Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC

Family Law


Family law issues often arise at a time of crisis when family members struggle to make good judgments for a wide assortment of reasons. It is difficult for a family law attorney to represent their client’s interests without affecting the interests of other family members. As a result, the selection of a family law attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make. You should expect an attorney knowledgeable in the law and competent in all aspects of dispute resolution, including traditional litigation, mediation, and collaborative law practice. You need a lawyer who appreciates your circumstances and is capable of helping you navigate through your family law issues in order to meet your and your family’s objectives.

Legal services include:

  • Dissolution of Marriage: Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of dispute resolution, including traditional litigation, mediation, and collaborative law.

    • Spousal Support (alimony): Whether you are interested in receiving spousal support or are being asked to pay it, our attorneys have experience in spousal support negotiations and disputes.

    • Equitable Division of Marital Property and Debt: Iowa is an equitable distribution state and knowing which laws apply to your situation can be invaluable. Our attorneys are both knowledgeable and understanding and will help guide you through your own unique situation.

  • Child Custody, Visitation and Support: Understanding the various custody options is important in both married and unmarried situations. Our attorneys provide representation in custody cases (legal decision making and paternity cases) and can assist when the parties want to change or enforce a prior court order.

  • Modifications: As time passes, circumstances sometimes change. Should the court's divorce orders need modified, our attorneys can assist with the modification of your decree.

  • Collaborative Law: Collaborative Law is a non-adversarial process that views the issues arising from a divorce as a series of battles to be solved rather than fought. The end goal is to meet the legitimate needs of everyone involved in a restructured family. Our attorneys provide legal advice in an educational context, thereby empowering our clients to make informed decisions.

  • Mediation: Mediation is a common and effective form of alternative dispute resolution for issues such as child support, alimony and division of property. When serving as a mediator, our attorneys do not give out legal advice, but rather guide the parties toward a mutual agreement.

  • Premarital Agreements: A premarital agreement may be used to protect individual assets that are brought into a marriage and/or acquired during a marriage in the event of a subsequent dissolution of marriage or death. We assist clients with the drafting of premarital agreements.

  • Adoption: Adoptions require approval by the court to be recognized as legal. Our attorneys are experienced in all types of matters, including open and closed adoptions, agency and private adoptions, stepparent and grandparent adoptions and finalization or legalization of adoptions.

  • Guardianship and Conservatorship: A guardianship or conservatorship is a relationship created by a court which gives a "guardian" or "conservator" the ability to make welfare and/or financial decisions on behalf of an incapacitated "ward". We represent clients involved in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings.

  • Domestic Abuse: Domestic abuse complaints arise as both civil and criminal actions. A spouse or domestic partner may initiate a civil domestic abuse complaint with the clerk of the district court. Additionally, if law enforcement becomes involved in the complaint, the domestic abuse charge may be filed as a criminal complaint and prosecuted by the County Attorney. Our firm provides representation in respect to both such matters.

  • Juvenile Court Proceedings: We represent parents and other family members in juvenile court proceedings, including but not limited to, child in need of assistance (CINA) and termination of parental rights cases.

Resource Links:

Kids First
Collaborative Lawyers of Eastern Iowa
Divorcing and Separating Parents' Class: For People with Minor Children
Mediation Education Classes

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