Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC
Matthew J. Brandes

Matthew J. Brandes

Position: Member
115 3rd Street SE, Suite 1200
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-1266
(319) 896-4021 direct
(319) 366-1917 fax

Matthew Brandes has been with Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman for 33 years. He has led the firm's family law practice since 1994 and is a former member of the firm's management committee. Mr. Brandes counsels and represents people in child custody, marriage dissolution and guardianship matters. He is an experienced mediator, collaborative law attorney and litigator and has successfully resolved hundreds of family law cases for clients from all walks of life with a diverse range of family and business issues. 

The family law practice of Mr. Brandes includes: asset valuation and division, child custody, child support, dissolution of marriage, domestic abuse, premarital agreements, spousal support, and related matters. He has worked with accountants, business executives, business owners, contractors, engineers, homemakers, laborers, lawyers, police officers, real estate developers, physicians, and teachers. Since becoming a family law specialist, Mr. Brandes has trained in other forms of dispute resolution including mediation and collaborative law. His practice employs this training and experience to the fullest. 

Mr. Brandes is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), a significant group of the nation’s top family law attorneys. AAML induction requires testing in the following areas related to family law practice: bankruptcy, business valuation, federal taxation, pensions, qualified domestic relations orders, COBRA, ERISA, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, Hague Convention, Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980, custody evaluation standards, evidence, and ethics. It includes an application process designed to assure the applicant is highly experienced in and dedicated to the practice and improvement of Family Law.

Mr. Brandes co-chairs the Iowa Supreme Court Family Law Case Processing Reform Task Force. He is a member of the Family Law Mediation Panel for the Sixth Judicial District and provides service as a family law mediator. Mr. Brandes is an active member of the Iowa State Bar and American Bar Associations. He is also a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Mr. Brandes is a charter member of Collaborative Lawyers of Eastern Iowa, the area’s first collaborative family law practice group. 

Mr. Brandes serves his community by providing pro bono representation to the poor through the Iowa Legal Aid Family Law Intake Project and through service in his church. Mr. Brandes has had the good fortune to be married for 44 years, is the father of three successful daughters, and the grandfather of eight amazing grandchildren.  

Place of birth: Waverly, Iowa


Recent articles:

Honors & Awards

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® list, 2013-2019
    • Family Law, Family Law Mediation
  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" in Cedar Rapids
    • Family Law
  • Inducted into the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)
  • Included in Great Plains Super Lawyers list, 2013-2018
  • AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®


  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 2013-Present
  • Iowa Supreme Court
    • Family Law Case Processing Reform Task Force, Co-Chair, 2014-Present
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    • Family & Juvenile Law Section Member, 1994-Present
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, 2010-Present
    • Board of Governors, 2012-2016
    • Family & Juvenile Law Section Council, 2002-2005; 2012-2016
    • Reporter, Chapter 11 Study Group, 2008-2011
    • Specialization Committee, 2001-2003
  • Linn County Bar Association
  • Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa, Inc., President, 2002-2004
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), 2003-Present
  • Iowa District Court for the Sixth Judicial District
    • Member, Mediation Advisory Committee, 2007-Present
    • Family Visitation Center Steering Committee, 2007-2009
    • Member, Family Law Procedures Committee, 2002-2006


  • 2019 Presentation
    • Iowa Association for Justice, Family Law Seminar, 04/11/19, "Family Law Dos & Don'ts"
    • Iowa State University Extension, Finances of Caregiving Class, 03/28/19, "Estate Planning Basics" and "Special Needs Trusts"
  • 2018 Presentation
    • Iowa State Bar Association, Annual Meeting, 06/20/18, "The Self-Representation Tsunami: Disaster or Opportunity”
  • 2017 Presentations
    • Eighth Judicial District Bench and Bar, 10/20/17, "Unbundling Legal Services"
    • Scott County Courthouse, 10/16/17, "IDRT/Limited Scope Representation"
    • Family Caregivers Center of Mercy 06/07/17, "Finances of Caregiving"
  • 2015 Presentation  
    • Iowa State Bar Association, Annual Meeting 06/17/15, "Property Division: The Basics, Plus the Latest Developments Related to Dissipation and Gifts"
  • 2014 Presentations 
    • Iowa State Bar Association Family Law Seminar 10/24/14, "A Trap for the Unwary: How Confidential Understandings in Family Law Mediation become Judicially Enforceable Settlement Agreements"
    • Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting 06/18/14, "Improve(d) Access to Family Court through Uniform Rules and Forms"
  • 2013 Presentations 
    • MSEI, 6/7/2013, "Hot and Timely Topics in Family Law" Re: New Standards of Conduct for Mediators as of 1/1/2012
    • NBI Judicial Forum, Program Moderator 10/23/2013, "What Family Law Court Judges Want You to Know"
  • 2012 Presentation
    • Iowa Association of Mediators, Annual Summer Chautauqua 07/20/12, "Reflections on the Impact of Chapter 11"
  • 2011 Presentation
    • Iowa State Bar Association, Annual Family Law Seminar 10/27/11, "The Best of the Best in Family Law Documents"
  • 2010 Presentations
    • Iowa State Bar Association, Annual Family Law Seminar 10/29/10, "Effective Discovery in Family Law Cases"
    • Iowa Association of Mediators, Annual Summer Conference 07/16/10, "Ethical Dilemmas for Mediators" Panel Presentation and Discussion


  • Author, "Living Together is Commonplace But Lacks the Legal Protections"
  • Co-Author, "The Self-Representation Tsunami: Disaster or Opportunity”
  • Author, "Collaborative Law, Mediation Models," Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa

Notable Matters

  • In the Supreme Court of Iowa, No. 2-271 / 11-1398
    • In Re the Marriage of Diana L. Kimbro and Steven C. Kimbro; Upon the Petition of Diana L. Kimbro, Petitioner-Appellee and Concerning Steven C. Kimbro, Respondent-Appellant County Case No. CDDM036929 In re: Marriage of Kimbro, 826 N.W.2d 696 (Iowa 2013) Decision w/Published Opinion
  • In the Supreme Court of Iowa, No. 39 / 03-1131
    • In Re the Marriage of DeAnn Patricia Schriner and John Kenneth Schriner; Upon the Petition of DeAnn Patricia Schriner, Appellee and Concerning John Kenneth Schriner, Appellant Linn County Case No. CDDM029810 In re: Marriage of Schriner, 690 N.W.2d 698 (Iowa App. 2004) In re: Marriage of Schriner, 695 N.W.2d 493 (Iowa 2005) Decision w/Published Opinion