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How do I file for a divorce?

The Iowa Judicial Branch provides fillable and savable court forms and also interactive interviews to assist unrepresented persons in filing and completing a divorce, also known as a dissolution of marriage, without an attorney. Divorces, however, can be legally complicated, particularly when children are involved or if the parties have substantial assets to divide. In divorce cases, you should consider talking to an attorney.

The court forms on filing a divorce are available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at: From that page,

  • Open the “Divorce” file, then
  • Open the “Divorce with Children” (when there are minor or dependent children) or
  • Open the “Divorce with no Children” file, as is appropriate

There are also interactive court forms for family law matters available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at:

The Iowa Judicial Branch website also provides helpful “Guides” for persons representing themselves in divorce, child support, or child custody cases. These Guides are thorough, written in plain English, and should be reviewed before you begin representing yourself in a family law matter.

Please realize, however, that family law proceedings are often complicated, and you very well may need legal advice from an attorney for some or all of your family law matters.

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