Your Des Moines Family Attorneys

The Law Group of Iowa understands that family law issues of all kinds can be emotional issues. Whether you are dealing with divorce, child support, child support, or other legal issues, the consequences of the issue can have a significant impact on you and your child. That’s why when the need arises for a skilled and compassionate family lawyer Des Moines, IA residents trust our firm, the Law Group of Iowa, to defend and protect the best interests of the family. 

Table of Contents

Responsibilities of a Family Lawyer


To apply for divorce, spouses usually need to meet the residence requirements of the state and county in which they live. They also need to establish a basis for divorce. Iowa recognizes the concept of “no-fault divorce.” This means that the reason can be as simple as an irreconcilable difference, or that the marriage has collapsed and cannot be repaired. Our experienced family lawyers have a thorough knowledge of Iowa divorce statutes – we will work to create an individualized plan to help you and your family through every step of the divorce process.

Child Custody

If a couple has minor children, the division of parental rights and responsibilities is usually an important issue in their divorce.  Custody traditionally has consisted of two components: physical custody and legal custody.  Physical custody is the amount of time that the child lives with each parent, while legal custody is the authority of each parent to make major decisions affecting the child’s upbringing. Our experienced family lawyers have a thorough knowledge of Iowa child custody statutes – we will work to create an individualized plan to help you and your family through every step process that is in the best interest of your child or children.

Child Support

If a child is financially dependent on a parent, the parent has an obligation to support the child.  This obligation usually extends until the child becomes an adult, but it can extend further in some cases if the child has special needs or has not graduated from high school.  In most cases, the parent who spends less time with the child will have to pay child support to the parent who spends more time with the child. A family lawyer can help with the process of payment modification by helping to show that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.


If your spouse’s income potential is dramatically different, your marriage was relatively long, your low-income spouse depends on your high-income spouse, and you are accustomed to a higher standard of living, then alimony, or spousal support may be appropriate. A family lawyer can also assist with the process of terminating alimony if, for example, the recipient spouse remarries or cohabits with a partner and is no longer eligible for financial support.

Property Division

The first step in property division involves determining which assets are marital property and which assets are independent property. If marital property is mixed with separate property, or the value of separate property increases during the marriage, determining the characteristics of the asset can be complicated. An experienced family lawyer will be able to aid in evaluating the various assets and help work towards an amicable property division agreement. 


Adoption involves the process of assuming the legal rights and responsibilities of the parent towards a child. It may involve the termination of the biological parent’s existing rights, or the biological parent may have already agreed to terminate his or her rights. 

These are the most frequent reasons a family seeks family law legal counsel. When the need arises for a skilled and compassionate family lawyer, Des Moines, Iowa residents trust our firm, the Law Group of Iowa, to defend and protect the best interests of the family. 

What Are The Primary Child Custody Options? 

Child custody concerns the duty and rights held by a parent to provide care for a child on a daily basis. Child custody also concerns a parent’s duty to make decisions about the child’s life. When a parent is awarded sole custody only one parent will provide care for the child and make important decisions regarding the child’s life. Parents who have these responsibilities are often called custodial parents. 

Noncustodial parents often have visitation rights. These rights refer to the parent’s right to be with the child. A specific visitation order may include provisions related to vacation periods and overnight visits. 

Parents who share custody are parties to joint custody agreements. Two parents make important decisions regarding the child’s life. Both parents spend time with the child and make decisions regarding religious training, health care, and education. If parents cannot agree on a specific issue they may need to consult a mediator. 

Will A Judge Consider A Child’s Preference for One Parent? 

The child’s preferences and wishes may be considered by the judge, but this will depend on the age of the child and whether the child is mature or immature. If the child is seven years of age or younger a judge will not consider the wishes of the child. A child that is seven years of age or younger is too young to make decisions regarding parental preference. 

If the child is older it is more likely that a judge will consider the preference of the child. A court will analyze the reason a child chooses to live with one parent or the other. A judge may not consider a preference based on the child’s superficial interests. If a child appears to be repeating statements made by parents then the judge is not likely to consider the child’s preferences. 

A judge may decide to speak with the child in the judge’s chambers. Conversations between the judge and the child will not often occur in court before other people. The parents are often not in the same room as the judge and the child. The attorneys who represent the family members may be present in the judge’s chambers. Judges may designate mental health professionals to consult with the child to determine the best interests of the child. 

Visitation Rights 

Courts restrict visitation rights if the child may be in danger by being alone with a parent. If a parent has abused a child or used drugs or alcohol around the child then a judge may deny visitation rights. Judges may order supervised visitation rights. Judges will always consider the best interests of the child. A judge must make the best decision for the child. If a parent may endanger a child or harm a child then the judge has the authority to deny visitation rights. 

If you’re looking for a family lawyer in Des Moines, IA, you need to look no further than the Law Group of Iowa.

Family law deals with, as you probably recognize, some of the most emotional laws anyone can deal with. After all, in general, you’re dealing with issues like divorce, custody and child support, visitation, division of property, alimony, and adoption. Each one of these issues has big ramifications for you and your family. You obviously need and want an attorney who not only knows family law in detail but has real compassion for your situation as well. The attorneys at the Law Group of Iowa fit the bill and more.

In addition to the obvious, the organization also deals with the following matters:

  •       Allocation of marital debt
  •       Asset and property division
  •       Business valuations
  •       Child support
  •       High assets and forensic accounting
  •       Legal separations
  •       Mediation
  •       Modifications
  •       Orders of protection and domestic violence
  •       Parental relocation
  •       Paternity
  •       Pension Valuations and QDROs (Qualified Domestic Relationship Orders).
  •       Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  •       Spousal support
  •       Tax implications in divorce
  •       Wasteful dissipation of assets

As you can see, there’s a lot to know about family law in the state of Iowa.

Not only are our lawyers educated and practiced in Iowa state law as it can impact families, but they also work hard to stay abreast of any changes in the law. And changes there are. You can be sure your attorney will be up to date which is exactly what you want.

When Should You Hire a Family Lawyer? 

Many people aren’t sure when they should hire a family lawyer. If you’re not sure if you need a family lawyer then here are some of the signs that may determine otherwise.

You’re Filing For Divorce 

Filing for divorce is really an easy decision to make. It usually comes after a long period of debating and trying to resolve the issues in your marriage. One of the best things that you can do when ending her marriage is a hire divorce lawyer. These lawyers can help walk you through the entire divorce proceedings from beginning to end. Because these lawyers work in family law they understand all the intricacies that come with this area of the law.

You Have Child Custody Questions 

One of the worst aspects of divorce proceedings is having to figure out child custody arrangements. Most parents want to spend as much time with their children as possible so the splitting time between households can be a challenge. Since most parents have the same goal it is critical to have an effective strategy to get the outcome that works best for everyone. A family lawyer will have the expertise necessary to help you and your soon-to-be former spouse through all the custody questions that you may have.

You Need Child Support 

A family lawyer in Des Moines can also help you get a good child support payment plan in order to cover expenses tied to caring for your children after divorce. These lawyers have an intimate understanding of your state’s guidelines and the processes the judge goes through to determine who pays for child support and how much child support is given. They will use that knowledge combined with an understanding of your specific situation to help you come up with a plan.

You’re Looking to Adopt 

If you’re considering adoption then you need to go through the court system to have everything approved. A lawyer can help make sure every regulation is followed so there are no delays or disruptions to bringing her child home. On the other side of adoption, a lawyer can help make sure the birth mother’s rights are taken care of and her voice is heard. If you have more questions about what a family lawyer in Des Moines can do for you, then don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Group of Iowa today.

Des Moines Family Law Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), In 2021, there were 2.3 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants in Iowa. This means that for every 1,000 people living in Iowa, 2.3 of them got divorced in 2021. This figure is lower than the national divorce rate of 2.9 divorces per 1,000 people, but it has been increasing in recent years.

Des Moines Family Law Infographic

When Should You Hire A Family Lawyer? Infographic


Des Moines Family Lawyer

If you are dealing with a family law matter, you may want to consult a Des Moines, IA family lawyer. It’s helpful to have someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about family lawyers.

Q1: What does a family lawyer handle?

A family lawyer specializes in legal matters related to family relationships. This includes issues such as divorce, child custody, spousal support, adoption, domestic violence, and property division. Family lawyers work to protect the rights and interests of individuals within the context of family law.

Q2: When should I hire a family lawyer?

You may consider hiring a family lawyer when facing legal issues involving family relationships. This can include divorce proceedings, child custody disputes, drafting prenuptial agreements, or navigating adoption processes. Consulting with a family lawyer early on can provide valuable guidance and ensure your rights are protected.

Q3: How can a family lawyer help in divorce proceedings?

In divorce cases, a family lawyer can assist in various ways. They can help with the division of assets and liabilities, spousal support agreements, child custody arrangements, and child support calculations. Additionally, they provide legal advice, handle paperwork, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

Q4: What is the role of a family lawyer in child custody disputes?

In child custody disputes, a Des Moines family lawyer plays a crucial role in advocating for the best interests of the child. They assist in negotiating custody arrangements, creating parenting plans, and representing clients in court to ensure fair and favorable outcomes for both parents and, most importantly, the child.

Q5: How does the adoption process work with a family lawyer?

Family lawyers guide individuals or couples through the adoption process by navigating legal requirements, preparing necessary documents, and representing clients in court if required. They ensure compliance with adoption laws and work to facilitate a smooth and legally sound adoption.

Q6: Can a family lawyer help with domestic violence cases?

Yes, family lawyers often handle cases involving domestic violence. They can assist victims in obtaining protective orders, filing for divorce on grounds of domestic violence, and ensuring the safety and well-being of those affected. Family lawyers work to provide legal remedies and support for individuals facing domestic violence situations.

Q7: What is the purpose of prenuptial agreements, and how can a family lawyer help in drafting one?

Prenuptial agreements serve to outline the financial and property-related expectations of spouses in the event of a divorce. A family lawyer can assist in drafting a comprehensive and legally binding prenuptial agreement that addresses the specific needs and concerns of the parties involved.

Q8: How are property and assets divided in a divorce, and what role does a family lawyer play?

In a divorce, property and assets are typically divided based on equitable distribution or community property laws. A family lawyer helps navigate this process by ensuring an accurate valuation of assets, negotiating a fair division, and representing their client’s interests in court if an agreement cannot be reached.

If you have further questions, you may want to schedule a meeting with a Des Moines family lawyer. At Law Group of Iowa, we are here to help.

Des Moines Family Court Resources

Where To File for Child Custody and forms needed in Des Moines County, Iowa

Laws Related To Iowa Family Law

Family law is a broad area of law that covers a wide range of topics, including divorce, child custody, child support, and spousal support. Iowa has a number of specific laws that relate to family law. It is important to be aware of these laws if you are involved in a family law matter in Iowa. 


Iowa is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either spouse can file for divorce without having to prove that the other spouse is at fault. To file for divorce in Iowa, one spouse must have lived in Iowa for at least six months before filing the petition for divorce.

Child Custody

In Iowa, child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider a number of factors when determining child custody, including the relationship between the child and each parent, the child’s needs, and the parents’ ability to meet the child’s needs. Your Des Moines family lawyer can assist with this issue.

Child Support

Iowa has a set of child support guidelines that are used to determine child support payments. The child support guidelines take into account the income of both parents and the number of children who need support.

Spousal Support

Iowa also has spousal support guidelines that are used to determine spousal support payments. The spousal support guidelines take into account the income of both spouses, the length of the marriage, and other factors.

Other Iowa Family Laws

In addition to the laws listed above, there are a number of other Iowa family laws that are important to be aware of. These laws include:

  • Adoption: Iowa has a number of laws that govern the adoption process.
  • Domestic violence: Iowa has laws that protect victims of domestic violence.
  • Juvenile law: Iowa has laws that govern juvenile delinquency and child abuse.

A Des Moines family lawyer from our firm will go into more detail with you regarding these laws.

Comprehensive Solutions for Family Law Challenges

At the Law Group of Iowa, we understand the sensitive nature of family legal matters. Our dedicated team of family law attorneys is well-equipped to navigate you through the legal process, ensuring that you receive personalized and compassionate legal services.

Our family law practice in Des Moines, Iowa, covers a wide range of family law areas, including child custody disputes and divorce issues. We believe in fostering a collaborative environment where our clients feel supported in making sound decisions. With our trial experience and commitment to securing a favorable outcome, we aim to achieve a positive outcome for you and your family.

We know that each family law case is unique, and our legal professionals are skilled in handling the complexities of each situation. Our initial consultations are designed to understand your specific needs and develop a tailored strategy for your case. Trust in our expertise as your divorce attorneys to guide you through this challenging time with care and professionalism.

Call Now

If you are seeking a family lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa contact the Law Group of Iowa today. Call the office at (515) 556-IOWA to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case. If you are seeking a family lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa we can help you solve your family law issues.

Law Group of Iowa – Des Moines Family Law Firm

5601 Hickman Rd
Suite 3B
Des Moines, IA 50310

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“I had the pleasure of working with Attorney Jason Yates. He is very responsive, professional and knowledgeable. I trusted him completely to help me navigate my case, and the outcome was better than I had hoped for. I recommend him to anyone looking for good representation. Thank you Jason!”
Libby Hennings
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