How Do I Get Divorced?

Iowa is a no fault state. This means a person can obtain a divorce without any showing of fault by either spouse. Instead of focusing on who is at fault for the marriage failing, a person simply needs to establish that the marriage is over. Courts in Iowa then focus on the main issues that addressed: property division, spousal support, child support and child custody. At Kaplan & Frese, LLP we provide legal advice and representation in all of those areas.

The first step to getting divorced is filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This is a document that is filed with the Court asking that your marriage be dissolved and that the issues regarding your marriage be decided so that you and your spouse can go your separate ways. The attorneys at Kaplan & Frese, LLP will collect the necessary information from you to file this document and serve it on your spouse.

Service of the Petition on your spouse can be accomplished in a number of ways and we will be happy to discuss those with you. Typically this is done either be through the local sheriff’s office or your spouse can fill out a document to accept service of the Petition without formal service through the sheriff’s office. Once your spouse is served, he or she will have 20 days to respond to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage through a responsive pleading called an Answer. Once the Answer is filed, the Court will eventually set a trial date. Prior to the trial date, an agreement (formally called a “Stipulation”) can be filed with the Court indicating you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all issues and the Court will grant the divorce. There is a 90-day waiting period to getting divorced. If you and your spouse can reach an agreement prior to that period, we can ask that this period be waived.

If an agreement hasn’t been reached, on the trial date the Court will hear evidence regarding issues that are involving your divorce. This could be financial (eg. You and your spouse can’t agree how to divide your assets or debt) or custody related (eg. You and your spouse both want custody of the children) or relating to any issue of the divorce.

As your family law lawyer, we will work hard to advocate on your behalf but also to minimize any conflict. We understand that this is a difficult period in your life and will work hard to keep conflict to a minimum. Each case is different and it is important that you contact a legal professional to discuss your case. Our attorneys are conveniently located in Marshalltown and we serve clients throughout the state of Iowa.

Call your Marshalltown divorce lawyers today and set up a free initial consultation. Our phone number is 641-753-5549.