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598.1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

1. "Best interest of the child" includes, but is not limited to, the opportunity for maximum continuous physical and emotional contact possible with both parents, unless direct physical or significant emotional harm to the child may result from this contact. Refusal by one parent to provide this opportunity without just cause shall be considered harmful to the best interest of the child.

2. "Dissolution of marriage" means a termination of the marriage relationship and shall be synonymous with the term "divorce".

3. "Joint custody" or "joint legal custody" means an award of custody of a minor child to both parents under which both parents have rights and responsibilities toward the child and under which neither parent has rights superior to those of the other parent. The court may award physical care to one parent only.

4. "Minor child" means any person under legal age.

5. "Physical care" means the right and responsibility to maintain the principal home of the minor child and provide for the routine care of the child.

6. "Support" or "support payments" means an amount which the court may require either of the parties to pay under a temporary order or a final judgment or decree, and may include alimony, child support, maintenance, and any other term used to describe these obligations. For orders entered on or after July 1, 1990, unless the court specifically orders otherwise, medical support is not included in the monetary amount of child support. The obligations may include support for a child who is between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two years who is regularly attending an accredited school in pursuance of a course of study leading to a high school diploma or its equivalent, or regularly attending a course of vocational- technical training either as a part of a regular school program or under special arrangements adapted to the individual person's needs; or is, in good faith, a full-time student in a college, university, or community college; or has been accepted for admission to a college, university, or community college and the next regular term has not yet begun; or a child of any age who is dependent on the parties to the dissolution proceedings because of physical or mental disability.

Section History: Early form

[C71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 598.1; 82 Acts, ch 1250, § 1]

Section History: Recent form

84 Acts, ch 1088, § 1; 86 Acts, ch 1245, § 1495; 90 Acts, ch 1224, § 41; 90 Acts, ch 1253, § 120

Internal References

Referred to in § 252B.1, 252B.13A, 252B.14, 598.8, 633.425

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