Cedar Rapids Sole Custody Attorneys

Generally, the courts in Iowa see the value in having both parents involved in a child’s upbringing. Unfortunately, not all people are fit to be parents. You may need to seek sole custody if you have concerns about your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s parental abilities. Another reason is you may be concerned about the safety of your children while in their other parent’s care.

At Arenson Law Group, PC, our compassionate family law attorneys want to hear your story. We are committed to advocating for parents and their children. You need a strong and proactive attorney on your side willing to help you fight to protect your children if you are a parent going through a divorce. Contact our Cedar Rapid child custody lawyers today at (319) 363-8199 to set up a confidential consultation.

Iowa’s Child Custody Laws

Iowa’s laws require that, in child custody matters, the child’s best interest is one of the primary determining factors. Additionally, the court must consider what custody arrangement gives the child the best opportunity for the most possible emotional and physical contact with both parents after the divorce. The court will intervene if the parents can’t agree on what is best for the child. It will determine what is best for the child. One of the options is “sole custody.”

Physical Custody vs. Legal Custody

Before we delve into what sole custody means, it is crucial to understand the terms used to differentiate types of custody. The terms “legal custody” and “physical custody” are often used interchangeably. However, these two types of custody are quite different. It is vital that you understand the difference between them if you are seeking sole custody of a child during a divorce.

Physical custody is granted to the parent with whom the child legally resides. Legal custody, on the other hand, grants a parent the right to make crucial decisions for their children. These decisions can include medical care. How and where will the child be educated? Plus, what recreational activities may the child participate in. A parent can seek sole physical custody and joint legal custody. Or they may pursue sole legal and physical custody.

What Is Sole Custody?

Sole legal custody means only one parent can decide on their child’s behalf. Sole physical custody means the child lives with only one parent rather than splitting their time between the parent’s domiciles. The other parent may or may not have visitation rights.

Iowa judges generally recognize the value of having two productive parents involved in raising a child. Commonly, the courts prefer to award joint legal custody to both parents and sole physical custody to one parent. This arrangement gives decision-making power to both parents. It allows a child to feel safe in one home environment without worrying about being uprooted every other week or on another schedule. The non-custodial parent will typically have visitation rights. The non-custodial parent may also have to pay child support to the custodial parent to help provide the child with financial stability.

How Does a Parent Get Sole Custody?

Iowa courts rarely grant sole physical and legal custody to one parent. Doing so effectively cuts off the access and decision-making responsibilities of the other parent. There must be clear and convincing evidence that awarding joint custody does not benefit the child. This evidence could include:

Essentially, it must be established that a relationship with one of the parents would be detrimental to the health and safety of the child. A history of domestic violence or assault is generally compelling enough evidence to convince a court that sole custody is in the best interest of the child. However, evidence of ongoing substance abuse, severe mental health issues, or suicidal tendencies may also be grounds for awarding sole custody to the other parent.

Similarly, a court may decide against awarding joint custody when a parent is convicted of crimes that may put a child in danger. Evidence of sexual abuse, inappropriate sexual conduct with a child, and other violent or sexual offenses may result in sole custody being granted to only one parent.

Why You Need an Aggressive Family Law Attorney

Cedar Rapids Sole Custody Attorneys

You need an aggressive Cedar Rapid family law attorney fighting for you if you believe your child would be in danger or at risk for not having their basic needs met if custody is granted to your spouse.

No one wants a divorce to be a battle. But we know you would do anything to protect your children. A thoughtful and experienced attorney can help you pursue a custody arrangement tailored to meet the best interests of your children. At Arenson Law Group, PC, we listen to your story and carefully assess your situation. Next, we will gather evidence to support your case and establish why sole custody would be the best outcome for your child.

We know how important protecting your child is to you. We will go out of our way to build a compelling case that offers you the best chance at reaching the custody outcome that offers your child the best future.

Contact an Experienced Cedar Rapid Family Law Attorney Today

Divorce is never easy, particularly when you plan to seek sole custody of a child. The Arenson Law Group, PC’s legal team has more than 15 years of family law experience. We know what it takes to build a strong child custody case while protecting the best interests of you and your children.

If you have concerns about custody arrangements for your child or believe your spouse is an unfit parent, contact a seasoned Cedar Rapids child custody attorney with Arenson Law Group, PC, today. Let us provide you with legal advice and a supportive shoulder to lean on. We want to help you achieve the best outcome so you and your child can progress. Contact our Cedar Rapids office at (319) 363-8199 for a confidential consultation about your case.

(319) 363-8199