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Coronavirus - Iowa Divorce Updates

The Iowa Judicial Branch and Governor Reynolds have implemented several new guidelines governing court timelines, procedures and notarization requirements for Iowa divorce cases.

Iowa Divorce Trials and Hearings

Currently all civil bench trials and other hearings set to commence before May 4 shall be either continued to a date no earlier than May 4 or conducted by telephone, at the discretion of the judge. This is undoubtedly going to create an enormous backlog of cases for an already understaffed judiciary. If your case is continued there is a good possibility that you won’t get a new trial date for six to twelve months.

Iowa Divorce cases with DHS Involvement

In child welfare cases with DHS involvement where there are court orders requiring face to face family interaction, DHS and FSRP providers shall comply with the CDC and IDPH guidelines to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. While face to face interactions are preferred, remote family interactions are appropriate when necessary to comply with CDC and IDPH guidelines.

Notarization and Witnessing

The first change involves the notarization of documents for Iowa divorce hearings and trials. Affidavits and other court documents requiring notarization can now be completed remotely using a video conference such as Skype, Facetime, Zoom, or other means.

 

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