our time.

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What is the total time it will take for my divorce to be final?
From the first filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, it can take anywhere from three to 12 months to complete your divorce. The court may require only the minimum 90-day waiting period.

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Will I have to pay child support if I have custody at least half of the time?
Yes, this is possible. Many factors are considered when child support is established, and the percentage of parenting time is only one of those factors. Some parents may be required to pay child support to each other. Hope Law Firm, PLC works to make the child support arrangement as logical and appropriate as possible.

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What if I am not receiving the support payments that I was promised?
Child support is dictated by the courts, and a support order cannot be disregarded. If you are not receiving the child support that was determined by the court, our attorneys take decisive legal action to get your payments on track and to recover any amounts in arrears.

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I cannot bear the thought of joint custody. How can I prevent it?
Joint custody may not be ordered by the court if  the other parent is likely to pose physical or emotional harm to the child, and a number of other reasons. If this is so, then we strongly make the case for sole custody. If your child’s personal well-being is at stake, we are unyielding in our pursuit of sole custody and other legal protections.

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The custody arrangement that we both agreed to is not working. Can we change it?
Yes. Whether you are in amicable agreement that the custody arrangement should be altered or there is a conflict about the terms of custody, we work with you to ask the court to reconsider the status of custody.  In general, the party requesting the modification of the decree must prove that there is a substantial change in circumstances that was not anticipated at the time the decree was entered.

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  • West Des Moines Office
    1055 Jordan Creek Parkway
    Suite 200
    West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
    Phone: 515-255-3559
    Fax: 515-243-2433
  • Ankeny Office
    Brookfield Plaza 207 NE Delaware Avenue
    Suite 20
    Ankeny, Iowa 50021
    Phone: 515-512-9733
    Fax: 515-243-2433
  • Sioux City Office
    401 Douglas St
    Suite 506
    Sioux City, Iowa 51101
    Phone: 712-899-0569
    Fax: 515-243-2433