The division of assets in a divorce can be extremely contentious, and often the issue of who gets to keep the house is at the heart of the disagreement. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question as certain matters must be considered to determine who gets the family home in a divorce. The attorneys at Simpson Legal Group explain what these factors are.
Agreement Between the Parties
The courts in Iowa encourage parties going through a divorce to come to a mutual agreement regarding the division of property whenever possible. When the parties cannot agree on their own, they may go through mediation to facilitate an agreement. If mediation efforts are unsuccessful, it is time to take the matter before a judge in court.
Iowa Is An Equitable Distribution State
Different states have different views on how property in a divorce should be divided. Iowa is an equitable distribution state, meaning property does not have to be split equally. Instead, it is split according to what the court considers to be fair. If the property was acquired before the marriage or was a gift or an inheritance, it may be considered separate property and therefore not subject to equitable distribution. If you have questions regarding whether certain property is marital property, speak with an attorney at Simpson Legal Group.
Factors Considered By the Court
In keeping with the principles of equitable distribution, there are certain factors that courts in Iowa will consider when deciding who gets certain assets in a divorce. These factors include:
- Length of the marriage
- How much each spouse contributed to acquiring the marital property (this includes any contribution by a spouse to homemaking and childcare)
- Value of property brought to the marriage
- Age, physical, and emotional health of the spouses
- Ability of each spouse to support themselves
- The education and vocational skills of each spouse
- Any prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Total economic circumstances of the spouses
When deciding who is awarded the home in a divorce, there are other practical considerations, such as whether or not a mortgage encumbers the home. If so, and there is a considerable amount of debt owed by the parties, the judge may rule that the house be sold, and the equity used to pay down the debt. In cases where the home is mortgaged in the name of both parties and one party is awarded the home, that party will need to have the property refinanced into their name only. These are all issues your Iowa family law attorney can discuss with you to help you understand the best route for you.
Talk With An Experienced Family Law Attorney at Simpson Legal Group
An experienced family law attorney at Simpson Legal Group can help you navigate through your divorce while ensuring that your rights are protected. Contact our firm if you are thinking of divorcing your spouse or have been served with divorce papers. We can help you understand your options and guide you through the process. We may be reached by calling 712-256-9899 or via our contact page.