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Gronewald Completes West Des Moines Leadership Institute

Sullivan & Ward, P.C. Shareholder, Samantha Gronewald, has recently graduated from the West Des Moines Leadership Institute (“WDMLI”). Now in its 8th year, WDMLI has seen over 300 community leaders go through the program. The West Des Moines Chamber’s leadership program is centered on creating leaders through community training and leadership development. Class members attend [...]

By |2019-10-21T18:48:09+00:00August 31st, 2016|Employment Law, Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate|

Service by Facebook?

A New York judge recently entered an Order allowing a woman to serve her husband divorce papers via Facebook. In Iowa, generally, a competent adult must accept service or be served in-person in order accomplish proper service. The woman in New York had been trying to accomplish service for several years according to her attorney. [...]

By |2019-10-21T18:48:10+00:00April 14th, 2015|Family Law|

Grandparent and Great-Grandparent Visitation

I am frequently asked about grandparent and/or great-grandparent visitation.  Iowa Code Section 600C.1 discusses the circumstances in which a grandparent and/or great-grandparent may petition the court for visitation with a grandchild and/or great-grandchild.  A grandparent and/or great-grandparent may only petition the court for visitation when the parent of the minor child, who is the child of the [...]

By |2019-10-21T18:48:10+00:00March 2nd, 2015|Family Law|

Tax Deductions for Legal Fees in a Divorce

In general, the Internal Revenue Code allows for a deduction of reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the production of taxable income. This may entitle you to a deduction of some of the legal fees paid in pursuit of post-separation support, alimony, taxable pension or annuity payments and other tax advice in connection with a [...]

By |2019-10-21T18:48:10+00:00January 19th, 2015|Family Law|

Finding Fault On-line in a No-Fault State

Iowa is a "no fault" state.  Generally, this means that the conduct of either party leading up to the divorce cannot be used as a factor in awarding a property settlement or alimony.  The conduct of a party is; however, still relevant when it comes to issues such as child custody and visitation.  With social networking on the rise, your on-line conduct is something that [...]

By |2019-10-21T18:48:11+00:00August 4th, 2014|Family Law|

Nebraska Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Iowa Same-Sex Divorce Case

The Nebraska Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a same-sex divorce case involving two women legally married in Iowa.  Nebraska does not recognize same-sex marriages because of a constitutional amendment that was approved by voters in 2000.  So, the question before the Court, is whether or not the a Nebraska court can grant a divorce without acknowledging the marriage?  An [...]

By |2018-05-09T20:03:47+00:00June 4th, 2014|Family Law|

Man-imony? The Changing Face of Alimony

Although the word "alimony" is not used in the Iowa Code, the terms "alimony" and "spousal support" are interchangable.  Alimony is stipend to a spouse in lieu of the other spouse's legal obligation for support. In Re Marriage of Hansen, 733 N.W.2d 683, 702 (Iowa 2007).  In Iowa, gender is not a factor that the Court [...]

By |2018-05-09T20:04:00+00:00April 21st, 2014|Family Law|

Cats, Dogs and No Contact Orders.

In the coming months, victims of domestic abuse may have one less deterrent from seeking out necessary help and protection. Under Senate File 2118, "pets or companion animals owned or held" by the parties to a domestic abuse protective order may be awarded to a protected party, giving them "exclusive care, possession or control" of [...]

By |2019-10-21T18:48:11+00:00April 15th, 2014|Family Law|

How to Navigate Divorce in a Healthy Way

Making the decision to end your marriage can be a very emotional experience.  Oftentimes, the emotions associated with ending your marriage result in anger and/or resentment toward your soon-to-be ex-spouse which in turn can make a difficult situation even more difficult.  During this time, it is important to remember that communication and cooperation, particularly if [...]

By |2018-05-09T20:00:49+00:00March 17th, 2014|Family Law|

Gender Neutral Name Change

A Florida man recently found himself in a bit of trouble following his decision to take his wife's last name.  Lazaro Sopena changed his last name to "Dinh" following his 2011 marriage to his wife, Hanh Dinh.  Shortly after the marriage, he obtained a new passport, Social Security Card and driver's license.  One year later, [...]

By |2018-05-09T20:01:43+00:00February 5th, 2013|Family Law|