If you are considering a divorce or a child custody proceeding, you will need to be represented by an experienced family law trial lawyer because child custody issues are very complex. You need someone who will work with you through these difficult times. I will try to address generally some of the issues that are considered by Iowa Courts in custody disputes. You can also contact me directly if you need answers now. In most custody cases, the issue of shared joint physical custody comes up. If the parties agree to share physical custody or if the court grants it, the arrangement usually is every other week with each parent plus the normal holiday, summer and special events visitation.
But shared physical custody is not designed for every situation. It has to meet certain factors established by the Iowa Supreme Court. The first consideration is whether each parent would be a suitable custodian for the child. Not every parent is a suitable custodian so in that situation shared physical custody would not be in the best interest of the child. For example, if one parent has over the years spent very little time with the child and has not taken an equal role in the child's life, then that parent may not be a suitable custodian. We will discuss more factors in later blogs.