Skip to Content
Serving Iowa Families Statewide

How To Get Sole Custody in Iowa

Parent with custody

Divorce is a stressful event in the life of two individuals and can be even more complicated when children are involved. A primary goal for many parents in a custody case is to get sole custody of their child. There are several reasons a parent might want to pursue sole custody, but it’s vital to understand Iowa’s custody laws before deciding to take legal action.

Child Custody in Iowa

Iowa judges approach child custody cases with the presumption that some form of shared custody is best for the child. The usual process is to sit down with your legal team and that of your spouse and work out a plan for shared parenting. Such an arrangement would stipulate the primary caregiver and a schedule for visitation.

However, if you know for a fact that your child will be harmed physically or mentally by spending time with your spouse, then you can fight for sole custody. Iowa courts will grant sole custody if there is clear evidence that joint custody is not in the child’s best interests.

Factors That Determine the Awarding of Sole Custody

In all cases, the court will determine custody based on what is in the best interest of the child. If you make a motion for sole custody, a judge will consider the following factors before making their decision:

  • The other parent’s mental health and how it might affect the child
  • Whether the other parent has a substance abuse problem
  • Whether the other parent has exhibited violent and abusive behavior
  • The history of domestic abuse in the home

Judges take these matters seriously. An accusation of mental instability, substance abuse, or domestic violence is not enough; they must see evidence that the other parent exhibits these problems.

Proving the Unfitness of Your Spouse

Protecting your child is your most important obligation as a parent. Working with a lawyer who specializes in child custody cases will help you get the facts and evidence, you need to ensure your child’s rights are protected.

If protecting your child means gaining sole custody, then you will need a legal advocate. Our Des Moines child custody team is ready to ensure you and your children’s best interests are the top priority in your case.

Contact Hope Law Firm for assistance with your child custody case today.