A divorce is the termination of a marriage by legal action, requiring a petition for dissolution by one party. Iowa has no-fault divorce, which means the Petitioner must only state the marriage cannot be preserved. It does not require fault of either party to be shown. The major issues in divorces are division of property, child custody and support, spousal support, child visitation, and attorney's fees. Only state courts have jurisdiction over divorce, so the petitioner can only file in the state in which he/she has been a resident for a period of time. In Iowa, there is a 90 day required waiting period from the date of service on the Respondent until a divorce can be finalized. The Court may waive this period, but it requires good reason.
An annulment differs from a divorce as it is a judicial statement that there was never a marriage. An annulment declares that a marriage, which appears to be valid, is actually invalid. A void marriage is one that was invalid from the very beginning. The major grounds for a void marriage are incest, bigamy and lack of consent. A voidable marriage is one that can be declared illegal but continues as valid until an annulment is sought.
If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa family law attorney, representing clients in New Hampton, Iowa at the Dillon Law P.C. Give us a call at (563) 578-1850 or complete our inquiry form.