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Iowa child custody laws seek child's best interests

Family law legislation across the country is undergoing positive changes that promise to benefit families. Like many states, Iowa's child custody laws strive to provide a more hopeful future for the children involved by encouraging parents to reach settlements that are as equitable as possible. Understanding the goals of these laws is the first step in preparing to face child custody decisions.

Whether a parent's custody case is the result of a divorce or a child born to an unmarried couple, the fact remains that no decision will be perfect for both parents. In fact, many parents find custody arrangements to be quite inconvenient at times. However, the standard of the court is to seek the best interests of the child, and studies show this often means allowing the child as much time with each parent as possible.

When determining how much a child will benefit from time with each parent, the court considers many factors. Some of those factors involve the rapport between the parents. Parents who are splitting up do not necessarily need to have the ideal relationship. However, the court will take into account the efforts the parents make to cooperate with each other and to encourage a solid and healthy relationship between the child and the co-parent. If one parent is insulting or denigrating to the other parent, especially in front of the children, the judge may take this behavior seriously.

Iowa child custody laws include physical and legal custody. Physical custody relates to the parent who has the child most of the time, and legal custody refers to making important decisions about the child, such as education and medical care. By carefully following the advice of an attorney, a parent seeking a fair share of physical and legal custody may reach a positive resolution to his or her family law issues.

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