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Divorce in Clarke County
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Online Divorce in Clarke County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Clarke County, Iowa, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce does not provide legal advice, and all the information below is for informational purposes only.
Many spouses who would like to terminate the marriage in Clarke County are looking for a quick, easy, and affordable way to handle this process.
The primary condition for avoiding long-drawn and costly litigation is filing for an uncontested divorce. Although negotiating with the spouse can be very complicated, trying to reach an agreement on marital property, child custody, and alimony out-of-court can greatly simplify the divorce procedure and save significant money.
Moreover, some couples may even go through the dissolution process without an attorney. Out-of-court negotiations can be handled using divorce counseling, mediation, and other services.
If the divorce case is simple enough and there is no dispute about the case’s material facts, the spouses' task can be limited to the correct preparation of legal paperwork and filing it with the relevant district court in Clarke County. At this stage of the process, OnlineDivorce.com offers its assistance to all couples pursuing an uncontested divorce, regardless of whether they have children and marital property or not.
OnlineDivorce is a leading uncontested divorce preparation service with 20 years of experience. We allow divorcing couples to get their divorce forms prepared without leaving home. All legal forms are customized according to the case's peculiarities and the state law and local county rules. Our customers receive printable documents within two business days and can immediately file them with the court, following the step-by-step guidance we provide.
OnlineDivorce in Clarke County, Iowa, is a comfortable, secure, and stress-free way to handle divorce paperwork issues.
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Our tools have helped over 500,000 people get a quick and stress-free divorce while saving money in the process.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Clarke County
To apply for a divorce in Clarke County, Iowa, the plaintiff (the spouse who initiates the case) has to complete the petition for divorce, declaring the relevant ground for divorce upon which the dissolution of marriage is sought.
Iowa Family Law does not specify any fault-based grounds, meaning that spousal misconduct cannot be an official cause for divorce, so neither spouse has to prove the other party's wrongdoing at the court hearing.
Thus, under the Iowa Code, Sec. 598.5, to file for a no-fault divorce in Clarke County, the petitioner shall allege that there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship, and there is no likelihood of reconciliation.
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In divorce cases in Clarke County, Iowa, with children involved, the parents getting a divorce are encouraged to resolve all the matters related to child custody and visitation on their own. If they can reach an agreement, the judge evaluates whether their arrangement is fair and reasonable, and, if so, approves it without a divorce trial.
If the spouses cannot create a parenting plan peacefully and out-of-court, Iowa courts may provide for joint custody of the child by the parties or award child custody to either party following the provisions of the Iowa Code, Sec. 598.41
Iowa Family Law contains a presumption that joint legal custody is a preferable option in most cases unless there is evidence of domestic violence and abuse.
In all child custody proceedings, Iowa courts are governed by the child's best interests, preventing the final custody arrangement from posing any threat to the child's well-being.
Among the factors which help the judge to determine the most advantageous legal custody (parents' decision-making authority) and physical custody (who lives with the child) arrangement for a particular divorce case are:
each spouse's parenting skills;
the spouses' willingness and ability to negotiate and cooperate for the child's benefit;
each parent's willingness to encourage the child's relationship with the other parent;
the geographic proximity of the parents;
the mental and physical health of all the parties involved;
whether both parents have actively cared for the child before separation;
both parents' and child's preferences about custody;
any history of domestic violence or child abuse;
and other factors that the judge may deem relevant.
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Rules for child support in Clarke County
Both parents are responsible for their minor children regardless of their marital status, and this also applies to financial support.
In a divorce procedure in Clarke County, Iowa, either or both parents may be ordered to pay a necessary amount of child support.
The Supreme court of Iowa provides Child Support Guidelines, which help determine the amount of child support for a particular dissolution case. These guidelines are based on the Income Shares model, meaning that the exact amount of payments depends on the number of minor children and the parents' total gross income. Wherein Iowa regulations allow deductions for income taxes, FICA, pension deductions, union dues, medical support, and child care costs.
Rules for spousal support in Clarke County
Filing for divorce in Clarke County, either party has the right to seek spousal maintenance (alimony).
The spouses may reach an agreement on this issue independently, and the judge will approve it. Otherwise, the District Court shall order alimony on a case-by-case basis, as prescribed by the Iowa Code, Sec. 598.21, and 598.22.
Deciding spousal support, the court shall determine its necessity, amount, and duration, which would be reasonable for a particular dissolution case.
Along with it, marital misconduct is not a factor that may affect alimony in Clarke County, Iowa, since only the couple's economic circumstances and their related aspects matter.
Thus, the judge typically evaluates:
the length of the marriage;
the standard of living during the marriage;
each spouse's income;
each spouse's education and earning capacity;
tax consequences for both parties;
child custody arrangement, if any;
and other factors that can be considered relevant.
As a result of analyzing the above circumstances, Iowa courts may award one of three types of spousal maintenance:
Traditional support. In Clarke County, Iowa, either party can obtain this type of support in a divorce proceeding due to their special needs, illness, advanced age, or other valid circumstances that makes them financially insufficient. Such long-term alimony is typically reserved for lengthy marriages (for example, in a case of divorce after 10 years of marriage or more).
Rehabilitative support. This type of alimony, also called short-term support, may be awarded to help the spouse with a lower income gain the necessary education or training to find decent employment and become financially independent. Usually, the judges require the spouses seeking rehabilitative alimony to provide their training or employment plan to determine the exact amount and duration of payments.
Reimbursement support. Reimbursement alimony implies temporary support aimed to pay back a party who financially contributed to the career development and increased income of the other spouse before separation.
Uncontested Clarke County divorce with children
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Property division in Clarke County
Following Sec. 598.21 of the Iowa Code, the state of Iowa follows equitable distribution principles to divide property in a divorce process.
How exactly the property is divided in a divorce in Clarke County may be agreed upon by the spouses themselves through signing the Marital Settlement Agreement. Otherwise, the court shall divide the assets at its discretion and according to the Iowa Code requirements.
The main goal of property division in an equitable state is to allocate the property's value between the spouses fairly and reasonably but not necessarily in half.
Therefore, to determine which share of marital property each spouse should get, the courts consider multiple factors, including:
the length of the marriage;
each spouse's age and health;
the property brought to the marriage by each party;
each spouse's contribution to the marriage, including non-monetary contribution in homemaking and child care;
each spouse's contribution to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other party;
the earning capacity, educational background, and employment skills of each spouse;
the provisions of child custody arrangement if any;
the provisions of alimony order if any;
other economic circumstances of each party, including pension benefits, vested or unvested;
the tax consequences to each party;
the provisions of any written agreement made by the parties concerning property distribution, including the provisions of an antenuptial agreement;
and other factors the judge may deem to be relevant.
According to the Iowa Code, only marital property is subject to division following the rules above, and the separate property and assets should remain the property of their owner.
Separate property typically includes anything inherited by either party and gifts received by either party before or during the marriage. The only exception is cases when the court finds that not dividing this property would be inequitable to the other spouse or children.
Mediation support in Clarke County
All the spouses who would like to get a divorce in Clarke County, Iowa, are encouraged to consider the option of an uncontested divorce first.
If both parties agree about the essential terms of their separation, it usually takes less time to get a divorce in Iowa. The whole process can become relatively fast, amicable, and inexpensive.
Divorce mediation is a solution that implies that the spouses negotiate and compromise to avoid a trial. Mediation is a non-competitive process in which a neutral third party (mediator) helps the couple develop a mutually-beneficial Marital Settlement Agreement. In Clarke County, Iowa, the spouses may voluntarily participate in mediation sessions. In some cases, the court can require the spouses to try this option before starting litigation and contesting the case.
Note that all the couples who have minor children and are required to take a mandatory parenting class within 45 days of the case's commencement.
How to file for divorce in Clarke County | Step-by-Step
To be eligible for terminating the marriage in Clarke County, the spouses have to meet the Iowa residency requirements. Following the Iowa Code, Sec. 598.2 and 598.5, if the defendant (non-filing spouse) is a resident of Iowa and was personally served with divorce paperwork, there is no residency requirement for the spouse filing the dissolution of marriage. Otherwise, the plaintiff must have been a resident of the state for at least one year before filing a petition.
To start a divorce process in Clarke County, either of the spouses should reside there. The party who initiates the case has to fill out and file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and other required legal papers with the District Court. The plaintiff may get the needed divorce forms templates at the Iowa Courts website, which provide a self-help section for those arranging a do-it-yourself process. Spouses who want to prepare for the procedure without a lawyer but in the fastest and easiest way can trust all the paperwork issues to OnlineDivorce.com.
The plaintiff must pay a filing fee when the documents are submitted to the court to officially start a divorce procedure in Clarke County. The next step is to decide how to serve the other spouse with copies of the papers. It should be done within ninety days after filing. In Iowa, the procedure of serving divorce papers can be accomplished in several ways:
- deliver the divorce papers in person or by mail (the defendant will need to complete the Acceptance of Service of Original Notice form, which then should be filed with the court by the petitioner);
- hire a sheriff deputy service;
- hire a private process server.
Once served, the defendant has twenty days to file an Answer or Motion in response or face a default judgment.
A divorce case in Clarke County cannot be finalized earlier than 90 days after filing. The state of Iowa requires a mandatory 90-day waiting period for all couples seeking a dissolution of marriage.
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Filing fees for divorce in Clarke County
How much a divorce will cost in Clarke County is usually hard to predict since the total price depends on many factors. For example, the dissolution cost is often much higher if the case is contested, while a DIY divorce without legal representatives can be considered relatively cheap. No matter what type of assistance the spouses resort to, the plaintiff must pay the court filing fee to file the petition. Thus, the average cost of filing for divorce in Clarke County is $195.
How long will it take?
The length of the divorce process divorce in Clarke County, Iowa, largely depends on whether the spouses contest the case or not.
An average uncontested divorce in Clarke County takes a minimum of 90 days since the Iowa local rules imply a waiting period before the court can schedule the final hearing.
Filing for divorce in Clarke County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Clarke County? The expenses in any dissolution of marriage in Clarke County start with paying a court filing fee, but further costs can vary greatly. The spouses have many options on arranging the process, from DIY-divorce to arbitration, mediation, limited-scope representation, or traditional litigation, and each of these services has its price. In theory, the cheapest option is a DIY process without an attorney, though it is not suitable for every couple.
How do you file for divorce in Clarke County without a lawyer? In Clarke County, the spouses are eligible to file for dissolution of marriage without an attorney and represent themselves before the court. If they do not contest the case and can agree about the essential terms of their separation, they may complete the necessary forms independently or take advantage of OnlineDivorce.com services, following the step-by-step guide provided on the website.
What are the required forms for an uncontested divorce in Clarke County? Some of the most common legal forms which may be needed include:
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
Coversheet for a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
Confidential Information Form
Original Notice of Personal Service
Acceptance of Service of Original Notice
Directions for Service of Original Notice
Response to a Motion
Request for Relief (Final Decree) in Dissolution of Marriage
Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage
Can I file for legal separation in Clarke County, Iowa? Along with a regular dissolution of marriage, Iowa law offers its residents the option of legal separation. The overall process of legal separation is similar to divorce. To be considered legally separated, the spouses should create a Separate Maintenance Agreement, allocating their rights and responsibilities, splitting property, and deciding children-related matters. The only difference between a divorce and legal separation is that the spouses remain married in the eyes of the law and cannot remarry. However, they are free to file for divorce during the separation.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? Iowa Family Law implies that once the court enters the final dissolution decree, the parties become single. Thus, there are no restrictions or required waiting periods concerning the remarriage after a dissolution of marriage in Iowa.
Divorce in Clarke County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
Divorce Courts in Clarke County, Iowa
Clarke County District Court
Arthur E. Gamble,
John D. Lloyd,
Sherman W. Phipps,
Dustria Ann Relph,
Monty W. Franklin
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
At first glance, using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
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long processing times - do you like waiting?
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lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
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