Filing for divorce is a life-changing event that requires a vast amount of financial and emotional resources. Finding appropriate legal information, documents to file, and procedures to complete can be psychologically draining. Therefore, to simplify some parts of the marriage termination process, many individuals use online divorce services
to handle one of the most complicated stages of divorce legal forms preparation.
Keep reading this article to learn about the main aspects of online divorce (i.e., online divorce documents preparation) in Iowa. Considering that you can save a lot of time and money during the dissolution of marriage with the help of online providers, it can be an excellent alternative to hiring a lawyer
Iowa Divorce Law Basics
According to the CDC, the current divorce rate in Iowa is 2.3 per 1000 residents, putting the state among the lowest in the whole country.
When it comes to the grounds for divorce, Iowa is a purely no-fault divorce state. In other words, residents of this region are not required to prove the fault of their spouses for the split. It is enough to state that your marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be repaired.
However, bad behavior of soon-to-be ex-spouse (such as adultery, desertion, substance abuse, or some other misconduct) can considerably impact the court's decision in terms of child custody, property division, spousal support, etc.
Preparing Divorce Forms in Iowa
To start the divorce process in the state
, it is necessary to fill out specific documents that can be obtained from the Iowa Judicial Branch's Self-Help website. At the same time, it is essential to double-check with your local court to make sure that the selected forms will be successfully accepted. The thing is, inaccurate completion of divorce papers can result in rejection of the marriage dissolution petition.
Currently, Iowa marriage termination forms include but are not limited to:
● Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
● Petition Cover Sheet for a Dissolution of Marriage
● Confidential Information Form
● Original Notice for Personal Service
● Acceptance of Service
● Directions for Service of Original Notice
To avoid delays and financial losses when ending a marriage in Iowa, many couples use online divorce services. In fact, these providers are widely known as the best assistants for preparing court-approved documents quickly.
Presently, the main benefits of web divorce are as follows:
Usually, online divorce companies charge from $200 to $500 for generating marriage termination forms, whereas attorneys typically charge $200-$250/hour for their services. Hence, the total price for completing divorce forms using an attorney can reach several thousand dollars.
● Speed of Execution
On average, lawyers need at least one week to prepare appropriate marriage dissolution papers. Online divorce companies can complete this task in a matter of two business days.
● High Level of Court Approval
Despite their high level of competency, lawyers are still human beings who can make mistakes while preparing your forms. For instance, a lawyer may accidentally miss an update to some forms by the court and prepare outdated ones. As a result, these documents will be rejected. Online providers strictly comply with all requirements, follow the laws, and constantly update the provided forms.
● Excellent Customer Support
Even though web platforms do not provide legal advice, these providers can answer questions regarding how the online system works. So, if you have any difficulties uploading information or receiving completed forms, you can easily contact the support department and obtain the needed information.
It is important to remember that online companies can only generate forms for uncontested divorce cases
. If you have any disagreements about divorce-related issues with your spouse, you will need to contact a lawyer.
Filing Divorce Forms in Iowa
Before filing completed forms with the court, it is vital to make sure you are eligible. To end a marriage in Iowa, at least one party must have resided in the state for one year or more before applying for a divorce.
If you meet the residency requirement, you can go to your local courthouse and file completed forms. During this stage, you'll be required to pay a filing fee, which is about $265 in Iowa but may vary by county. Residents of this state have the opportunity to waive the fee by preparing the Application and Affidavit to Defer Payment of Costs.
After your application is accepted, the next stage is serving your partner.
Notifying Your Spouse in Iowa
Before serving your partner, make several copies of all divorce papers (one set for yourself and one for your partner). After you file the complaint with the court, you have 90 days to serve the documents on your spouse, or the court will dismiss the case. In Iowa, you can deliver forms to the spouse:
● By mail
● By sheriff or a private process server
The first two options are perfectly suitable for couples on good terms and willing to cooperate in legally ending their marriage
. If you can't serve your spouse directly, you can use the third option to deliver the documents to the respondent. In turn, your partner will have 20 days to answer the Petition for getting a divorce. Otherwise, the court can grant the dissolution of marriage according to the Petition terms without any further input from your spouse.
Finalizing Your Divorce in Iowa
Although the length of divorce in this state varies from case to case, there is a mandatory 90-day waiting period that all couples must go through before the marriage termination is finalized. If all issues have been resolved during this period, the couple will receive a divorce decree with a detailed summary of the rights and responsibilities of each party.