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Factors for Dividing Property Upon Divorce in Iowa


When a couple gets divorced in Iowa, issues related to property division are resolved using principles of equitable distribution. Iowa law requires courts to divide marital assets “equitably” between the parties in a divorce. An “equitable” division of marital assets does not necessarily imply an equal fifty-fifty split between the parties. Instead, an equitable division of marital property requires the courts to divide property in consideration of certain factors outlined by Iowa statutory law.

Property Division Under Iowa Law

Under Iowa statutory law, courts must consider several factors when making an equitable division of property in divorce cases.

The factors for equitable division of marital assets can be found under Iowa Code § 598.21, which include:

  • Length of the parties’ marriage
  • The property each party contributed upon marriage
  • The economic value of the parties’ contributions to the marriage, including homemaking and child care
  • The parties’ age and health
  • Contributions from one party to the education and earning capacity of the other party
  • Each party’s respective earning capacities
  • Whether a custodial parent should continue living in the family home
  • The nature and extent of any family support orders
  • Other circumstances related to the economic situation or financial conditions of the parties
  • The effect on the parties’ tax liability
  • Written contracts between the parties regarding property division
  • The provisions of any valid premarital contracts
  • Other facts the court deems relevant to the case

The equitable division of marital property differs from other states who use the community property system of dividing assets. In many community property jurisdictions, the parties in a divorce are entitled to an equal share of community property assets. As a result, community property systems differ from Iowa’s equitable distribution system by foregoing the above factors when determining the percentage of ownership between the parties.

Quality Legal Counsel from the Hope Law Firm

Property division is a significant issue when it comes to divorce proceedings. The parties and courts devote a lot of time attention to property division issues, trying to make sure the parties receive a just and fair part of the marital estate. To understand the nature and extent of your property rights during divorce, call the Hope Law Firm to consult an experienced attorney about your case.

To schedule an appointment about your legal issues with an experienced attorney from the Hope Law Firm, call our office at (515) 305-2772 or contact us online today.