Temporary Custody Laws in Iowa

By Mike Broemmel

mother and daughter conversation image by Allen Penton from Fotolia.com

Iowa temporary child custody laws are codified in Chapter 598 of the Iowa Code. The provisions of this part of Iowa statutes govern the factors considered by the court in awarding temporary custody. Additionally, these laws also establish the procedure used by a parent to obtain temporary custody of a child during a divorce, paternity or similar type of case.

Best Interests of the Child

Iowa temporary custody laws are founded on the doctrine of the best interests of the child. The health and welfare of the child trumps the goals and objectives of the parents when determining temporary custody in Iowa.

One factor an Iowa court considers in determining the best interests of a child for the purposes of temporary custody is which parent historically was the primary caretaker of the child. The court also considers the physical and mental health of the parents and the child. Other factors include which parent maintains a residence most suitable for a child and which parent is likely to encourage contact between the child and the noncustodial parent.

Motion for Temporary Custody

Temporary custody laws in Iowa permit either party to a divorce case the ability to file a motion for temporary custody. In fact, typically one or even both parties to a divorce case file a motion to obtain a series of temporary orders to remain in force during divorce proceedings. These include temporary custody, temporary visitation and temporary support.

In the motion, the parent seeking temporary custody must establish why placing the child in his custody will promote the best interests of the child.

Parenting Time

An element of temporary custody laws in Iowa is the requirement to develop a parenting time or visitation plan. Generally speaking, the parent not awarded temporary custody of a child during divorce or other proceedings legally is entitled to parenting time or visitation. Iowa law recommends that the noncustodial parent receive reasonable and regular parenting time with the child. The goal of a temporary custody order and the companion parenting-time plan is to ensure that the child is able to develop meaningful relationships with both parents.

Read More: How to Win Child Custody, Parenting Time or Divorce Mediation (winning child custody strategy)

Legal Representation

Seeking temporary child custody in Iowa is challenging. The procedures and applicable laws are complex. Consider engaging the services of a qualified Iowa family law attorney to represent you in your case. The Iowa State Bar Association maintains a directory of of attorneys in different areas of practice. Contact the Iowa State Bar Association at:

Iowa State Bar Association 625 E. Court Ave. Des Moines, IA 50309 515-243-3179 iabar.net