Couple holding a baby.

Child Custody: What Are The Rights of Unmarried Parents?

Generally, the rights of unmarried parents include the same rights to the care, custody, and control of their child that married parents enjoy. However, there is one caveat. Unmarried biological fathers, otherwise known as putative fathers, must establish themselves as legal parent before they can exercise visitation and make decisions impacting the child. What Does…

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Gavel and wood shaped into a family.

Alimony: How a Judge Sets the Amount

You may find it difficult to go your own way with respect to finances after divorce. Most spouses both have jobs. However, it is still common for one spouse to be the homemaker in the marriage. Inequities arise when the economically dependent spouse can not find a suitable job after years of unemployment. In Iowa,…

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A crying toddler.

Spanking and Its Effects On A Child’s Brain Development

Spanking is becoming a more and more taboo way to discipline one’s children. While a national research study shows that many adults still believe spanking is an adequate way to discipline a child, the number of adults who disapprove of the practice is growing every year. The negative effects on a child far outweigh any…

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A daughter crying.

Child Visitation: What If My Child Refuses to Do It?

A child’s visitation refusal can have significant emotional and legal impacts. Not only does it put both parents in a tough situation, but it may stir up distrust and suspicion. From a legal standpoint, failure to comply with a court-ordered visitation agreement may result in severe penalties. If your child’s safety is a concern, speak…

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Payment of child support.

Do I Have to Pay Child Support If I Give My Baby up for Adoption?

Do you have to pay child support if you give up your child for adoption? The short answer is no, you don´t. Like many legal questions, however, the answer isn’t quite that simple once you look at it closely. Under certain circumstances you might still owe child support payments. Under other circumstances, a bureaucratic mistake…

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A child holding a toy.

Child’s Best Interest in Custody Cases

Whenever people discuss child custody, a particular phrase keeps emerging again and again—”the best interests of the child.” Although this phrase may sound very vague, its extensive use in child custody proceedings throughout Iowa has rendered its meaning reasonably clear if you understand the legal background behind it. Courts certainly do treat parental rights as…

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Common law marriage.

Does Iowa Recognize Common Law Marriage?

Iowa still recognizes common law marriage, unlike most other US states. Despite its legality, however, Iowa courts treat claims of common law marriage with skepticism. If you seek to prove the existence of such an arrangement, you may well face an uphill battle. US law considers marriage to be a governmental recognition of an already-existing…

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How To Handle Holidays after a Marital Separation

Christmas is generally thought of as a family holiday, and that reality could present you with problems when you don’t have your family around or if your access to them is restricted due to separation or custody issues. A marital separation can make the holidays a lot more difficult than they need to be if…

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Sad curly little girl looking out the rain drop window and show his open palm

What Factors Influence Child Custody in Iowa?

In Iowa, child custody decisions are influenced by a variety of factors, including the type of custody sought (legal or physical custody, sole custody or joint custody, etc.) and various relevant characteristics of the parents and the child. A court may also ask a third party to investigate and make a custody recommendation. Iowa courts…

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