The state of Iowa requires that individuals filing for divorce in Iowa
be state residents for a minimum of one year. Residency requirements
are necessary in each state so that the proper jurisdiction can be
Only one spouse needs to be an Iowa resident to petition for divorce,
but the petition must be filed in the county of residency. A ninety-day
waiting period will follow the initial filing before the marriage
dissolution shall enter the court.
Filing for Divorce
The divorce petition that will be sent to the circuit court will need
to include the grounds for which the divorce is being filed. Iowa has
set aside what qualifies for legal divorce reasoning.
It is the couple's job while filing for divorce to decide on what
grounds they will petition. If one individual is bringing a petition to
the court, he or she will have to defend his or her grounds for divorce
claim to the court.
A divorce will only be granted through the Iowa court if the reasoning
for matrimony has been eliminated and the marriage cannot be mended
under any circumstances. This is a no-fault claim that can follow
marriage counseling or a time period of separation.
When one spouse files for divorce without the assistance of the other
spouse, he or she will be served with divorce papers. These papers are
a product of over a dozen processed documents. When petitioning for an
elimination of marriage, certain documents will need to be processed
before a divorce is finalized.
These documents can and most often include a Notice of Final Hearing
form, a Verification for Petition form, a Financial Affidavit form, and
a Marital Settlement Agreement form. The court clerk's office will be
responsible for filing and organizing these papers for the hearing.
Distribution of Property
Often the most difficult portion of filing for divorce is dividing the
property that was obtained during the marriage. Because Iowa is an
equitable distribution state, all of the acquired property will be
divided in a fair manner, not necessarily evenly. If the individuals
involved in the divorce cannot make decisions for who gets what kinds
of property, then it is up to the court to award the property.
The only property that cannot be subject to award is that of gifts.
When one of the individuals has received an item as a gift, the item is
automatically designated to that individual. Exceptions to this rule
are gifts exchanged between the couple during the course of courting
The court will take several conditions into consideration when dividing
the property. These include the marriage's length; who brought what
forms of property into the marriage; who contributed to the marriage in
what way; who will have custody of the children produced through the
marriage, if any; education contribution of the property; the finances
of each individual; the economic circumstances of each spouse; the tax
situation of each individual; any antenuptial agreements; and any other
circumstances that may otherwise designate the property to one