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Child Custody Attorneys in Des Moines

Protecting Parental Rights & Advancing Your Children’s Best Interests

Divorce can be very hard on your children, so when you have serious custody issues, your attorney must manage them with sensitivity and professionalism. At Hope Law Firm, we help parents assert their right to maintain a loving relationship with their children in a manner that truly advances the best interests of their children. We provide the information you need to select the best course of action for your circumstances, and we fight to achieve your goals.

Call our child custody lawyers in Des Moines at (515) 298-5056 for a free consultation.

Legal Custody & Physical Care in Iowa

In Iowa, there are two categories of rights and responsibilities that parents have regarding their minor children.

These are:

  • Legal custody — Decision-making authority on issues that affect the child’s health, education, and welfare
    • Sole legal custody - Only one parent has been given legal authority to make these important decisions.
    • Joint legal custody -- Both parents are given the authority to make important decisions for the child's well-being. Iowa courts will tend to favor this arrangement if at all possible.
  • Physical care — The duty to provide a safe environment for the child that includes adequate shelter, clothing, and nutrition
    • Joint physical care: Both parents have the right as well as the responsibility to provide a home for the child, routine care, and will both share parenting time. This arrangement tends to be favored as well, as it allows the child to maintain a bond and close relationship with each parent. The time spent with each parent may or may not be equal. In some cases, the courts may assign "primary physical care," where the child will live with that parent more often than the other. The other arrangement may be "joint physical care," which may be closer to an equal amount of time shared.

When deciding on legal and physical custody in Iowa, the courts will evaluate many factors to determine whether or not it would be best for the child to live with both parents. For example, in a case where a parent was violent or abusive in the home, joint physical care would not be in the child's best interests.

When establishing the custody arrangement best for the child, the court will consider:

  • The suitability of each parent to be a custodian
  • The psychological and emotional development of the child
  • The parents’ ability to communicate with each other about the child
  • Each parent’s level of care for the child before and since the separation
  • Whether each parent can support the other’s relationship with the child
  • The child’s wishes, taking into account the child’s age and maturity
  • Whether the parents agree to joint custody
  • The geographic proximity of the parents
  • The safety of the child or the other parent

Iowa law directs that when the court orders sole physical custody, it must also order liberal visitation rights for the noncustodial parent so that the child can have continuing physical and emotional contact with both parents. The court may restrict visitation if the court deems contact with the noncustodial parent is likely to harm the child.

Source: https://www.iowalegalaid.org/resource/questions-and-answers-about-custody-and-visit

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Taking Legal Action to Protect Your Child

When choosing a Des Moines child custody attorney, look for someone who is capable of asserting your rights, but is also motivated to protect your child from harm. At Hope Law Firm, we conduct ourselves professionally and implement strategies designed to minimize emotional turmoil for your child. When there is a clear danger of physical or emotional abuse, we help our clients obtain protective orders to safeguard their children.

Hope Law Firm capably asserts your parental rights while safeguarding your child’s welfare. If you need advice on a custody issue, we are happy to offer a free consultation.

Call us at (515) 298-5056 or contact our office online and we will do our best to see you within 24 hours.

Why Hire Hope Law Firm?

  • Thousands of cases successfully handled for our clients.
  • We offer payment plans & flexible hours to meet your needs.
  • We treat you with compassion, honesty, dignity and respect.
  • We take an aggressive approach & have a proven track record.

THE OPINIONS THAT MATTER MOST

See What Our Clients Have to Say
  • “I wanted to be very picky and choose a top-of-the-line lawyer for the start of my divorce process and protection order; especially because I have a baby in the mix. My husband was abusive physically ...”

    - Rebekah H.
  • “I hired Katie Naset of Hope Law Firm as my divorce attorney because of her superior reviews but also because of the recommendation of one of her colleagues whose opinion I completely trust. Even ...”

    - Neila H.
  • “Katie Naset was a blessing for me. My situation was little complicated and would leave me speechless at times and unsure of what to say or do but she always helped me figure myself out and worked in ...”

    - Samii N.
  • “I used Hope Law Firm based on a friends recommendation and was lucky enough to have Katie Naset represent me in my divorce. She was very professional, explained the steps in the process, and was quick ...”

    - Sam H.
  • “Starting a custody case and living through the stress and worry about how things will end up was the worst thing I have ever dealt with. Thankfully, Katie and Shelby were always there when I had ...”

    - Whitney F.
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