Family Law

A Civil Litigation Area

Family Law Family Law involves dissolution of marriage, issues of custody and support as well as adoption, paternity and parental rights.

While litigation is always an alternative, The Banks Law Firm, P.C. prides itself on its ability to counsel clients through these difficult circumstances through negotiated settlements which has the benefit of reducing both emotional distress and legal expense. Whether you are currently seeking to divorce, responding to a petition filed against you or your divorce has already been finalized and you now need assistance with issues involving child support, custody or modification, The Banks Law Firm, P.C. will be able to assist you with the utmost care and discernment.


When a dissolution is taking place within the home all its aspects are a hard thing, for all persons involved.

Iowa statutes state the legal requirements for divorce. Specifically, Iowa Code Section 598, et seq. provides for such things as the residency requirements, waiting period designations and Iowa's grounds for divorce.

Child Custody

Also found in Iowa Code Section 598, et seq. are the child custody laws. While these statutes can vary depending on where you live, the majority of states, including Iowa, have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act, so that each state's custody statutes are similar and recognize the same rights and responsibilities.

Joint custody for separated parents is permitted under Iowa law, and grandparents have visitation rights. In addition, Iowa considers the wishes of the child in custody matters, though custody decisions will normally be made in the child's best interests.

One may ask "What sort of criteria do the courts use when deciding on custody and visitation?"
Some but not all are as follows:

  • The welfare of the child (or best interests of the child as defined by the State of Iowa) comes first and foremost when a court makes a decision.
  • It usually favors the parent that causes the least disruption in the child's life. This would mean where the child lives, goes to school, etc.
  • The parent must also be able to properly care for and provide a good living situation. There must a readiness on the parent's part to allow the child contact with the other parent. The preference of the child will be taken into account if he or she is mature enough to understand the situation. Other factors include the health and earnings of the parents, the parents' social life, whether there has been any history of abuse, the existing bond between parent and child, and the child's age, sex, and health.

Marital Property Law

Marital Property Law refers to all the possessions and interests acquired after a couple gets married. Some states recognize the concept of community property, under which all marital property is considered equally owned, and is therefore equally divided after a divorce. The majority of states, like Iowa, have no community property laws, which can allow for more flexibility in property division in a divorce, but can result in more uncertainty as well.

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