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2011 Iowa Custody Study

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 Preserving the parent-child relationship in separated families!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is joint physical care?

Joint Physical Care (JPC) is when both parents share physical placement of the child(ren).  Simply defined, joint physical care allows the child(ren) to live with each parent 50% of the time during the year.  Research has shown that child(ren) need equal access to both parents and joint physical care accomplishes this challenge.  Parenting schedules are established to determine when each parent has the child(ren) living with them.  The most frequent joint physical care schedule is one week at moms, the next week at dads, and holidays are usually alternated. The State of Iowa, allows parents to determine what parenting schedule best meets the needs of their child(ren). Joint physical care is established in Iowa Statute 598.41(5)(a).

 

What is Iowa law regarding recorded or taped telephone conversations?

Iowa is a one party state.  It is legal to record phone calls as long as one party to the telephone conversation has knowledge and has given permission for the calls to be recorded.  Attorneys are not allowed to recommend this action to their clients, but I strongly urge you to consider this method.  It is a great way to document and prove events for future use. I advise you to document the date and time on all outgoing calls prior to completing the dialing.

 

How long does a judge have to rule on my case?

Iowa Code of Judicial Conduct states: “A judge should dispose promptly of the business of the Court” see Canon 3 (A)(5). Judges must file monthly reports by tile 10th day of each month listing all cases which have been under advisement for over 60 days as of the last day of the preceding month.

 

I am behind on my child support, can my ex-spouse deny me scheduled visitations? Absolutely not!  Iowa law treats denial of visitation as a separate issue from child support.  If your are denied visitation, you may need to file a "Contempt of Court" action either with the help of an attorney or pro se.  You may download a "Contempt of Court" form by clicking here.  Judge's generally do not like it when a parent uses  children as leverage.

 

My ex-spouse won’t let me see the kids.  Do I still have to pay child support?

Yes, continue to make support payments as ordered.  Iowa law treats denial of visitation as a separate issue from child support.  If this occurs you may need to file a "Contempt of Court" action either with the help of an attorney or pro se.  You may download a "Contempt of Court" form by clicking here.  Judge's generally do not like it when a parent uses  children as leverage.

 

Can a divorce decree be modified?  How do I go about modifying the divorce decree? A divorce decree can be modified anytime if both parties agree.  If the parties disagree on a modification, extenuating circumstances must exist (example: new laws, changes in existing laws, long term loss of income, party moving, etc.)  in order for a judge to modify the existing ruling.  Please note: One party's dissatisfaction with the stipulation is not grounds for modification.  

 

In order to modify a divorce decree, you must file a written “petition to modify decree of dissolution of marriage” at the clerk’s office and pay the filing fee. You may download a sample "Modification" form here.


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