Is Anything More Important Than Your Children?

Few issues are more important than those involving your children. Whether as a part of the initial dissolution process or a later modification, it is important to keep the well-being of the children in mind as they transition into a new home life.

In determining child custody in Iowa, it is important to note that there is no automatic presumption that a mother or father is the best parent. The desire on the court's part is to try to a make custodial arrangement that will create the least amount of disruption for the children and give them the opportunity to have as much contact with both parents as is reasonably possible. If you are dealing with child custody issues, we are committed to doing everything we can to help you resolve them as efficiently, effectively and amicably as possible.

A Commitment To You And Your Children

Because we combine nearly half a century of family law experience with a commitment to our clients' unique situations, we have helped hundreds of clients arrive at successful resolutions to their child custody issues. We are committed to helping you do the same.

The legal standard in determining custody is to do what is in the best interest of the children. The number one criterion in determining physical care of a child is which parent historically has been the primary caregiver for the child. If the evidence indicates that the parents have ministered equally to the needs of the child the court may order a shared physical care arrangement wherein each parent has the child(ren) in their care approximately 50% of the time. Contrary to widespread opinion, there is no presumption in favor of shared physical care. Children should never be treated as pawns in a custody action of any kind; if the court determines that a parent is denying contact to another parent without good reason, the court will usually respond negatively.

Modifying Child Custody Arrangements

Once custody has been established, it is difficult to modify. To modify the custodial provisions of a decree, it is necessary to demonstrate substantial and material change in circumstances that was not within the courts contemplation when the order was entered, is more or less permanent and affects the welfare of the children. This is a very difficult standard to meet. The burden of proof to modify visitation is substantially lower than it is for custody. We are able to work to defend against or set up modification actions.

Once custody has been established, it is exceptionally difficult to change the conditions, which substantially affects move-away actions. If there is a possibility of a move, it is critical to factor that in when planning for child custody.

No matter what issues are involved in your case, our attorneys bring a comprehensive knowledge to the table and are dedicated to your success.

To discuss Iowa child support enforcement or other child support issues with one of our Des Moines child custody lawyers, call 515-288-3333 or email the firm.