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Family Law Answers from Hope Law Firm, PLC

Divorce

What is the definition of "dissolution of marriage?"

The laws on dissolution of marriage mean that the end of a marriage is legally valid, otherwise known as "divorce." Iowa laws do also recognize separate maintenance, which is a way for couples to stay married, but live separately.

Is your “retainer” my total cost?

A retainer is like a deposit, or down payment. In a very simple uncontested divorce, our retainer may be your only legal cost except for a few mandatory filing fees. We do everything we can to keep your case simple, but often a divorce becomes more complex than you expected. If we have to spend additional time in court on your behalf, we charge a reasonable hourly rate for our time.

What is the total time it will take for my divorce to be final?

From the first filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, it can take anywhere from three to 12 months to complete your divorce. The court may require only the minimum 90-day waiting period.

Child support

Will I have to pay child support if I have custody at least half of the time?

Yes, this is possible. Many factors are considered when child support is established, and the percentage of parenting time is only one of those factors. Some parents may be required to pay child support to each other. Hope Law Firm, PLC works to make the child support arrangement as logical and appropriate as possible.

What if I am not receiving the support payments that I was promised?

Child support is dictated by the courts, and a support order cannot be disregarded. If you are not receiving the child support that was determined by the court, our attorneys take decisive legal action to get your payments on track and to recover any amounts in arrears.

Child custody

I cannot bear the thought of joint custody. How can I prevent it?

Joint custody may not be ordered by the court if the other parent is likely to pose physical or emotional harm to the child, and a number of other reasons. If this is so, we strongly make the case for sole custody. If your child’s personal well-being is at stake, we are unyielding in our pursuit of sole custody and other legal protections.

The custody arrangement that we both agreed to is not working. Can we change it?

Yes. Whether you are in amicable agreement that the custody arrangement should be altered or there is a conflict about the terms of custody, we work with you to ask the court to reconsider the status of custody. In general, the party requesting the modification of the decree must prove that there is a substantial change in circumstances that was not anticipated at the time the decree was entered.

Hope Law Firm, PLC has the answers you need about family law

You probably have many more questions. At Hope Law Firm, PLC, we have answers you need to move ahead with your life. Call us at (515) 298-5056 or contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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  • I have and will always tell friends and family what a wonderful job Jennifer at Hope Law Firm did for me.

    “Jennifer was my Attorney she made me feel at ease right from the start. She took care of everything, very professional. It looked like everything was not looking good for me, but when the truth came ...”

    - Douglas M.
  • I would trust Andi with my case again and recommend her to anyone that is going through a similar case.

    “I needed to modify my custody agreement for many reasons. One of the biggest was that my children were just not properly being cared for outside of my household. When I decided to reach out to see ...”

    - Michelle
  • I would definitely contact Rosy Eichelberger and the Hope Law Firm again!

    “I contacted Hope Law Firm for writing my will at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am so pleased I made this choice! I worked with Rosy Eichelberger and she was exceptionally accommodating and ...”

    - Peg T.
  • One of the most difficult things in my life, and she made it so much easier.

    “Katie was amazing at handling my protective order and my high conflict divorce. She knew exactly how to handle everything and had many suggestions towards the decree to make sure I was protected in ...”

    - Tracy
  • Amazing experience!

    “One day my employer informed me that she received a garnishment order for a very large amount of money, mostly unfair high-interest rate charges from an old, small loan before my marriage. My wife and ...”

    - Matthew T.
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