Law Articles and Legal Resources
Choosing a Power of Attorney can seem like a daunting task, but it is a crucial step in planning for the future. Your Power of Attorney (POA) will have the power to legally handle your financial and legal affairs in the event that you become incapacitated or are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. When you choose your Power of Attorney, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.
While common law marriage does exist in Iowa, it could be difficult to prove. The couple has to meet certain requirements for the courts to consider them married under common law. Additionally, once a couple is considered married under common law, they cannot simply walk away from the marriage if differences arise—they must be divorced by a court of law.
Most people who sell or buy homes without the assistance of a real estate agent feel comfortable marketing their home. However, they are not aware of the various pitfalls related to contracts, compliance with state and federal laws, and transaction details.
Iowa has four types of adoption: International, private domestic, foster care and step parent adoption. The type of adoption you choose depends on how you want to adopt and the age of the child. While children of all ages are available via all three methods of adoption, one type of adoption agency may not have a child of the age you wish. For example, if you want to adopt a newborn, you may have better luck with a domestic private adoption agency instead of foster adoption.
Have you ever wondered “Why should I have a Will?” To understand the importance of a Will you must understand what happens to your property if you die without a Will. This is a summary and there are exceptions to the discussion which follows. For the application of the laws to your specific situation, you should consult an attorney.
If you’re single, estate planning may be the last thing on your mind. Estate planning when you’re single is just as important as when you’re married – if not more.
When child custody and/or visitation plans are made, agreed to, and documented in writing, it is called a parenting plan. Parents often build their own plans. However, guidance from an attorney is essential to ensure the plan is workable and considers all the important factors. If parents cannot agree, a plan will be created and ordered by a judge. Not surprisingly, you may find divorce proceedings to be smoother if the parents are able to come to an agreement about some or all of the parenting plan.
What would happen to your child if you died or became too disabled to provide care? It’s understandable that no parent likes to think about these questions, but in addition to creating a will, you must give this thought to create a plan for your child.
As any parent knows, raising a child costs a lot of money. Sometimes raising a child alone can seem overwhelming, or even impossible. If you are a parent going through a divorce or a single parent who was never married, you can get assistance from the child’s other parent in the form of child support.
Iowa Statutes require you to take a mediation class and a parenting class. Counties may have different rules for the classes. District 6 counties include Linn, Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones and Tama and require both spouses to take the course within 45 days of filing the divorce. The deadline for taking the classes happens before the deadline for mediation because the classes are designed to make mediation more productive.
If you cannot live as husband and wife, you have two choices: divorce or annulment. However, you can only get a marriage annulled under certain circumstances. A divorce ends a valid marriage while an annulment ends a marriage that was never valid according to state law. Instead of filing a petition for divorce, you must file a petition for annulment. At least one of the parties must have lived in Iowa for a year to be able to file for an annulment.
Now that you have a new bundle of joy, you need to look at some legal options to protect your newborn child. While you may not need some of these things until later, it’s a good idea to get everything done as soon as possible as you never know what could happen tomorrow or next week or next year. Some things should be done immediately.
Most people do not think of estate planning until they are in their 40’s or 50’s — and some even wait until they are even older. However, it is in your best interest to create an estate plan when you turn 18 or become emancipated (whichever comes first) even if you do not own a home yet.
Iowa is a no-fault state, which means that you do not have to tell anyone why you are getting a divorce other than that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Divorce is public record and anyone is able to request your divorce file. Stating that the marriage is irretrievably broken allows you to file for divorce without putting personal information in the petition for the world to see.
Alimony, commonly referred to as spousal support, may be ordered in any dissolution of marriage case. The court awards three types of alimony: traditional, rehabilitative, or reimbursement. The type of alimony order, if it is ordered, depends on several factors including the distribution of property.