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Iowa Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for Iowa on
Q: Does my ex have any entitlement to my inheritance if we have been divorced for four years? We were married for 20 years.
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 16, 2020

No. Your ex would not have any entitlement to your inheritance even if you were still married. However, if you still owe your ex anything for support or division of property or anything like that, your inheritance will be a collectible asset if it is given to you outright. If your inheritance... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Iowa on
Q: how much does it cost to file a dissolution of marriage in Iowa
Erik Steven Fisk
Erik Steven Fisk answered on May 8, 2018

$185.00. You could also find this out on

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Iowa on
Q: I just turned 17 and my father is constantly threatening to kick me out and its happend before. what are my options?
Stephen Douglas Lombardi
Stephen Douglas Lombardi answered on Oct 4, 2017

Legally none. At least not as you've described the situation. Practically you could try doing what he says. After all isn't he paying the bills.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Legal Malpractice for Iowa on
Q: Q: Both my aunt and only cousin passed away, cousin in 2005, aunt in 2006. I am the only living relative and in wills.

The estates were probated and settled. Years later a number of trust accounts have appeared as Iowa unclaimed property. The accounts have been mostly depleted with some positive balance.

Q 1. Who is responsible for the error?

Q2. If the accounts were valued more at the death of... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jun 19, 2017

If there were a TRUST at the time of passing, the successor Trustee should have managed this -- it would NOT have gone through or been the responsibility of the Estate representatives.

This highlights the importance of people keeping their records in order to insure their heirs will know...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Iowa on
Q: Iowa. Ex left state with children. No court custody arrangement. I'm on the birth Certificates. What to file?..No money
Jesse Michael Marzen
Jesse Michael Marzen answered on Apr 28, 2017

There are resources available to help you. For starters, the Iowa Judicial Branch has forms available for folks to represent themselves. Link: Also, the Iowa State Bar Association has a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Iowa on
Q: If items are in my fathers name and my name, can his wife take those items in a divorce?

My fathers wife is greedy. She kissed our butts while they were dating. The moment they were married it all changed. She had him do everything for her and her kids. She has 4 kids whom have significant others, 8 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. She pays for anything they ask for. Her 1st... Read more »

Jesse Michael Marzen
Jesse Michael Marzen answered on Apr 27, 2017

Your step-mother may, or may not, be able to take the items that are listed in yours and his names. It depends on when the item was purchased, and how title to that items got into your and his names. If the item was purchased before he and your stepmother were married, then it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Iowa on
Q: Can person "sell" their own property to their girlfriend/boyfriend in a domestic situation?

Man owns a mobile home. His mother and girlfriend live in the same home. His girlfriend pays rent and other bills. His mother does not. His mother attacks his girlfriend and he gets in the middle to prevent more physical harm to the girlfriend. Mother calls cops. Cops arrest man. Can man sell his... Read more »

Mr. Nicholas A. Sarcone
Mr. Nicholas A. Sarcone answered on Feb 23, 2017

It is not necessary to sell your mobile home in order to evict your mother. There is an eviction process which a lawyer can help you with. The lawyer is allowed contact with the protected party and can therefore effectuate the eviction.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Criminal Law for Iowa on
Q: Is it illegal for my mom to threaten to kill herself in front of me? I am 13
Mr. Nicholas A. Sarcone
Mr. Nicholas A. Sarcone answered on Feb 17, 2017

It is probably not illegal for your mom to threaten to kill herself. If she threatened you, that would be illegal. However, you might considering calling a suicide prevention hotline and asking for help. The police may also be able to help.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Iowa on
Q: If my niece been adopted but now want to be with her real family how do I go about getting custody.

My niece has gotten a hold of us and has been asking if I can get custody of her. The adopted family does not want her anymore. I need some type of advice on what can I do to get custody of her. Her dad used to have custody of but lost her she is 16 year old and can make her own decision. Please... Read more »

Nicholas Hay
Nicholas Hay answered on Aug 12, 2016

Your options are few and very difficult to achieve. You could attempt to establish a guardianship in Iowa if that is where she is living. Her parents would have to consent to the guardianship if you can't prove that they are unfit. Even though she is 16 it doesn't mean she gets to pick... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Communications Law and Juvenile Law for Iowa on
Q: If I am 16 and want to hangout with a guy that is 4 years and 8 months older than me can my parents call the cops on him

Can he go to jail for talking to me when I'm 16 and he's 20

Nicholas Hay
Nicholas Hay answered on Aug 12, 2016

Not likely, as long as you two are not doing anything illegal including him having you out past a city or town curfew, and your parents tell you that you can't leave the house but you do to go hang out with him, it is unlikely he gets arrested for you two simply being in the same vicinity of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Iowa on
Q: I am a male to female transgender how much will it cost to change my name
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Aug 9, 2016

You technically can do that yourself, but I think it's worth your getting a legal consultation to make sure that you get a checklist/don't miss a step.

LAMBDA may have a local group that could assist. Other than that, you pay for publication of a legal notice, pay for a court...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Iowa on
Q: I have joint custody of my son per our divorce decree and my son's school wants proof from a judge

The mother told the school she is the primary caregiver. In order for the school to share information with me about my son they want me to ger proof from a judge. Isn't my divorce decree legal evidence that I have the same rights as the mother does as far as my child's care?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Nov 6, 2015

There is a difference between which of you has primary custody and who is the actual primary caregiver. If the former is what the school wants, the decree is what they would need. If they want the latter, the judge probably wouldn't know in any event.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Iowa on
Q: Can my daughters mom go to jail for starving my daughter? If it happened 3 years ago

3 years ago my daughters mom starved our daughter to the point of becoming unresponsive and having the hospital call dcs on her. At that time I had not taken her to court yet for child custody and got to see her maybe once a week for a couple hours. Since then I have obtained full custody of my... Read more »

Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot answered on Nov 5, 2015

These are not just basic questions about the law. It was a civil case of child neglect, not a criminal one. It will not be easy for her to get more time, in my opinion.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Iowa on
Q: Can my ex sign his rights away and stop paying. He has had no contact with our 3 children in 2 yrs. Modifying Cs order
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Nov 4, 2015

No. Unless the children are being adopted, his duty to pay child support doesn't depend upon whether he has any "parental rights", or whether he has attempted to "sign away" such rights.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Iowa on
Q: Why won't courthouse correct date on birth certificate?

The local courthouse made a mistake when they recorded the birthdate of my brother when he was born. He is deceased now and we want his correct birthdate on his birth certificate. The hospital he was born in has the correct date but the courthouse still won't change it.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 21, 2015

I expect that the courthouse doesn't have the authority to make such a correction. Why is it important to you?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Iowa on
Q: I've been separated from my daughter's father 4.5 years. No custody agreement and need to move 20 hrs away. Can I?

My boyfriend of almost 5 years is up for a large promotion that would move us from IA to FL. Her father and I have no custody agreement, and he travels for business for weeks at a time. I want her to go with us, but I don't know what the law is on this. He has never paid child support and... Read more »

John Arthur Smitten
John Arthur Smitten answered on Sep 16, 2014

If not married to him and no orders in place then yes you can move, otherwise no. You should still get a custody Order. Use of a lawyer is recommended.

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