Family law covers a wide range of legal proceedings such as divorce, legal separation, paternity, custody/parental responsibilities and visitation, support issues and property division. The law can be complex and ever evolving. At Newton Law, PLC, we will help you navigate the legal maze. Protecting the best interest of our clients is our number 1 priority.
At Newton Law, PLC, we represent clients on a variety of family law issues. All matters begin with an initial consultation. There is a $50.00 fee for an initial consultation that lasts up to thirty (30) minutes. At the time of the consultation the hourly rate of the attorney and retainer is discussed. Call our office today at 563- FAMILY1 to set up your initial consultation.
Divorce can be a very difficult process and time for people. An irretrievable breakdown of marriage leads to the permanent separation of two lives, and often involves children that will also be impacted. There is not a one size fits all approach to divorce as each case is unique and carries its own set of circumstances and facts.
At Newton Law, PLC, we work diligently and aggressively to protect your interests at all times. We handle divorce matters in both IA and IL. In Iowa, divorce is governed by Iowa Code Chapter 598 and in IL divorce is governed by 750 ILCS 5/401.
Laws that govern the division of marital property in divorce proceedings vary from state to state. In Iowa, the courts are directed to make an equitable division of marital property, which means that property is to be divided fairly. While often it turns out that the property is divided equally, that is not always the case as equitable does not necessarily mean equal.
In Illinois, the courts will first determine if the property is marital or non-marital before they move towards deciding how to allocate property among divorcing parties. See 750 ILCS 5/503.
In some cases, parties want to live separate but do not want to go through an actual divorce. In these cases, parties can petition the court for a legal separation. A legal separation can have many of the same effects as a divorce but does not legally end the marriage (therefore neither party is able to remarry). Legal separation can vary by state can also be referred to as Separate Maintenance.
Paternity is the legal establishment of the identity of a child’s father. Paternity Law refers to the body of law that recognizes the legal relationship between a father and child.
Custody/ Parental Responsibilities and Visitation
Parents, whether married or unmarried, have certain rights and responsibilities to their children. These rights include the right to make very important decisions on behalf of the children, including but not limited to Education, Religion, Health, Extra Curriculars, Safety and Legal Status. These rights also include the physical placement and visitation of the children. In Iowa, such rights or responsibilities are referred to as Custody.
In Illinois, the courts refer to the rights and responsibilities of parents as Parental Responsibilities. The courts recognize two main areas of Parental Responsibilities, Significant Decision-Making Responsibilities (the right to make the major life decisions concerning the child’s Education, Health, Religion and Extra Curricular Activities) and Parenting time (what time the child spends with each parent).
In both IA and IL, the courts will be most concerned with the best interest of the child when deciding how to allocate rights and responsibilities between the parents.
Parents have a legal obligation to support their minor children. Iowa uses an Income Shares Model approach to determine the appropriate amount of child support for children. The Income Shares Model approach combines the income of both parents and then uses a schedule that sets up support based on the income and the number of children. The Iowa Child Support Guidelines are contained in chapter 9 of the Iowa Court Rules.
Illinois Child Support Guidelines were amended to also include an income shares approach model to calculating support. The Illinois Child Support Guidelines are contained in 750 ILCS 5/505 and the new income shares approach became effective July 2017.
Iowa law provides that a “post-secondary subsidy” may be ordered by a court, which means that the court can order a parent to pay up to 33 1/3 percent of the total cost of the child’s post-secondary education. See Iowa Code Section 598.21F.
Mediation is the process of attempting negotiation that is facilitated by a neutral party known as the mediator. Mediation is frequently used in family law and domestic proceedings to attempt to resolve issues. Some cases require mediation as a mandatory component of the process where others do not, and the use of mediation is elective.
Attorney Newton-Butt has successfully completed the 40-hour Crilley Mediation Training. As a Mediator, Attorney Newton-Butt will act as a neutral third party to help facilitate the mediation process. Although Attorney Newton-Butt is licensed to practice law in both IA and IL, while acting as a mediator she will not render any legal advice nor provide the parties with any legal opinion or conclusion of their matters. Her job as a mediator is to simply help the parties work through their differences in hopes of reaching a compromise. As a Mediator, Attorney Newton-Butt will maintain impartiality throughout the entire session and will never take sides.
Mediation is scheduled for a minimum of two (2) hours and is billed at $225.00 per hour. Each participant must pay for their fee prior to the mediation taking place and unless the parties agree otherwise, each participant is responsible for ½ of the fee. In the event the mediation takes longer than two hours then each hour shall be billed at $225.00 per hour and each participant is responsible for their portion thereof. If an agreement is reached, the cost for drafting the agreement is also billed at $225.00 per hour.
For more information regarding mediation services please call our office at 563-FAMILY1.
Criminal defense is an area of law that provides legal protections to people that have been accused of committing a crime.
OWI/DUI and Traffic violations can potentially result in the loss of driving privileges. If you are accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or of committing any traffic violation, you should seek legal representation to protect your rights.
Personal Injury, also referred to as Tort law, is an area of law designed to give a victim the opportunity to be made whole if they have been injured due to the negligence of another person or entity. In other words, if you suffer harm or injury and someone else is legally responsible for such harm or injury. Personal Injury lawsuits are meant to compensate the victim for the harm or injury suffered. At Newton Law, PLC, we only represent the Plaintiffs in Personal Injury lawsuits. Our fees for personal injury lawsuits are based on a contingency fee whereby we are only paid if we are able to secure a successful resolution of your case. For more information on how our contingency fees are structured, please contact our office today to set up a consultation.