Iowa is an equitable division state, which means courts will apportion property and debts fairly to divorcing parties. However, an equitable division does not necessarily mean an equal division of the assets and debts. Courts will award property based on the following factors:
- the length of the marriage;
- the property brought to the marriage by each party;
- the contribution of each party to the marriage, giving appropriate economic value to each party's contribution in homemaking and child care services;
- the age and physical and emotional health of the parties;
- the contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other;
- the earning capacity of each party;
- the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live in the family home for a reasonable period to the party having custody of the children, or if the parties have joint legal custody, to the party having physical care of the children;
- the amount and duration of an order granting support payments to either party and whether the property division should be in lieu of such payments;
- other economic circumstances of each party, including pension benefits, vested or unvested, and future interests;
- the tax consequences to each party;
- any written agreement made by the parties concerning property distribution;
- the provisions of an antenuptial agreement; and
- other factors the court may determine to be relevant in an individual case.
Dickinson's family law attorneys will work with you to analyze the facts of your individual case in relation to the foregoing factors. Depending on your circumstances, we may engage in the discovery process ' including formal written discovery and taking and defending depositions ' in order to classify and value marital property. Our attorneys will determine whether an argument can be made as to whether a spouse has dissipated assets, and we will assist in dividing retirement plans and pensions and in valuing businesses. Dickinson's family law attorneys will ensure that all issues involved in dividing your assets and debts are taken into consideration.