A divorce can be a challenging and emotionally taxing ordeal, especially if your breakup is marked by enmity or if your finances are complex. I see it as my job to make sure that your divorce proceeds as smoothly and cooperatively as possible. Unfortunately, however, cooperation requires two parties, while conflict requires only one — in some cases, an amicable breakup is simply not possible.
There are two primary types of divorce lawyers you need to avoid — the type who wants to pick a fight in order to turn the procedure into a war that is only more profitable for the attorneys, and the type who is so conciliatory that it harms your legitimate interests by behaving more like a social worker than a lawyer. I know how to strike a balance between cooperation and conflict that will protect your interests.
How Divorce Works in Iowa
An Iowa divorce takes time, just as it does in any other state, and it generally requires significant preparation. Since Iowa is a “no-fault” divorce state, one spouse can obtain a divorce over the other spouse’s objections. Since there is no need to prove that one party caused the marriage to fail, issues such as extramarital affairs might not even be considered.
Common circumstances that can complicate a divorce include:
- There are children from the marriage
- At least one spouse owns real estate
- There is a dispute concerning the terms of the divorce, such as how to divide the marital property
- One spouse is seeking financial support from the other
- The marital property includes substantial money or other assets.
A Satisfied Client Speaks Out
“Both my children are special needs, and I don’t have a huge bank account, but going through my divorce, Jonathan was always mindful of how to best serve my children’s needs. He fought for them and helped me to be able to continue caring for them as they need. I will always be grateful for that. I hope to never need a lawyer again, but if I do, I won’t hesitate to call him.”
May 31, 2017
Some of My Practice Areas
I practice in many other sub-specialties of family law, including:
- Parental rights
- Visitation rights
- Child support
- Domestic violence
- Prenuptial agreements
- Property division
- Spousal support (alimony)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I own a business. Is it considered marital property or separate property?
There is no simple answer to this question – it depends heavily on the specific facts of your case. It is more likely to be considered your separate property if you acquired it prior to marriage, although its income generated after marriage might be considered marital property.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Iowa?
That depends on a lot of factors, including:
- The complexity of your finances;
- How many children you have; and
- The contentiousness of your divorce (how much you disagree on).
In a best-case scenario, your divorce could take as little as 90 days. In a worst-case scenario, it could take two years or more.
If I married in another state, how long will I have to wait before I can file for divorce in Iowa?
To file for divorce in Iowa, either you or your spouse must be an Iowa resident. To become an Iowa resident, you must have lived in-state for at least one year with the intention of making Iowa your permanent home. You must not have moved to Iowa simply to obtain a divorce.
What factors will the courts consider when determining alimony?
Many factors come into play, including:
- The length of the marriage;
- The age and health of either spouse;
- The earning capacity of the spouse seeing alimony;
- Tax consequences;
- Any agreement between the parties;
- And other factors
The Most Important Decision You are Likely to Make
The divorce process will require you to make decisions – not only about the divorce itself, but also about issues such as child custody. The most important decision you are likely to make, however, is your first one — who you will choose to represent you.
While you are making that decision, it is always a good idea to check the lawyer’s reputation among his peers. My reputation, fortunately, is firmly established in the legal world:
- In 2017, I was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers, along with only 2.5 percent of my peers.
- I am rated “Distinguished” by Martindale-Hubbell and “Superb” by the Avvo legal rating service.
If you or your spouse live in the Cedar Rapids area (or anywhere in Eastern Iowa), or if your divorce case is being heard here, contact me online or call my office at (319) 774-6078, so that we can schedule an initial consultation to discuss your options.