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What Are Temporary Child Custody Orders?

During the divorce process, parents need to work together to establish an equitable child custody agreement that reflects the best interests of their child. If they can’t come to a unanimous agreement, it’s the court’s responsibility to establish a fair and comprehensive parenting plan on their behalf. But child custody determinations are only one part of a larger marital settlement agreement that may take months to effectively finalize. As parents wait for their trial date and work with their attorneys to split assets and allocate debts, it leaves their children floating in a pre-divorce limbo. To provide emotional stability and security to their children, parents can request temporary child custody, visitation, and child support orders.

Requesting Temporary Child Custody

In Iowa, parents have the legal right to request temporary child custody orders from the court. Occasionally, a series of temporary orders may need to be established to ensure that a child’s every physical, emotional, and financial need is met throughout the duration of the divorce process. The court needs to examine many factors before determining which temporary orders should be granted, and to which parent(s). in fact, these are the same concerns a judge would review before agreeing to a permanent parenting plan.  

To determine the “best interests of the child,” a judge reviews:

  • The age of the child
  • The child’s preferences
  • Each parent’s living situation
  • Each parent’s relationship with the child
  • The physical and mental health of the parents
  • If a parent is unwilling to respect their ex’s relationship with the child
  • If there is a history of abuse or neglect
  • Which parent can provide a stable home environment

If you want to establish a temporary child custody, visitation, or child support order, you’re going to need the knowledge and resources of an experienced attorney. At The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, our West Des Moines child custody attorneys can help you file a motion that proves you are the best custody option for your child.

What Happens to the Other Parent?

Above all else, the court’s primary concern is to guarantee a child’s well-being. Per Iowa Code section 598.21, this means that the court is likely to order a custody arrangement that ensures both parents can sustain healthy relationships with their child. So even if one parent is granted temporary custody, it doesn’t mean that the other parent is prohibited from visiting or spending significant time with their child. The sole exception to this scenario is if one parent poses a genuine threat to their child’s safety. This circumstance is a sensitive matter that requires specific legal support and representation.

So, according to Iowa’s temporary custody laws, the court is required to develop temporary parenting time, or a “visitation plan,” for whichever parent isn’t granted custody. This allows the other parent “reasonable” and “regular” parenting time with the child. Whether the temporary orders become permanent depends on the final parenting plan and the judgement of the court.

Want Custody? Retain Legal Representation

While you need to make many important decisions during your divorce case, the needs of your child ultimately need to come first. If you have questions about temporary orders, parenting plans, or even child custody modifications, contact the West Des Moines child custody lawyers at The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw.

Call our West Des Moines child custody attorneys at (515) 200-7571 to schedule a consultation.

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