Legal Question in Family Law in Iowa

reestablishing visitation rights ,possible custody

i have been divorced for 2 years ,i was not given proper notice to get back in time(i was in tenn. -divorce took place in iowa )i was not present in court and lost all rights . I have been a legal resident of iowa and have been paying child support but have been denied visitation with children. I have no criminal record at all but she has a long list of felonies and ect. i am a victom of circumstances. Currently i am unable to work because of medical reasons. I have tried to go through legal aid but was denied for unknown reason. Thank you for taking the time to read my message.

Asked on 4/09/99, 1:13 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathan Schiff Self employed
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Re: visitation, custody, etc. rights

I get the general drift of your question but am not sure precisely what you are seeking at this time. Although I practice in Ohio and not Iowa, I doubt that you "lost all rights" as you seem to think. Generally, domestic relations orders relating to children are temporary, meaning the parties can always come back to court to change custody, support or visitation depending on what is called "changed circumstances" You might although, it's more of a longshot, be able to set aside the divorce decree on the basis of fraud and lack of notice. Although I wouldn't count on that. I also have a pretty good idea why legal aid copped out. Most likely it's because they have been reduced to a "weak reed" by budget cuts and attempts by both presidents and Congress to cut back its fighting power. I am not too sure what, if anything, they do anymore.

But even if you can't find a lawyer, you can file something on your own behalf in the court where your divorce was granted. I think you might find the court clerks very helpful in getting you started. Even though the first thing you usually see when you walk into one of those offices is a sign saying "We're sorry but we are not permitted to give legal advice," the clerks frequently know more than many of the lawyers around do and they are usually alot nicer to deal with. Best of all the advice is free.

If you get a hearing, then you can go and present your side of things and why you want a change in visitation, support or even custody.

Jonathan Schiff

Self employed

605 Rose Hill Ave


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Answered on 4/09/99, 10:09 pm

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