Written by attorney Christine E Branstad Esq

Iowa: General Dissolution Timeline

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

Information you will need to prepare your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage:

  • Home/Property information
  • Mortgage
  • Vehicles
  • Retirement accounts
  • Financial portfolio
  • Salary information (pay stubs or annual)
  • Tax returns for the last 3 years (4 years if self employed or have fluctuating income)

You will need to review the petition before it is filed and sign it in the presence of notary public (Filing fee is $185).

Service of Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

Your spouse will be given or served the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

  • Your Spouse may accept service and sign in the presence of a Notary Public.
  • We have process servers who will deliver the petition ($40 fee in Polk).
  • If your spouse can not be located, then we provide notice of the action via publication pursuant to the Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure (this takes two weeks)

Temporary Hearings

There may be a need to set up temporary visitation, custody or support. The district court may require mediation be attempted before a temporary hearing is granted. If no resolution can be made, affidavits are presented and a ruling is made to resolve issues until trial or a Decree is entered.

Mandatory Forms

There are certain forms that must be completed within 45 days of filing Notice of Service

  • Financial Affidavit (everyone)
  • Child Support Guideline (with children)
  • Certificate of Completion of a Children in the Middle course (with children)

Pre-Trial Conference

The soonest a pretrial conference can be held is 90 days after filing of the Acceptance of Service. If your issues have been resolved, you may enter a decree after the 90 days have passed. If the issues between you and your spouse are not resolved, either a court date or a mediation date will be set up during the Pre-Trial Conference (in Polk County mediation must be completed before you will get a trial date).


Opportunity for each spouse to gather information before the trial


Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Avvo child custody email series

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer