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Divorce in the State of 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.

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 now.

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
  • “Charlotte took the time and had the patience to explain to me the legal terms and worked through the low points of the divorce.”

    Abby M.

  • “Katie and Shelby are wonderful. Professional and friendly. They made the process of my divorce very easy for me.”

    Cammie H.

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

    A.P.

  • “Our experience with Hope Law was professional, friendly and done in a timely manner. ”

    JoLynn K.

  • “Katie was always two steps ahead of our other opponent, knowing exactly what we needed to do.”

    Abbie F.

  • “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.

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

    A.P.

  • “The Hope Law Firm does a great job!”

    Sofiia A.

  • “Katie is very professional and knowledgeable as are all the associates we worked with at Hope Law Firm.”

    Ricky D.

  • “Steve is a professional and very knowledgeable.”

    Jenni O.

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

    C.A.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “Katie was very helpful during my stressful divorce.”

    Kristen L.

  • “I highly recommend Katie for any of your legal matters as she is very knowledgeable, thorough, honest, and takes a personal interest in you!”

    Kelly R.