Iowa Child Custody

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

As with every state in the United States, the courts in Iowa must determine during a divorce the care and custody of minor children. There are over 10,000 divorces each year in Iowa and many of these have minor children at home and their futures are most of the time left up to the courts. The court must decide which parent shall have custody, if not both, where the children will live most of the time and must decide on visitation rights. This is a major issue in any divorce and most states have guidelines to follow to aid in determine what is in the best interest of the child or children.

Iowa law states in Section 598.41, Code of Iowa, that custody shall be given as what is most reasonable and that is in the best interests of the child, including visitation rights to be liberal and that the children will still continue to have physical and emotional contact with both parents and that both parents share the responsibilities and rights of their children unless it would harm the children either physically or mentally, or if one parent would be harmed by the other parent.

Iowa breaks down their terminology when it comes to the terms of custody. Custody of the children means that the parent has the legal responsibilities and rights to care for their children, these responsibilities include education, health care, all activities and religious education. Joint custody means that both parents share in the responsibilities pertaining to the rearing of their children. Even when the children live with only one parent joint custody can be awarded. Joint physical care means that the parents share equally the time spent with the children and in their homes.

When joint custody is a possibility, the court considers the following:

* If both parents are suitable custodian for the children.

* How the psychological and emotional needs will be met and if the children will suffer if they do not spend equal time with both parents.

* Can the parents communicate well with one another with regards to their children.

* If both parents have had an active part in caring for their children since the separation.

* Can each parent support the other parent relationship with the children.

* Is joint custody what the child desires, according to the age of the children?

* The choices of both parents whether they would like joint custody of their children.

* Where both parents live and how far it is to travel.

* The safety of the children.

* If there is any proof of domestic violence or abuse.

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