Even when divorce is the right course of action for you and your partner, it’s not usually easy. The actual process of getting a divorce isn’t always difficult, though it can be time-consuming. Contacting a divorce attorney to assist you throughout the process is the best course of action, however, there are some bits of advice that you should consider before you get started:

1. Start with a plan. Before the actual divorce process begins, it’s best to develop a plan so you can have smooth sailing ahead (as much as possible, that is). Jot down some notes and consult with your lawyer so you’re on the same page.

2. No fault needed. In some states, you have to prove that your spouse caused your marriage to fail. Iowa isn’t one of them. Do keep in mind, however, that the Court will grant you a divorce if you and your spouse say the marriage is broken and cannot be fixed.

3. Become a resident. You should know that if you recently moved to Iowa, you’ll need to become a resident for at least one year. If your spouse is a current resident, then you might be able to file now.

4. Know about “common law” marriages. Do you believe that your marriage is a common law one? If so, then you should know how common law marriages are viewed in Iowa before you file. According to the State, a couple can be considered married by even if they didn’t have a wedding or secure a marriage license. In the event the couple did neither of those things, the couple must A) have told people they were married, B) lived together as man and wife, C) share a last name, and D) have joint banking accounts.

Now that you know more about filing for divorce, it’s time to consider the big question: should you file without a lawyer?

In truth, filing for divorce can be tricky to do on your own. In order to meet state requirements, you need to follow a lot of rules. You don’t have to use a lawyer, but he or she can help and properly advise you on what to do. A divorce lawyer can also tell you about your rights so you don’t end up selling yourself short. If you do decide to file on your own, the official term for it is “Pro Se.”

Getting started

To get the ball rolling, you’ll need to complete a form known as a Petition. You must then provide the Court with information regarding yourself, your spouse, and your marriage. It is this petition that will let the court know what you’re seeking and what you plan to do. Once the petition is filled out, you’ll file a copy in the County Court. Then, your spouse will need to be served a copy. Keep in mind that there are rules governing how your spouse can be served. To learn more about that process, be sure to consult your attorney.

Now that you know a little bit more about the divorce process in Iowa, be sure to speak to attorney Cory Goldensoph. As an experienced divorce lawyer, Cory can help you with the ins and outs of the entire process. To seek his help and expertise, be sure to sign up for a consultation today.