I just want to get this over with…sound familiar? You may be in a hurry to finish your dissolution of marriage action, but there’s a 90-day waiting period in Iowa before your divorce can be finalized.
Here’s the law:
598.19 WAITING PERIOD BEFORE DECREE.
No decree dissolving a marriage shall be granted in any proceeding
before ninety days shall have elapsed from the day the original
notice is served, or from the last day of publication of notice, or
from the date that waiver or acceptance of original notice is filed
or until after conciliation is completed, whichever period shall be
longer. However, the court may in its discretion, on written motion
supported by affidavit setting forth grounds of emergency or
necessity and facts which satisfy the court that immediate action is
warranted or required to protect the substantive rights or interests
of any party or person who might be affected by the decree, hold a
hearing and grant a decree dissolving the marriage prior to the
expiration of the applicable period, provided that requirements of
notice have been complied with. In such case the grounds of emergency
or necessity and the facts with respect thereto shall be recited in
the decree unless otherwise ordered by the court. The court may enter
an order finding the respondent in default and waiving conciliation
when the respondent has failed to file an appearance within the time
set forth in the original notice.
What does it mean? The time period begins to run when your spouse is served by the sheriff’s office or a private process server. You should get a return of service or some kind of affidavit from the process server, and that document will show the date and time of service. That’s when the clock starts.
If you gave your spouse the option of accepting service, then the 90-day waiting period begins to run on the date that an acceptance of service is filed with the Clerk of Court.
The 90-day waiting period can be waived in some cases, but don’t count on it. The Court won’t always grant a request for waiver, and you will have to have a factual basis other than “I just want to get this over with.”