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Serving Iowa Families Statewide

Understanding Fathers' Rights in Iowa

Do Fathers Have Rights in a Divorce or Separation?

When going through a separation or divorce involving children, many parents' primary concerns are that their children are supported and their relationship with their children is preserved. Many people automatically assume that children should be placed with their mother, and fathers can often feel like their relationship with their children is undervalued. The last thing you want to do is take a back seat.

In Iowa, fathers have the right to:

  • Appropriate visitation or custody
  • An equitable child support order
  • Make decisions concerning your child's upbringing
  • Petition the court for necessary modifications of child support or custody orders

How the Government Supports Fathers

Under Iowa law, fathers have the same rights as mothers do. In Iowa, the courts are focused on ensuring that the best interests of the children are protected. This is their primary goal when making child support and child custody orders. The Iowa Department of Human Services also believes that fathers play a significant role in their children's lives. They have developed several services dedicated to facilitating fathers' relationships with their children.

Through the Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU), they have developed the Promoting Opportunities for Parents Program (POPP). This program is designed to help parents overcome parenting barriers and meet their obligations to their children. The CSRU partners with many community providers that offer parenting and fatherhood classes and employment resources.

Federal Grants to Facilitate Access and Visitation for Non-Custodial Parents

The Department of Human Services also receives federal funding to help provide services that facilitate access and visitation for non-custodial parents. Funds are used to help support organizations such as the Kids First Law Center and Youth and Shelter Services, Inc. These non-profit organizations provide services such as mediation, counseling, and help with developing parenting plans. They even offer neutral drop-off and pick-up services.

How to Protect Your Rights as a Father

If you are concerned that your parental rights have been compromised, you should contact an attorney familiar with handling fathers' rights issues. Having an experienced, reliable lawyer on your side can help you feel more supported and give you peace of mind. A knowledgeable attorney will assess your situation and advise you on your best course of action. Additionally, your lawyer will be with you throughout the process, representing you in court and ensuring that all paperwork and procedures are handled appropriately.

Common Fathers' Rights Issues

Unfortunately, there is still a considerable bias against fathers, and this bias may affect the outcome of child custody, support, and visitation proceedings. Too often, people assume that the mother is the more capable parent. But this is just not the case. Countless committed, loving fathers do not get the recognition they deserve.

Issues a lawyer might be able to help you with include:

  • Establishing paternity
  • Paternity disputes
  • Child custody matters
  • Child support issues
  • Visitation
  • Family law modifications
  • Court order enforcement

At Hope Law Firm, our lawyers have helped many fathers protect their parental rights. We know how sensitively these cases need to be handled, and we are qualified to handle even the most complicated issues. If you are struggling with a fathers' rights issue, turn to us. We are here to help.