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Des Moines Legal Issues Blog

Criminal defense:Mother says police lied about condition of home

An Iowa woman claims that police lied about the circumstances that ultimately led to her arrest. Facing seven counts for child endangerment, she is no longer in police custody and appears to already be focusing on her criminal defense options. She recently spoke out to the media about her arrest.

A local care service contacted police after one of its care coordinators had trouble completing a safety check on the woman's eight children. After arriving at the apartment, the coordinator allegedly found the front door unlocked and ajar, and proceeded inside. The coordinator found two children -- one of them an infant -- on a bed in a back room. The coordinator contacted authorities after one of the children ran to another room, leaving the infant behind.

What will happen to my property during divorce?

Ending a marriage usually raises many questions that you may have never thought of before. What does separate property mean? How does equitable distribution affect my property? Will my ex get most of our marital belongings? Understanding the answers to these questions can be essential for reaching a successful divorce agreement.

In Iowa, marital property is divided according to equitable distribution. Many people wrongly equate the word equitable with equal, and are surprised to learn that they will not receive an exact 50/50 split of the assets. Instead, you and your soon-to-be ex can both expect to receive a portion of your marital assets that is considered most fair. For some this might indeed a 50/50 split, while an equitable split for others might resemble something closer to 40/60.

Seeking custody modifications after divorce

As children grow, their needs change. In some cases involving divorce, these changes warrant a modification to a custody agreement.

Receiving a modification to custody does not come easy. If you are considering seeking one, there are a few things to know about custody modifications.

Criminal defense: Iowa man accused of theft

An Iowa man was recently arrested for allegedly carrying out a string of thefts. He is facing a laundry list of charges, including multiple counts of both second and third-degree thefts and a single count of fourth-degree theft. He is currently still in police custody in lieu of bond and may already be focusing on his criminal defense plans.

Police claim that the thefts began in June 2017, and that the 26-year-old man targeted stores such as Ulta Beauty, Von Maur and Victoria's Secret. Many of these stores were apparently hit more than once, and altogether lost merchandise valued at $19,223. Authorities stated that they intend to file additional charges that will increase the value of stolen merchandise.

Different types of child custody

Battle lines have been drawn and the end is in sight for the Iowa couple. Divorce can be a difficult process, and when children are involved, the process can appear to be more difficult. However, by keeping in mind what is in the best interest of the children and each working with experienced legal counsel, parents can reach a child custody agreement and shield the children from as much divorce drama as possible.

While there are many different types of custody arrangements, some are more prevalent than others. In many cases, one parent has physical custody of the child. This custodial parent is responsible for taking care of the child on a day-to-day basis; the other parent generally maintains liberal visitation privileges. In other cases, the parents share joint custody and spend approximately the same amount of time with the child. Typically, the child moves back and forth between parents' homes on a regular basis.

2 women charged for defrauding, criminal defense likely priority

An ongoing criminal investigation resulted in the arrest of two Iowa women. Both face serious criminal charges for allegedly defrauding the grandparent of an incarcerated individual. Since felony charges tend to be more severe than misdemeanors, a more vigorous criminal defense is often necessary.

Police claim that the women misrepresented themselves as members of an area law firm, and may have acted with one other person. They allegedly approached a current inmate's grandparent and told him or her that their grandchild needed money for important expenses. They cited nonexistent attorney fees and medical expenses when pressing the grandparent to send them money.

After divorce, spousal support may be important

Spousal support is an important aspect of family law that is not necessarily well-understood. Many people in Iowa pursuing a divorce understand that it is possible for a judge to order spousal support payments, even if they are not entirely sure why. Spousal support -- also called alimony -- can be a necessary part of divorce for a number of reasons, although in some instances it might not be needed at all.

Barring any type of prenuptial agreement, the decision to order one spouse to pay spousal support to an ex is usually in the hands of a family law judge. The paying party usually earns significantly more than the recipient. This is especially common when one spouse either maintained a lower paying job to be more present for the family, or ended a career altogether in order to care for the couple's children.

Assault, OWI charges after woman bit officer during arrest

A hit-and-run car wreck led Iowa police to arrest a woman for driving under the influence. In addition to OWI charges, she is also facing multiple other allegations, including charges of assault on a police officer and drug possession. Police claim that the woman bit an officer during her arrest, and is currently out of jail after posting bond.

Police were called to the scene of what they described as a hit-and-run accident, and found a 37-year-old woman behind the wheel of her vehicle. She was apparently the victim of an accident in which the other driver fled, but police noted that she smelled of alcohol and had trouble standing. When asked, she apparently admitted to drinking alcohol prior to the wreck.

Key facts to understand about child support

When two parents decide to no longer be together, they must still provide for the needs of the child. To ensure this, the court may order the non-custodial parent to pay child support.

In order to properly plan and provide for the child, it is important that both parents know what child support entails.

Iowa State football player might be working on criminal defense

A junior football player at Iowa State was arrested over the Thanksgiving holiday. Brian Peavy is facing charges for interfering with official acts and fourth degree criminal mischief, although it is not entirely clear what led to his arrest. His place in an upcoming football game is also currently in question, as he might be precluded from participating in team activities while focusing on his criminal defense.

Peavy was arrested on Thanksgiving Eve. His arrest, mug shot and charges were taken as a screenshot from CIPTC, the Central Iowa Police to Citizens website, which displays inmate information for a specific jail. It was subsequently posted to a fan page for the Iowa State Cyclones. The listed information was later removed from the website without any apparent explanation.