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I.

General Information about Family Law

VII.
Adoption
II.
Marriage
A. Public Adoption
A. Traditional
B. Private Adoption
B. Common Law
C. Transracial Adoption
III.
Premarital/Prenuptial Agreement
D.

Intra-national and International Adoption

IV.
Divorce
E. Single Parent Adoption
A. Grounds and Fault
F. Summary of Adoption Procedures
B. Annulment
VIII.
Child Custody and Visitation
V.
Alimony, Spousal Support and Maintenance
IX.
Child Support
VI.
Division of Property
X.
Domestic Violence
A. Equitable Distribution
XI.
Conclusion
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Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody and visitation is one of the most difficult aspects to any family breakup, especially if one parent wants sole legal custody. Couples frequently come to an agreement pertaining to this issue and sometimes the court decides for them. Courts have frequently given mothers physical custody in the past and have given fathers visitation. However, in today’s society the law has changed to remove gender bias, and the courts are focusing on the best interests of children.

Physical custody is the right and obligation of a parent to have his child live with him. Legal custody is the right and obligation to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, including school and medical care. Many states usually have parents sharing in legal custody of a child, absent any major reasons to do otherwise.

Divorcing and unmarried parents who are separating face many options pertaining to the division of these rights and responsibilities. Some solutions are:

Sole custody - An arrangement in which one parent has both physical and legal custody of a child and the other parent has visitation.

Split custody - This pertains to a custody arrangement with multiple children involved. One parent will be awarded sole custody of one child while the other parent is awarded sole custody of another child. The courts do not favor this resolution as they are usually reluctant to split up the children.

Shared or joint physical custody - An arrangement in which parents who do not reside together share in the upbringing of the children. This is generally on a roughly equal basis, but a true 50/50 division of time is not required to share custody. The children spend a significant amount of time with each parent, and the parents share in the decision making pertaining to the children.

If custody is contested, courts in Iowa and Illinois make a decision on a custody arrangement by the best interest of the children, including their age and the closeness to the parent who has been their primary caretaker, the physical capability of the parent as well as their mental health, whether or not there is an issue of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse or other concerns, and depending on the children’s age, what the children’s wishes may be and the purpose for those wishes.

Visitation is the right to see a child on a regular basis, generally given to the parent who does not have physical custody of the child. Visitation plans should be specific so as to avoid any possible conflicts and avoid confusion. Supervised visitation is an alternative used when a child’s safety and well-being require visits with the other parent to be supervised by you, another adult or a professional agency.

No visitation is an option used in an extreme situation is which contact with the other parent would be detrimental to the child.

Ex parte custody refers to motions, hearings or orders granted on the request of and for the sole benefit of one party only. An ex parte motion mat be used in a case where one parent strongly believes a child is in extreme danger. Many jurisdictions require at least an attempt to contact the other party’s attorney of the time and place of an ex pate hearing.

A visitation schedule depends on the child’s age and whether there is somewhere for the child to sleep during the overnight visits. A typical arrangement, depending on the child’s age, consists of every other weekend usually from Friday through Sunday, one evening each week and every other holiday. However, for a baby or young child, developmental needs may differ, requiring a different type of schedule. In any event, each family will have individual needs related to work schedules, activity schedules and other matters.

Custody and visitation are often the subjects of mediation, which is designed to help parents come to agreement and avoid the time consuming, emotional, expensive process of litigation. Illinois now requires mediation in all custody and visitation cases. In Iowa mediation is only required in some judicial districts, not including the counties of Scott, Muscatine , Clinton , Jackson and Cedar. If you are interested, seek advice from Teitle Law Offices to assist you with the best interests of both you and your children.

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If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa family law attorney, representing clients in Tipton, Iowa at the Teitle Law Offices. Give us a call at (563) 345-4100 or email us at info@teitlelaw.com.
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  2550 Middle Road, Suite 604
  Bettendorf, IA 52722
  Phone: (563) 345-4100
  Fax: (563) 345-4111
   

Tipton, Iowa Attorneys offering a broad estate planning / probate, criminal law, family law, guardianships and adoption, juvenile law, medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, real estate, for sale by owner, trucking accidents, and wrongful death. Lawyers at the Teitle Law Offices office are dedicated to represent clients in Eastern and Central Iowa, including the cities of Davenport, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Muscatine, Clinton, Maquoketa, Tipton, Dubuque, Ottumwa, Wapello, Burlington, Waterloo and the communities that make up Scott, Johnson, Linn, Mucatine, Clinton, Jackson, Cedar, Dubuque, Wapello, Louisa, Des Moines and Blackhawk counties. We also represent clients in Central Illinois, including the cities of Rock Island, Aledo, Cambridge and Morrison and the communities that make up Rock Island, Mercer, Henry and Whiteside counties.

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