How Breakups Affect Iowa Kids

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Your Relationship Is Kaput…
How Breakups Affect Iowa Kids

A Guest Post by Maria Parker

Your relationship has ended, and there are children involved.

What can you expect for your kids after a breakup/divorce happens in the State of Iowa?

Iowa Does Not Have A Presumption (Rebuttable or Not) Of Shared Custody. Yet.

Even though you’ve both cared for your child/ren and have been active participants in their lives, so many challenges can present themselves if you end your relationship.

It is at this time that many parents feel they should have the children to themselves, except for four days a month.

We should all ask… WHY?

Up until this point, in most situations, the couple have parented jointly with no serious issues. What then prompts one party to believe they have a right to deprive the children of their other parent?

  • Does the thought of a higher child support check come into play?
  • Some type of ‘payback’ for perceived wrongs?
  • Is it that society seems to think there must be ONE winner?
  • Is an attorney consulted who says, ‘we can win?”

Do our current laws, where there is no clear presumption of shared custody from Day One, contribute to that ONE winner mentality?

It would seem very logical that all of the above, and perhaps other factors as well, would be huge contributors to one parent fighting for majority ‘rights’ to the children.

But children are not property! They love and need both parents.

Breakups are a confusing time for the children. Too often the situation is made worse for them because one parent decides to fight for majority “rights” while the other parent is forced to fight just to try and stay in their children’s life.

So, who is the winner in this situation? NO ONE.

The only people who make out financially in this situation are the attorneys. Sometimes though, a good lawyer is necessary

It is not uncommon for each individual’s legal bills to get into the $15,000 – $40,000 range quickly. That is $30,000-$80,000 combined! That could easily be a child’s college education!

Unfortunately, the situation often gets even worse. More often than you would realize or want to admit, one parent sets out to win the custody battle at all costs and false DHS complaints and/or false protection orders quickly follow.

This impacts all parties.

It can take the parent out of the children’s life for weeks or months, certainly increase stress levels, and most likely has an impact on the parent’s job and/or career.

It typically further increases the legal bills – since the only choices are to fight the allegations or let the children lose a parent.

But most of all, the children suffer emotionally because of the deprivation of a loving parent… and they don't undertand why.

Many parents give up as a result. They walk away because they either can’t afford the fight or are so emotionally shattered that they just can’t fight. Often, parents are financially ruined because of the effects of the false allegations.

Unfortunately, there are some that mentally collapse.

I personally have watched one of my children and a grandson live this hell I have described. Two other family members experienced similar circumstances. So, to me, one thing is obvious. Pitting parent against parent to ascribe majority rights to one over the other is never in the best interest of the children.

Statistics say that you, or someone you know, has been touched by similar challenges. Now is the time to make a change!

SF 11 has been introduced in Iowa. It is a bill that if passed into law will add a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting.

This would start the playing field on equal ground – presumed shared parenting. Many of the points that motivate a parent to fight the other are removed. Obviously, in a situation with valid proof of abuse or neglect, one could rebut the presumed shared parenting.

Please call, email, personally talk to your legislatures and share your stories and support for SF 11. If you don’t know who that is, you can find them and their contact information here:

Who represents me in Iowa?


Iowa Legislative Recommendations 2019
Shared Parenting 2019 – A Child’s Rights Are Fundamental
Sharing a Resource – Leading Women For Shared Parenting
All Shared Parenting Bills Must Have…
Debunking the Myths of Shared Parenting
Salem Family Courts?

Image of Maria Parker, FUAN Guest Contributor

This article is a guest post by Maria Parker, FLMI, ALHC, ACS.

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on this site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of Families United Action Network as a whole.

Maria is has spent twenty years in the insurance industry. She is currently a Principal Consultant at FINEOS Corporation. FINEOS is a global market leader in core insurance technology. Her role there is to help the company's customers take care of the people they serve through the delivery of insurance technology.

Maria has five adult children, three blessings from a prior marriage, and two wonderful gifts that came with her husband of twenty-five years.

She has three grandchildren who she loves to spoil – and their parents are always amazed at her spoiling abilities.

Maria's current passion is family law reform to provide a better life experience for Iowa children and families and the rest of the country.

She enjoys spending quality time with her family. They live near Carlisle, Iowa.