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Child Custody: Understanding The Impact

A married couple moving toward divorce has a myriad of personal and financial concerns. Each partner is worried about their future, finances and the successful movement of their family through divorce. For children, a familiar life will be turned upside down, and the impact plays an important role in how parents conduct themselves during the divorce process. 

In Iowa, divorcing parents are required to attend a course to help them understand the effects of divorce on their children. The courses are mandatory, require payment of a fee and must be completed within 45 days of filing an original notice. 

During divorce, parents must decide the type of custody best suited for their family. Iowa courts believe both parents should have consistent and continuing contact with children unless the need for a different arrangement is proven. 

When considering the impact of divorce on children in Des Moines, it is important for parents to understand that their own personal interests may not be the same as the best interests of their children. Bitter feelings held by parents that spill over into custody proceedings have the potential to create ill will long into the future.  

Consider these questions when thinking about custodial arrangements: 

  • History: What is the family history of these children? Children of stay-at-home parents have a different type of adjustment than those familiar with the routine of day-care.
  • Special needs: Are there any special physical or other considerations that should be taken into account?
  • Relationship: What are the relationships between parents and children, and what type of arrangements best work to preserve and build on those connections?
  • Preferences: What are the true preferences and desires of children? What type of life would best suit them as individuals?

Divorce is the dissolution of the legal relationship between parents — not the destruction of emotional ties between parents and their children. Civil conduct during divorce and true consideration of the needs of children go a long way toward helping families move forward successfully after divorce.