Divorce & Custody

Divorce is one of the most emotional experiences of a person’s life. Many people go into a divorce with the best of intentions, but challenging questions about children , finances, property, pets, and business interests can quickly sour relations. At Community Law Office, we strive to make the divorce process as painless as possible for everyone involved, but we are ready to fight if compromise is not possible.


The Basics

Family law courts are courts of “equity.” In a court of equity, the judge has the power and discretion to resolve many – if not all – of the issues in the case. In a divorce, these issues include:

  • The division of marital property and assets
  • The allocation of any debts or financial liabilities
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal support

The flexibility in family law can sometimes help and sometimes harm. Community Law Office knows how to work with the system to make sure the flexibility helps you.


Collaboration and Conflict

The stakes are high in a divorce. Cooperation can turn to conflict at a moment’s notice. Community Law Office focuses on collaboration. We strive to maintain civility and cooperation as long as possible, but we are always prepared for a battle if the collaborative process breaks down.

There are two types of divorces: uncontested and contested. In an uncontested divorce, you and your soon-to-be ex agree to resolve all issues without the court’s help. In a contested case, the court, or a mediator, intervenes to help the divorcing couple resolve the conflicts. Contested cases are more costly, but sometimes they are the only rout available. In either scenario, having the Community Law Office team on your side will ensure things run smoothly. We do our best to avoid unnecessary delays and frivolous fights.


Alternatives to Divorce

Iowans have the option to legally separate instead of divorce. A separation leaves the couple legally married, but the court settles divorce issues such as custody, alimony, and division of property. The couple can purchase property and enter contracts as separate individuals. The separated parties can live their lives independently, however, neither party can remarry unless the separation is converted into a divorce.

Reasons couples choose legal separation over divorce include:

  • Separation allows for the chance of reconciliation between the parties
  • The spouses want to preserve existing medical, insurance, or tax benefits
  • Separating may be less jarring or traumatic for children than divorce
  • One or more parties in the marriage has religious or moral objections to divorce

Community Law Office works with our clients to understand their needs and unique situations. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of each situation so you can make your decision with confidence.

Family law, like any area of law, is complex, with complicated rules of evidence and procedure. At nearly every step in the process, you will be required to make hard, emotional decisions. Community Law Office provides understanding and support to help you navigate the system. Contact us today to learn more about Community Law Office’s family law services.

Community Law Office helps families of all shapes and sizes, including families from diverse ethnic or religious backgrounds, with differing immigration status, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Every family is unique and the issues a family may be facing do not always fit neatly into the traditional legal framework. Our team is ready to listen and address your concerns so we can better help you through this difficult process.