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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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  • He was also very fair and flexible with his billing which I was beyond grateful for.

    “Steve represented me in my divorce case that ended up going all the way to trial. Steve helped me get custody of my daughter and child support started. He did a good job communicating with me ...”

    - Tina W.
  • I was granted everything I hoped for with my case and custody.

    “Katie Naset fulfilled ALL of these requirements plus some! She also answered every single one of my million questions that I had for her.”

    - Rebekah H.
  • She was on-top of the process from start to finish.

    “My divorce included a house, a kid, a few debts, and a possible "battle"... I did my research for lawyers around Des Monies and chose Katie because of the great reviews. She was a great lawyer and did ...”

    - Jessica H.
  • Hope Law Firm is a phenomenal group and I would recommend to anyone!

    “Hope Law Firm is outstanding! I have worked with them for a little over a year now. Always friendly, respectful, inviting, clean atmosphere. The location is perfect and hours are flexible with my ...”

    - Kristina H.
  • She was very professional and made me proud to have her represent me.

    “Katie helped me through the whole process, was very personable, able to explain everything, also able to predict and negotiate potential outcomes.”

    - Rebecca F.
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