Getting divorced doesn’t have to mean the end of your joy in life. You may be a bit worried about how your children will fare and whether you’ll have enough finances to live a lifestyle comparable to what you enjoyed during marriage. The court will decide your financial situation for the most part, during property division proceedings.

Iowa is among a majority of states that use equitable property laws as opposed to nine states that continue to operate under community property rules. Equitable division may not necessarily be 50/50, but will be fair. The more you understand property division as it may relate to your particular situation, the less stress you’ll have when the time comes for the court to issue a decree. You can seek answers for any questions you have by reaching out to someone who is well versed in divorce regulations.

What constitutes marital property?

Under equitable property division rules, the court will determine how your marital assets should be divided between you and your former spouse. You can’t split a car in half, of course, so what it really means is that the court determines a fair division based on the value of your marital assets.

Marital assets consist of anything of value that you or your spouse acquired during marriage. This includes income, profits from selling something, business interests and more.

Prenuptial agreements

If you and your spouse signed a prenup before you married, it may definitely affect your property division proceedings. For instance, if you owned a business before you got married and wanted to retain sole ownership and rights to all assets associated with the business, this could have been included in your prenuptial agreement. If so, it will not be subject to division in divorce.

Negotiate ahead of time

If you and your soon-to-be ex get along well enough to have civil conversations, you may be able to execute a proposed division of property on your own. Then you would only need to seek the court’s approval rather than wait for the judge in charge of your case to figure it all out.

If problems arise

One of the biggest problems that may arise in a property division situation is if your spouse tries to hide assets to keep you from getting them. Not only is this type of behavior rude and cold-hearted, it’s illegal. You can take immediate action against such schemes.