You started a life with your spouse, expecting your marriage to last forever. Unfortunately, now you know that this is no longer an option. Marriage comes with difficult circumstances for every couple, but sometimes these problems are impossible to overcome. However, deciding to end a marriage is a complicated and emotionally charged process, even when you are confident that dissolution is the right decision. You are facing a life-altering change that comes with legal, emotional, and financial challenges.
Under the best circumstances, in which you and your spouse both agree on how to proceed with your dissolution of marriage, you will need to understand and navigate the complexities of the family court system. However, many marriages do not end amicably, adding new levels of frustration and stress to this already confusing time of your life. During a dissolution of marriage, you may have to fight for your financial security, your property, and even your children in court. With so much at stake, you need the support and protection of a dissolution of marriage attorney to ensure that you receive fair and just treatment in court.
The Cedar Rapids dissolution of marriage attorneys at Arenson Law Group, PC are ready to fight for you and protect your rights during this difficult time. We will put our skills to work for you to help you receive the best possible outcome at the end of your marriage. Contact Arenson Law Group, PC at (319) 363-8199 today to begin work on your case and start your path towards a better life.
Why You Need an Attorney
Entering into a legal battle is often a stressful and confusing process. To dissolve a marriage, you must understand and fight for your rights under the law, make a strong legal argument against your spouse, and navigate the court system. Without a legal background, this can seem like an impossible task, and you may not even know where to begin.
The decisions the court makes about your marriage could permanently impact your life, especially when your finances or your children are at risk. If you enter into a dissolution of marriage alone, you could end up spending countless hours and dollars fighting in court, without receiving the outcome that you and your family deserve. You cannot afford to take this risk during your dissolution of marriage case.
You need to work with an attorney who has experience helping people like you in Cedar Rapids with important family matters. Your lawyer will guide you through each step of the legal process, ensuring that you understand your rights and that you do not make any mistakes, which could damage your case. They will also help you gather all of the testimonies and evidence you need to prove your case in court. When you work with an attorney, you will not only reduce the stress you face during this process, but you will also be able to rest assured that you have the best possible chances of winning your case.
Why Choose Arenson Law Group, PC?
The dissolution of marriage lawyers at Arenson Law Group, PC have years of experience helping our clients seek justice and resolution at the end of their marriage. We understand the details of the law and the best ways to build a court case in your favor, so we can support you through even the most difficult separations. Arenson Law Group, PC understands that every marriage comes with unique problems, and this will impact how you choose to proceed during dissolution. Our lawyers believe in taking a personalized approach with each of our clients, making sure that we meet each of your specific needs during your case.
Most importantly, you deserve to work with an attorney who respects you and your decisions. The lawyers at Arenson Law Group, PC offer empathetic legal counsel, to empower you in each decision you make during your case. We understand the impact a dissolution of marriage will have on your life, and we are prepared to fight and advocate on your behalf. When you work with Arenson Law Group, PC you can trust that your case is in experienced hands, and we are ready to support you every step of the way.
Understanding the Dissolution of Marriage
A dissolution of marriage is the legal term used for a divorce in the state of Iowa. There are no differences in these two terms, based on how they end a marriage or your rights to ending a marriage. You may file for a dissolution of marriage independently from your spouse and without their consent or permission.
When you decide to proceed with a dissolution of marriage, you will file a petition with the clerk of the court in your district. In this petition, you will state your reasons for ending your marriage and offer any necessary explanation about the circumstances leading you to seek dissolution. Your spouse does not have to agree with your decision to end the marriage, nor do they have to admit that there is an irreparable breakdown in the relationship. You have the power to make this decision and fight to protect yourself and your needs.
The state of Iowa also supports legal separation without a dissolution of the marriage. In this scenario, you and your spouse may still share financial support and responsibilities, without proceeding with a full divorce. You have the same rights and protection available whether you choose to pursue a legal separation or a dissolution of marriage.
Legal Grounds for Dissolution of Marriage in Iowa
In the state of Iowa, you can only file for a no-fault divorce, in which neither you nor your spouse is responsible for the end of the marriage. Although you cannot force your spouse to take the blame for mistakes or wrongdoing, in this type of divorce, you still need to prove that your marriage is over and there is no chance of reconciliation.
You will need to provide the court with evidence that your marriage has ended, to qualify for a no-fault divorce. You can include evidence such as witness testimonies, documents proving separation, and correspondence between you and your spouse. You may also describe circumstances which make your marriage impossible to continue, including but not limited to:
- Criminal activity and conviction
- Mental illness
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Mental or physical abuse
You will still need to provide evidence to support your claims of any of these behaviors. However, explaining additional circumstances that justify your dissolution of marriage may help your case for financial support or child custody.
How does Iowa separate property?
Many different factors will determine how the court separates property during a dissolution of marriage. In general, Iowa follows a system of equitable distribution, meaning that the court will divide all property from before and after the marriage between you and your spouse. However, equitable distribution is not the same as equal distribution, so you and your spouse will not necessarily receive the same amount or type of property. The court may decide to separate your property based on factors such as:
- Contributions you and your spouse made when acquiring the property
- Value you and your spouse each gained from the property
- Length of time spent in the marriage
- The physical and emotional health of each spouse
The court uses these factors in an attempt to determine a fair separation of property and avoid retaliation between you and your spouse. However, you must work with a lawyer to build a strong legal case, which demonstrates your right to your property.
How does the dissolution of marriage impact my children?
If you and your spouse have children, a dissolution of marriage becomes much more complex. Even if you and your spouse agree on custody and visitation, you still need a court order that legally proves your rights. If you and your spouse do not agree, the court will try to determine the best outcome for your child, based on factors such as:
- The ability of the parent to support the child’s needs
- Stability of the home environment
- Physical safety or history of abuse
- Level of care each parent has provided in the past
The court may also take into account your child’s opinion on the matter, especially if they have strong opinions or oppositions. In some cases, the court may request that you and your spouse seek mediation, in which you will discuss the best options for your child with a third-party representative. You need to work with a lawyer, if you and your spouse have children, to ensure that you can protect your child’s safety and well-being throughout the dissolution process and after.
Contact Arenson Law Group, PC
If you are seeking to dissolve your marriage, turn to a qualified and experienced Cedar Rapids family lawyer for guidance and support. No matter the difficulties involved in your separation, Arenson Law Group, PC will help you seek the best possible outcome at the end of your marriage. You deserve fair and just treatment, and our attorneys will fight for your best interests. Contact Arenson Law Group, PC at (319) 363-8199 to schedule a confidential case evaluation with us today.
Written by James H. ArensonLast Updated : October 13, 2023