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Filing for Divorce in Iowa

Protect Your Rights in all Types of Divorce in Iowa

When your marriage comes to an end, you have to begin understanding divorce laws. In the state of Iowa, divorce laws use the formal term “dissolution of marriage,” which means the same thing as divorce.

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

A person seeking a divorce must file a petition with the clerk of court office, and pay a filing fee. The petition must be served to the opposing party, an awkward process which Hope Law Firm handles for you. The opposing party then has a reasonable time to file an answer—usually 20 days.

Uncontested Divorce

  • If both people are in agreement that divorce is appropriate, and there are no disagreements on other issues, the court may agree to work with Hope Law Firm and the opposing attorneys to complete the divorce. As far as how long it takes to get a divorce in Iowa, there is no residency requirement. Even if the divorce is uncontested, Iowa law requires a 90-day waiting period from serving the petition to divorce decree, although the court may waive the waiting period.

No-Fault Divorce

  • Iowa allows a marriage to be dissolved when the relationship breaks down with no reasonable likelihood it can be preserved. A spouse is not required to blame the other spouse for any particular misdeed or wrong. If the court is unsure of the need for a divorce, then Hope Law Firm fights to push the petition through without any hang-ups. Still, a judge may require the parties to participate in conciliation efforts for a period of 60 days.

Contested Divorce

  • If the issue is contested, or if children are involved, the case may eventually be set for hearing or trial before a judge. Each judicial district may have special procedures as part of the divorce process, including mandatory mediation. This does not mean that you will be denied your divorce—if you are certain of your need to dissolve your marriage, your Des Moines divorce attorney can guide you through the legal process to achieve the relief you need.

Cost of Divorce in Iowa

The actual cost of a divorce in Iowa depends on the circumstances surrounding each individual case. However, in addition to lawyer fees, the following fees may be included:

  • Filing fee (to start the case) — $185

  • Final decree fee (at the end of the case) – $50

  • Court reporting fee for each hearing – $40

  • Certification of change of real estate title – $50

Equitable Distribution of Property

In Iowa, the court divides the marital property between the parties as it deems equitable and just, after setting aside any inherited property or gifts received individually.

Some of the factors the court considers in dividing the property are:

  • The property brought to the marriage by each party.
  • The financial contribution of each party to the marriage.
  • The past contribution by one party to the education or increased earning power of the other.
  • The present and future earning potential of each party.
  • The physical and emotional health of the parties.
  • The desirability of awarding the family home to the party with custody of the children.

Alimony Is Not Automatic

First, the court must decide if alimony—spousal support—is called for and then decide on the amount.

The court considers many of the same factors used to determine the distribution of property, as well as:

  • Age of the spouses
  • Education levels of each spouse
  • Earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance
  • Feasibility of the spouse seeking maintenance to become self-supporting

At Hope Law Firm, PLC, we have a thorough knowledge of Iowa divorce law. Our Des Moines divorce attorneys provide you with strong legal service at a reasonable cost. Contact us online or call us at (515) 305-2772.

Why Hire Hope Law Firm?

  • We have a high success rate in handling complex divorce cases.

  • We take an aggressive approach & have a proven track record.

  • We treat you with compassion, honesty, dignity and respect.

  • When we take your case to trial, we don't stop until we win!

The Opinions That Matter Most

See What Our Clients Have To Say
  • “I can't thank Hope Law Firm enough for helping me get through the toughest time in my life.”

    Pamela H.

  • “She helped me win each court battle I was in, including the appellate court.”

    Katie S.

  • “She was understanding and helpful, reassuring, and offered guidance every step of the way. She was very quick to respond to phone calls and emails.”

    Megan H.

  • “The Hope Law Firm and attorney, Shannon have been excellent to work with.”

    Patty L.

  • “Steve was great working with me at the last minute on a prenup that was not finished and several mistakes were made on my now husband's lawyer's side.”

    Jill T.

  • “She did an amazing job keeping me informed every step of the way, and made sure that the best interests of my family were served.”

    Clover T.

  • “Jennifer was amazing to work with.”

    Jessica H.

  • “Katie was really great to work with. She was available for questions almost at any time of the day and always answered my questions almost immediately.”

    Nicole D.

  • “I would recommend her to anyone facing any family law situations! You will not be disappointed!!”

    A.P.

  • “Steve has advised me on several different legal issues and assisted me with a child support case.”

    Ben & Jenni O.

  • “I am forever grateful for her hard work and determination in bringing my daughter home to me.”

    Joe W.

  • “She was amazing through my very emotionally, draining divorce.”

    Megan H.

  • “They were very nice people to deal with and did a good job for me and my kids.”

    C.A.

  • “Her professionalism really showed in court when I was most nervous.”

    Angella W.

  • “I would highly recommend Hope Law Firm to anyone needing help with a divorce.”

    Ricky R.