Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Des Moines, Iowa

Divorce is a confusing and emotionally stressful time for the whole family. You can trust us to keep your family's interests and well-being as our top priorities.

The attorneys at Van Cleaf & McCormack Law Firm are experienced to handle sensitive family issues to the best of their abilities. We work hard to get a fair outcome for everyone involved. For our 24/7 emergency legal services, call us at 515-288-8030 today.


All the Legal Information You Need for Your Divorce Case

In order to obtain a dissolution, the legal term for divorce, in Iowa, at least you or your disputing spouse must have been living in Iowa for the last year. Iowa law does not require you to accuse your spouse of a wrong act to obtain a divorce.

A divorce, under Iowa law, can be obtained when one party claims the marital relationship has broken down and there is no chance that it can be repaired.

The dissolution process begins when you file a petition for dissolution of marriage. Your spouse must be served with an original notice and a copy of the petition for dissolution of marriage after the original petition has been filed.

Under Iowa law, you and your spouse must wait ninety (90) days from whichever of the following dates is the longest period for the court to enter the decree of dissolution:

  • When the opposing spouse was personally served

  • The last day of publication of notice

  • When the opposing spouse’s acceptance of service was filed

  • The date conciliation is completed

In some special circumstances, it's possible, however, for the court to grant you marriage dissolution prior to the end of the ninety (90) day waiting period.

If deemed necessary, you and your disputing spouse may request that the court have a hearing on temporary matters before the divorce is finalized. This special hearing includes matters like:

  • Visitation

  • Child support

  • Child custody

  • Spousal support

  • Use of property during the period the divorce is finalized

  • Living arrangement


In most cases, Polk County requires that the disputing parties attend a form of alternative dispute resolution called mediation. You may opt for mediation prior to a hearing on temporary matters or before a trial date may be obtained.

Parties from other counties may voluntarily participate in mediation. Mediation can take many forms and is designed to assist the parties in coming to an agreement as a quicker and less expensive means of finalizing a divorce. However, if mediation does not lead to your desired outcome, you're free to proceed to a court trial.

We Will Guide You Through Your Divorce

  • Serving notice to the spouse

  • Hearing representation

  • Mediation representation

  • Resulting trial representation

  • Temporary matters hearing

  • Temporary matters representation

  • Drafting and filing of all the necessary documents