How do I get divorced?

The State of Iowa has a no fault divorce law, meaning one can obtain a divorce without any showing of fault.

Instead of focusing on whom is at fault for the marriage failing, Iowa law is concerned with the main issues that will need to be addressed: property division, spousal support, child support and child custody. At Derek Johnson Law Office 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 Derek Johnson Law Office will get the necessary information from you to file this document and serve it on your spouse.

Service of papers on your spouse can either be through the local sheriff’s office or your spouse can fill out a document to accept service of documents 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 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 Fort Dodge and are able to service a large part of central and North central Iowa. Call your Fort Dodge Divorce lawyers today and set up a free initial consultation. Our phone number is 515-955-2193, toll free 855-955-2193.