Serving families throughout the Greater Des Moines area


We Are Your FAMILY LAW Attorneys


Iowa & Child Custody Matters

How are child custody cases decided in Iowa? Every state has its own particular set of guidelines. However, the polestar factor in any child custody case continues to be what is in the best interests of the child.

How Do the Courts Decide?

Sometimes parents can work out many of their matters without needing to bring the matter to court. Mediation, for example, provides a confidential platform for parents to negotiate and work out their own arrangements for child custody and other such matters. A judge would only need to approve the arrangements on the basis that they decisions have been made in the child’s best interests.

In Iowa, the courts tend to favor awarding joint custody, if at all possible. The decision should also be based on the child’s best interests. Thus, the courts tend to favor awarding joint custody, if at all possible. Rights and responsibilities of joint legal custodial include equal participation in decisions affecting the child’s legal status, medical care, education, extracurricular activities, and religious instruction.

These are the following factors that the courts consider:

  • The child’s age, mental, and physical health
  • The child’s educational, social, emotional, material, and healthcare needs
  • The relative stability of each parent
  • Whether the parents can effectively communicate
  • Whether each parent can support the other parents relationship with the child
  • The relationship the child has between his or her parents and siblings
  • Whether or not the parent has committed anything morally objectionable, such as having a history of alcohol or drug abuse or domestic abuse
  • The long-term effects that the custody arrangements will have on the child

At The Law Office of Mark R. Hinshaw, our Des Moines child custody attorney advocates fully for the best interests of your children as well as you. Working out the terms after a divorce especially custody matters can be draining, but rest assured that we can support you every step of the way.

Contact us to schedule your appointment. We serve families in the Greater Des Moines area.


Contact The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC

  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.