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Recent Posts in Family Law Category

  • What Is a Child in Need of Assistance Case?

    A Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) case is when a court must decide if the living situation around a child is not conducive to their ultimate wellbeing. A court will find a CINA if: a child has been abused and/or neglected; a child has a developmental disability or mental disorder that isn’t being addressed by their guardian; or the child’s guardians don’t give proper care and/or attention to ...
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  • How Can a Grandparent Gain Custody of a Child?

    Grandparents can be heavily involved in the life and child-rearing responsibilities of children; sometimes they even become the primary caregivers. While the majority of child custody cases are between parents, grandparents have the right to seek custody of their grandchildren as well. So, how can a grandparent gain custody of their grandchild? Is it a more difficult process than a biological ...
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  • How to Get Your Child's Passport if You Are a Single Parent

    As of 2001, the United States government requires both parent’s signatures on their child’s passport applications. This rule applies to new passports for children under the age of 14; before this rule, it was possible for only one parent to complete a passport application for their child. If you are a single parent, it is still possible for you to obtain a passport for your child. However, the ...
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  • Issues Regarding the Enforcement of Premarital Agreements in Iowa

    What Is a Premarital Agreement? A premarital agreement is a contract that prospective newlyweds enter into before they get married. Also known as a “prenuptial agreement” or “prenup,” premarital agreements let couples figure out issues such as the disposition of marital property during marriage and when the marriage ends due to the death of a spouse or divorce . However, premarital agreements can ...
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  • What Is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction?

    The Hague Conference on Private International Law is an international organization compromised of several countries (82 States and the European Union). The goal of the Hague Conference is to establish workable, internationally-agreed methods of resolving legal issues between countries with various legal systems and traditions regarding matters such as court jurisdiction and the recognition and ...
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  • How Child Support Arrears Can Impact Your New Marriage

    In the United States, approximately half of all first marriages end in divorce. Sounds like a grim statistic until you learn that second and subsequent marriages have an even higher risk of divorce. But why is it that second marriages are more doomed to failure than first marriages? We don’t know all of the “reasons” based on research, however, we are confident that many couples in blended ...
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  • What Rights Does an Unmarried Father Have?

    In the 21st Century, it is not unusual for unmarried parents to have children. Perhaps these parents are divorced or have no intention of marrying because they are children of divorce. The reasons for having children out of wedlock vary and are very personal, but regardless of the reasons for having children outside of the institution of marriage, it’s frequency has raised issues in the family ...
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  • Helpful Tips to Survive the Workday During a Divorce

    Divorce is an inherently emotional process. After all, the end of a marriage is a pretty big deal and, no matter how necessary it is, both parties are bound to feel a vast range of emotions, some of which might even be a little disruptive. Trying to cope with your divorce while you are work might even impact your productivity level and, while your boss might be a little understanding at this time, ...
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  • Iowa Fathers Fight for 50/50 Parenting Rights Bill

    50 50 Parenting Plan Determining child custody is one of the most contentious aspects of the divorce process. When parents can’t establish a parenting plan on their own, they can turn to the court for guidance. However, Iowa courts tend to pick one parent to be the primary custodian, which isn’t always in the child’s best interest. The purpose of a comprehensive parenting plan is to guarantee that ...
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  • 2 Misconceptions About Common Law Marriage

    Iowa is one of the few states in the country that still recognizes common law marriage. However, there are many misconceptions about this practice. For example, many couples believe they have the same rights, obligations, and responsibilities as a married couple just because they’ve lived together for seven years. In reality, there are no strict rules or guidelines when it comes to establishing a ...
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  • Marital Abandonment & Your Divorce Case

    The divorce process can be a complicated and overwhelming experience even when both spouses are present and accounted for. But what happens when one spouse completely severs ties with the family and runs away to parts unknown? This leaves the other spouse responsible for countless financial and marital obligations. Fortunately, you can still get divorced in Iowa even if your spouse has disappeared ...
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  • What Is Adult Adoption?

    Adult adoption is a wonderful way to formalize the relationship between a parent and child. Stepchildren, foster children, and even lost-lost biological children can all benefit from the adult adoption process. For example, an adult adoptee may want to initiate this legal process after reuniting and connecting with their biological father or mother. This process can be completed so long as the ...
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  • Divorce & Your Cemetery Plots

    In recent years, there has been a significant shift in how Americans conceptualize death and divorce. Instead of overlooking these uncomfortable topics, people of all ages and cultures are embracing the reality that relationships and financial circumstances inevitably change over time. This isn’t pessimism, but an acknowledgement that while it’s impossible to predict the future, you can still ...
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  • Child Custody FAQs

    Every client that walks through our doors has unique personal circumstances and legal goals they want to achieve. Even so, there is one subject that can turn any divorce case into a drawn-out, costly, and high-conflict affair: child custody. Many divorcing parents turn to us because they have countless questions and concerns about the legalities and regulations surrounding child custody ...
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  • Managing the Emotional Trials of Visitation

    Part of your post-divorce life is learning how to share custody with your former spouse. While it’s difficult to watch your children drive away with your ex, you need to learn how to rationalize, accept, and proactively manage your visitation blues. Your Feelings Are Normal Sometimes “out of sight” does not mean “out of mind.” It’s normal to feel a little lost when your children are spending time ...
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  • 3 Gift-Giving Tips for Divorced Parents

    The winter season plays host to numerous cultural and religious holidays that celebrate the concepts of “family” and “togetherness.” Many recently divorced parents paste on bright smiles, whip out their credit cards, and struggle to make this season a special experience for their children. What they don’t realize is that their children can’t wait for December to be over. The Gift-Giving ...
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  • Wasteful Dissipation: Avoiding Emotional Spending During Your Divorce

    People intentionally and subconsciously discover unique ways to deal with the emotional and social impact of divorce. For example, some individuals become devoted to their careers while others aggressively spend time with family and friends. The ultimate goal is to establish a sense of stability by seeking and enjoying positive distractions. However, this impulse can become dangerous to your ...
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  • Preventing Visitation Obstacles

    Once a divorce is finalized, former spouses are finally able to start forging the next chapter of their lives. However, not all ties are severed once this legal process is complete. Former spouses often have to construct their new lives while still co-parenting with their exes. This can be a difficult relationship to navigate, especially if the marriage or divorce was particularly contentious. ...
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  • Understanding Student Loans & the Debt Distribution Process

    Nearly 45 million people in America are frantically struggling to pay off their student loan debts. Statistically, this means that at least 24% of the country is currently participating in a college debt repayment plan. With citizens collectively owing over $1.5 trillion, it’s no wonder that many desperate people just give up and allow these debts to default. But what happens to a spouse’s student ...
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  • Finalizing Your Divorce? Who Gets the Timeshare?

    The best part of the vacation experience is escaping the stress and trials of everyday life. Many married couples fall in love with this feeling and make the emotional and impulsive decision to purchase a timeshare. After all, why not make a vacation paradise your actual home away from home? A timeshare is a property that is owned by multiple parties who get to utilize it on scheduled weeks ...
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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 ...
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  • Why You Shouldn’t Stay Together for the Kids

    Filing for divorce is a big decision that no couple chances lightly. After all, for better and worse, the transition from marriage to singlehood ultimately affects every aspect of a person’s life. Divorce, in and of itself, can also be a complicated and stressful experience. Spouses need to hire attorneys and negotiate debt allocation, asset division, and child custody; they may even need to go to ...
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  • What Is a Divorce by Default?

    Filing for divorce can be an emotionally complicated experience for both the petitioner and the respondent. Even spouses who agree about filing for divorce may struggle with the overall emotional, legal, and financial reality. In less fortunate circumstances, petitioners may encounter hostility or resistance from spouses who refuse to accept or respond to the divorce paperwork. Without legal ...
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  • Child Custody: Determining the Best Interests of the Child

    When child custody and child support decisions are being negotiated, the court often makes its final determinations based on a child’s “best interests.” In the context of family law, this means that any decisions relating to custody, visitation, and financial support payments are made with the intention of benefitting the child first and foremost. Even if parents agree on a custody arrangement out ...
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  • Will a Collaborative Divorce Benefit My Children?

    To children, divorce is the end of the world. This may seem dramatic, but there is no denying that divorce changes a child’s life irrevocably. While a divorce may benefit your family in the long run, it’s important to remember what an emotionally complicated experience it can be for your child. If you have an amicable or courteous relationship with your spouse, you may want to consider a ...
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