State Laws

Iowa Divorce


Iowa Divorce
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 handled.

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 and marriage.

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 individual.

See also:
Iowa Felony
Iowa Gun Laws
Iowa Bankruptcy Laws
Iowa Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Iowa Expungement External link (opens in new window)