How to Strategize an Amicable Divorce

Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C.
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Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C.

Although some divorces cannot escape conflict, you and your spouse may have an idea of how you would like to separate your assets and divide custody of your children in an amicable way.

In Iowa, a family law attorney cannot represent both you and your spouse, but you can use one attorney to draft your divorce agreement.

This can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees while providing you with the peace of mind that you are jumping through the correct hoops to get divorced.

If you believe you and your spouse can separate amicably, I have a game plan for you. With your spouse, make a bullet point list of how you envision child custody will look like:

  • Will the children alternate equally between the homes or will one parent receive parenting time on certain days?
  • What time will you exchange custody of the children?
  • Who will drive the children to and from both of your houses?
  • How will you exchange children’s personal items, such as pets, gaming systems, and clothing?
  • How will you divide up holidays and school breaks?

Every family is unique and it’s important that your family’s custody plan is spelled out specifically to avoid conflict in the future.

For your property plan of action, create a list of all assets and debts you have, whether you agree to who receives it or not. For now, I would skip the pots, pans, and air fryers and focus on larger items, such as bank accounts, your residence, your mortgage, credit card debt, retirement accounts, whole life insurance policies, stock accounts and vehicles.

After you have listed your assets and debts, gather the supporting document for each asset and debt so that when the time comes to divide the property, there are no questions as to whether someone is hiding something or misrepresenting a value.

Lastly, one of you should bring your game plan and all supporting documents to me. The spouse who brings the game plan to me would be considered the client and will receive advice accordingly; however, the spouse who did not retain me always has the option of hiring a separate attorney to review the divorce agreement before signing it.

Divorce does not have to be a costly, drawn out battle. Sometimes relationships simply fall apart and I would be happy to help you pick up the pieces and put your life back together.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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