Custody agreements, property division, and the allocation of debts and assets are stressful periods of any divorce proceeding. Working with your attorney to be prepared is a must. Iowa, unlike other states, practices an equitable property division policy. This means that marital property will not be divided 50/50, but in a fair way that considers all parties. All property acquired during the marriage stands to be equitably distributed except for those inherited or owned solely by a spouse before the marriage.
How Does the Court Establish an Equitable Property Division?
The court will consider several factors before determining how to divide the marital property. In its evaluation, the court can consider any combination of the following:
- Salaries and potential income of each party
- The value of each spouse’s personal assets, for example, businesses, retirement accounts, and stocks
- The amount of money and time each party invested in the marital property
- Any contributions from one spouse made to the educational advancement of the other party.
- The future financial health of each spouse
- The health and potential of each spouse to earn
- Any premarital or postnuptial agreements
Is Iowa a Community Property State?
If you and your spouse can divide your assets and liabilities without assistance, then you can. If not, then the court can make the decision. The courts give couples the chance to create a divorce agreement they can live with long-term. Each party needs to come to the table with information about their finances, assets, and debts. Couples should create their divorce agreement for themselves instead of allowing the court system that doesn’t know the intricacies of the divorce or the situation handle it.
As you progress through your Iowa divorce, here are some points to remember and some suggestions:
Assets: Make certain you have a working knowledge of all of your investments, assets, and debts acquired during your marriage. When deciding what to include, you need to of assets or property in the larger sense, but you also need to include these items that you may not think would be included, like businesses, retirement accounts.
Debts: Close all of your joint accounts and create separate banking lives as single entities. A party assumes debt that belongs to the marital estate in exchange for a greater share of a marital asset. Debts can also be managed by liquidating marital property to pay debt.
Additional Assets: If the divorce proceedings are contentious, there is the possibility that one or both parties are hiding assets to benefit their position. It may be necessary to hire a forensic accountant to search for assets.
At The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, we can help you develop a strategy for your Iowa divorce. After filing a divorce case in Iowa, you will need an area attorney to help you work toward a fair and equitable divorce. We can work to help you develop a divorce strategy despite your spouse’s uncooperative attitude. The Law Office of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, can discuss your divorce case's details and help formulate a strategy.Call us today at (515) 200-7571 to schedule your initial consultation or contact us online for information and to schedule an appointment.