PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet us via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

Occupancy can impact how the courts handle your home in a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2020 | Divorce |

When the people in your life find out that you will file for divorce, they often eagerly share stories about the outcome of their divorce and even the divorces of other people they know. They may unknowingly push you toward bad decisions by reinforcing your belief in common divorce myths.

One of the most pervasive divorce myths is the idea that the courts will unfairly give the house to one spouse over the other without regard to the family circumstances. There are certainly plenty of stories of a hardworking spouse kicked out of their home floating around out there.

While it is true that the courts often decide that one spouse should retain possession of the marital home, both spouses usually receive a fair portion of the home value in an Iowa divorce. Who lives in the home and who only receives some of its financial value gets decided as part of the complex property division process.

Iowa uses the equitable division standard for all assets

When it comes to splitting up your assets and debts, the goal of the Iowa family courts is to be as fair and reasonable as possible given the unique circumstances of your family at the time of the divorce. The income and health of each spouse, the child custody arrangements and many other factors will influence how the courts split up your assets.

Regardless of the exact terms they set, you can expect that both you and your ex will have some share in the equity of the home, even if only one of you can retain ownership or possession of the property. The one who no longer lives there will receive an equitable amount of the equity in the property or other assets to offset their share of the home equity.

Possession at the time of filing may influence possession in the final decree

There is no way to accurately predict who will stay in or keep the house in an Iowa divorce. However, custody of the children and possession of the home at the time of the divorce can influence how the courts rule.

Moving out into an apartment or to stay with someone you trust when you find out divorce is imminent may mean that you will have a harder time securing possession of the home, but that doesn’t mean doing so would be impossible.

FindLaw Network