Iowa Child Custody Laws

Iowa Child Custody Issues & Resources

Iowa Child Custody

Iowa child custody law includes a presumption of joint custody if either party request it. Child custody, including a request for joint custody, will be awarded based upon the best interests of the child based upon the following factors:
  • the ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions jointly; 

  • the ability of the parents to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent;

  • the physical proximity of the parents to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of where the child will reside; 

  • the fitness and suitability of the parents; 

  • the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference; 

  • whether both parents have actively cared for the child before and since the separation;

  • whether the psychological and emotional needs and development of the child will suffer because of lack of contact with both parents;

  • whether the safety of the child will be jeopardized by an award of joint custody or unsupervised visitation; and 

  • whether one or both parents agree to, or are opposed to, joint custody. 

The Court may grant joint child custody even over the objection of one party.

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