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Recent Posts in Family Law Category

  • 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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  • Do I Need an Attorney for an Adoption?

    Adoption cases can be complex, whether you’re planning on adopting from a private party or an agency. When it comes to expanding your family and adding a new little one to your home, it’s important that you make sure everything is as it should be throughout each step of the adoption process. Any missteps could lead to legal complications and delays, which could jeopardize your adoption. Plus, ...
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  • When Can I Seek a Child Custody Modification?

    Most child custody arrangements aren’t built to last, and if you’ve reached a point where your parenting plan no longer works for your family, you need to understand how to seek a modification. Whether you’ve relocated, are working new hours, or your child’s medical needs have changed, it’s understandable that these life changes might affect your custody arrangement. However, the way in which you ...
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  • What Factors Influence Child Custody?

    Whether you are going through a divorce, legal separation, or another type of split from your child’s other parent, dealing with the issue of child custody can be tricky. Parents are typically encouraged to try to find a solution amongst themselves, without the interference of the court system, and sometimes this works. However, if the parents are unable to come to an agreement on their own, they ...
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  • Does Infidelity Affect Divorce in Iowa?

    Many marriages end as a result of infidelity on either party’s side--sometimes even both. Infidelity makes the divorce process often more complicated and contentious, but many people fail to realize it has no real legal bearing on divorce, at least in the state of Iowa. While the state of a marriage is forever altered when one party is discovered to have cheated or consistently be cheating, the ...
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  • How Do I Protect My Rights as a Father?

    Whether you are going through a divorce or are an unmarried father, your parental rights are still important and should be respected. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge for fathers to receive the appropriate recognition in their child’s life and may find themselves fighting to protect their rights. As Des Moines family law attorneys, we understand the difficulties you may be facing, and we can ...
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  • Preparing for Divorce: What You Can Expect

    Coming to the decision to divorce is emotionally challenging. The road ahead to a finalized divorce can be just as difficult if you do not know what to expect. In order to make things easier and perhaps less intimidating for our potential clients, our Des Moines divorce lawyers of The Law Offices of Mark. R. Hinshaw have prepared a quick rundown of Iowa divorce procedures you are going to want to ...
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  • Uncontested Divorce vs. Contested Divorce

    Divorce can be settled in one of two ways: either contested or uncontested. Contested divorce is often a more popular journey for most couples to take, as those divorcing are rarely able to agree on the issues in their marriage. This means important issues such as child custody, child support, visitation, property division, the allocation of debts, and more are at the mercy of the courts, in which ...
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  • Life After Divorce

    The lead-up to divorce is often one of the most discussed parts of family law, in both the legal and public sense. The overall process is very heavily deliberated as well, though people very rarely discuss the aftermath of divorce as often as they should. This is unfortunate, as life after divorce is often incomparably difficult compared to anything you may have endured before. The question is, ...
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  • Are Same-Sex Divorce Proceedings Different?

    Same-sex marriage rights are a victory for countless couples across the nation, as they have been since the year 2009. Because the legalization of same-sex marriage is less than 10 years old, many LGBTQ couples wonder whether their rights are the same across the board. Unfortunately, divorce does not discriminate--nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce. In the event of a divorce, same-sex couples ...
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  • Getting an Annulment: What You Need to Know

    An annulment is different from a divorce in that it essentially erases the marriage from history in all senses of the word. A divorce still acknowledges a marriage legally took place at one point. Many people seek an annulment because they want to pretend their marriage never happened, but this isn’t enough reason to obtain an annulment. The legal definition of annulment means there was no valid ...
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