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Divorce Law in Iowa

How to Find an Iowa Divorce Attorney

Iowan, Tom Arnold, has been divorced three times. He observes, “Divorce is just brutally painful and I went through it and then I did it again and then I did it again. Tom is now married for the fourth time. We can certainly say that he perseveres in the face of difficulty.

Many folks persevere when going through divorce; you can too. Though the present is likely incredibly painful, your future is your own; it’s your creation.

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

~Winston Churchill

If you are thinking divorce might be the right path for you or you are researching Iowa divorce law and looking for an Iowa divorce attorney, this article was written for you.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • Iowa specific divorce law requirements;
  • What you need to know about divorce; and
  • Whether it’s in your best interest to hire an Iowa divorce lawyer and, if so, how to find one and how to prepare to work with him or her.

Iowa Divorce Law Specifics

  • If the petitioner (the spouse who files the initial divorce papers) is a resident of Iowa, both spouses must have lived in Iowa for one year immediately prior to the filing.
  • If the petitioner is not an Iowa resident, only the respondent (the spouse who did not file the initial divorce papers) need to an Iowa resident for one year.
  • Iowa only has “no-fault” divorce.
  • Iowa uses the terms, “petitioner” and “respondent” to describe, first, the spouse who initially filed the divorce papers, and, second, the other spouse.
  • In Iowa, divorce papers are filed in District Court of the appropriate county.
  • In some cases, alimony is available.
  • In Iowa property distribution will be based upon what’s “equitable” (i.e. fair) and child support will be based upon the Percentage of Income Formula.

What You Need to Know About Divorce

If you follow these steps, you’ll get through your divorce with the least amount of pain possible.

  • First, do not cause pain in others, especially your spouse. If you antagonize your spouse, he or she will lash out and become less cooperative. This will cause you more pain.
    Instead, focus on compromise, collaboration, communication, and cooperation.
  • Second, you can control your legal fees and keep them to a minimum.

Follow your attorney’s advice to avoid pain in your pocketbook.

In addition, by cooperating with your spouse, you’ll get more of what want financially and keep your fees down.

  • Third, work with a therapist to deal with your pain and the myriad of feelings divorce initiates. Do not use your children or your divorce lawyer as a sounding board.
  • Fourth, hire an Iowa divorce lawyer who will work collaboratively with your spouse’s attorney. Causing your spouse’s attorney pain will likely lead to retaliation.

Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with an Iowa Divorce Lawyer?

Yes. Having qualified legal counsel will reduce your pain and allow you to focus on what’s most important, healing and starting over.

How to Find and Select an Iowa Divorce Attorney

The very easiest way to find divorce attorneys is to type “How to Find a Iowa Divorce Attorney” into Google or your favorite search engine.

Once you have your initial list of attorneys, make the best selection by looking for attorneys who:

  • Focus their practice on divorce law.
  • Offer to work collaboratively with your spouse’s attorney to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
  • Acknowledge your pain and suggest that you work with a therapist.
  • Answers your questions.
  • Explains what to expect.
  • Lets you know the best way to communicate with him or her as well as your spouse.
  • Tells you how to keep your legal fees to a minimum.
  • Makes you feel comfortable.

How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney

  • Consider reconciliation. Have all efforts been exhausted. It’s okay to wait until the sharp pain subsides before making a decision about divorce.
  • Consult with a therapist, who specializes in helping people going through divorce.
  • Make a “wish list” of everything you would like in the divorce, knowing compromise is required.
  • Research divorce related matters and make a list of questions.
  • Gather financial documentation for assets, income, expenses, and liabilities.
  • Focus on being polite to your spouse, especially in front of your children.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.

~Author Unknown

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