Farming is not only a career; it is a lifestyle. If you and your spouse put a lot of time and money into maintaining your farm and later decide to part ways, dividing your property could get messy.
If a prenuptial agreement has been established, the division of property (including the farm) won’t be an issue. However, if a couple forgets to draw up a prenuptial agreement or doesn’t think they need one, the farm could be subject to unfavorable property division laws in the event of divorce.
Division of Property
The state of Iowa enforces equitable division of marital property during divorce. This means a judge will divide the property “fairly.”. However, this doesn’t mean it will be divided equally.
A judge will consider the following when dividing property:
- current financial situation and needs;
- age, health, and employability;
- duration of the marriage;
- contribution to the marriage (child-rearing efforts, making the home livable, etc.); and
- how much time and money each person spent tending the farm.
If the farm belonged to one spouse before the marriage, it would be considered separate property. Separate property is assets that can’t be divided between spouses during a divorce. However, if the other spouse spent their money on farm business and/or the farm expenses were pulled from finances that both spouses have an equal share in, the property becomes community property.
A judge can give at least a piece of the farm property to the spouse who married into the farming life, if they contributed in the ways mentioned above. The only way for a farming spouse to ensure their property isn’t divided is to create a prenuptial agreement that states as such.
Reach Out to The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw Today
If you have a farm and are thinking about getting a divorce, contact our firm today. We have extensive experience in agricultural divorce and can work with you to ensure your farmland isn’t divided.
Contact us online or call our firm at (515) 200-7571.