Affordable Fixed Attorney Fee Uncontested Iowa Divorce

If you are agreed on child custody and support, visitation, division of joint property like your home, cars and also who will be responsible for any joint debt etc., you have an uncontested divorce, that is great! Contact Jeff for his fixed affordable Attorney fee for uncontested cases.  See Jeff's Iowa divorce Facebook Page.

What is an uncontesed divorce?

"Uncontested" means the issues that people often fight about in a divorce proceeding have been agreed to by the parties.  So if you can come to agreement with your soon to be x-spouse on:

-Child Custody
-Child Support
-Distribution of Assets including the home, retirement plans
-Who will be responsible for joint debt etc.

then you have an uncontested divorce, there is no contest between the two of you over issues of conflict.

Since Mandatory Mediation is now the norm in Polk County Iowa courts anyway, even if a case starts out contested and the parties fully intend to have a trial with the Judge deciding the case in the end, the parties are required to meet with both parties, both attorneys and a mediator and try to resolve conflicts before getting to trial.  Fewer and fewer family law cases are actually resolved in court.

Problems with Contested Divorce:

1.  High Financial Cost

Good divorce attorneys are not cheap and charge by the hour, often in 6 to 15 minute increments.  So you provide your attorney with a large retainer, $10,000 or more is not unusual in child custody cases, and then the attorney starts to bill against it.  So one 3 minute call is one 6-15 minute increment.  Clients tend to find this approach very frustrating as they see their funds bleeding away with each monthly bill.  Temporary orders, preliminary hearings, many calls to opposing counsel, written discovery like interrogatories, request for production of documents, depositions which may require court reporters and video technicians in some cases, trial preparation and expert witness costs often result in huge expense.

2.  High Emotional Cost

Especially if there are kids involved, the emotional toll of contested divorce can be higher than the financial cost.  Kids pick up on everything.  They can tell how you are feeling about your spouse even if you don't say it.  Too often, when we are in the heat of battle, we say things we wish we had not, it is human to do so.  If instead of quarreling we choose to work things out, it accrues great benefits to the emotional health of our children.

3.  Long Timelines

Contested divorce involves many long time lines for pleadings, temporary orders, discovery, hearings, trial and appeal.  It is not unusual for civil litigation to go on for years.  Most Iowan's would rather move on with their lives more quickly.  An uncontested divorce can be completed in about 90 days and the 90 day wait may even be waived if new medical costs are upcoming, one party wants to buy real estate or needs finality for tax purposes etc. the court may approve a waiver of the waiting period.

Uncontested Divorce Process

If you decide to go forward with an uncontested divorce with Jeff's office, you can email Jeff with questions.  Jeff will collect some information and get your petition and other documents prepared, get your approval and file the documents with the Court.  Your spouse can accept service voluntarily without the need to pay for the Sheriff to serve.  We can prepare your decree according to your wishes, get it signed off on by your spouse as well.  This gives you way more time to concentrate on moving forward rather than dwelling on the past.  See Iowa State Bar Association : Divorce.

See Jeff's Des Moines Iowa Divorce website.  See Uncontested divorce - Chicago.


What is Collaborative Divorce?

If you are not in agreement on important issues like child custody, support, visitation and division of property like home and cars or who will be responsible for joint debt, you have a contested divorce.  One approach is to hire a litigation attorney to fight it out with your spouse and their attorney before a judge.

Another alternative is to hire a collaborative attorney to help you work through the areas of conflict and see if resolution can be found cooperatively, across a conference room table.  Collaborative divorce attorneys know that litigated divorce creates more tension, stress and higher costs for their clients.  Active opposition is an unpleasant way to conclude a marriage.

If both parties agree to it, you will enter into a contract with your spouse in which you both agree to resolve your disputes cooperatively.   First you would meet with your attorney and work through issues on which you agree and issues on which you disagree.  Next the parties will gather some information from each other so everyone's cards are on the table when we meet.  There should be no need for formal discovery supervised by a Judge in collaboration.  Instead, both parties agree to come forward with complete and truthful responses to requests about for example what assets they have.

Next, the attorneys get together and make sure we are all on the same page as to issues of agreement and issues that are disputed.  Once the foundation is laid, all four parties meet together in one place and start working through the issues.  Collaboration attorneys are still advocates.  Our role is to make sure you are treated fairly throughout the process and guide you to a fair and equitable distribution of assets and debt.  It may take 1-3 sessions to resolve contested issues in a typical collaboration.

Finally, the parties file a JOINT divorce decree that reflects their agreement.  There is no need for a Judge to hear evidence or decide disputed matters in a way that may not be satisfying to either party.
Your collaborative attorney represent you just for collaboration.  If either party gives up on the collaboration and wants to litigate, the collaborative attorneys both withdraw from the case and the parties hire litigation attorneys.  So your attorney has no incentive to "feed the fire" of hostility between the parties.

Collaborative divorce tends to take less time and incur fewer attorney fees and costs than traditional contested divorce.  It's a recognition that our adversary system is not well suited to the separation of families, especially when children are involved.  In fact, collaboration is a great opportunity to model for our children how to resolve difficult disputes.  Iowan's who opt for uncontested divorce are often able to get joint physical care of their children since cooperation between the parties is a big factor.

Jeff Mathias Law Office, 4800 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 218, West Des Moines, Iowa 50265, 515-261-7526 or Toll Free, 1-800-997-1395.

See Wikipedia on Collaborative Law.  See Jeff's Des Moines Collaborative Divorce website.


Polk County Courthouse

The Polk County Courthouse

The Polk County Iowa Courthouse is located at 500 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.  We file your Uncontested Divorce online, so unless you have a contested case where a hearing before the Judge is required, you are not likely to need to travel to the courthouse for your divorce here in Des Moines, West Des Moines and other Polk County communities.  See Iowa Courts - EDMS Facebook,

Jeff Mathias Law Office
4800 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 218
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
Tel. 515-261-7526
Toll Free 1-800-997-1395