File for Divorce in Van Buren County, Iowa (IA) | Divorce in Van Buren County
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Divorce in Van Buren County

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Online Divorce in Van Buren County

divorce in Van Buren County

Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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 Van Buren County, Iowa, is a comfortable, secure, and stress-free way to handle divorce paperwork issues.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Van Buren County

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To apply for a divorce in Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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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Custody of the child in Van Buren County

Custody of the child in Van Buren County

In divorce cases in Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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 Van Buren County

Rules for spousal support in Van Buren County

Filing for divorce in Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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.

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Property division in Van Buren County

Property division in Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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 Van Buren County

All the spouses who would like to get a divorce in Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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 Van Buren County | Step-by-Step

1

To be eligible for terminating the marriage in Van Buren 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.

2

To start a divorce process in Van Buren 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.

3

The plaintiff must pay a filing fee when the documents are submitted to the court to officially start a divorce procedure in Van Buren 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.

4

Once served, the defendant has twenty days to file an Answer or Motion in response or face a default judgment.

5

A divorce case in Van Buren 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 Van Buren County

How much a divorce will cost in Van Buren 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 Van Buren County is $195.

How long will it take?

The length of the divorce process divorce in Van Buren County, Iowa, largely depends on whether the spouses contest the case or not.

An average uncontested divorce in Van Buren 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 Van Buren County | Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a divorce cost in Van Buren County?
The expenses in any dissolution of marriage in Van Buren 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 Van Buren County without a lawyer?
In Van Buren 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 Van Buren 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
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Request for Relief (Final Decree) in Dissolution of Marriage
  • Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage

Can I file for legal separation in Van Buren 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 Van Buren County online

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Divorce Courts in Van Buren County, Iowa

Van Buren County District Court
Judge Name:
Mary Ann Brown, Randy DeGeest, Lucy J. Gamon, Myron Gookin, Annette J. Scieszinski, Daniel P. Wilson, Joel D. Yates, Crystal Cronk, Kirk A. Daily, Rose Anne Mefford, William S. Owens,
Clerk Name:
Barbara Droz
Court Address:
406 Dodge Street, Keosauqua, Iowa 52565
Phone:
(319) 293 3108
Fax:
(319) 293 3811
Clerk Hours:
9am-3:30pm, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. 9am-2:30pm, Tuesday and Thursday