If you are considering ending your marriage, or you recently started the legal proceedings to do so, you likely want to ensure you know what to expect regarding your property, particularly during a high-asset case. Iowa, like most other states, adheres to equitable distribution laws when it comes to dividing assets during a divorce. This means that, rather than dividing assets in an even 50-50 split, the judge will consider details of your specific situation to determine the fairest distribution arrangements.
Of course, a judge may not have to decide the outcomes if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have a prenuptial agreement or can otherwise come to terms on your own. Still, even if you have the intention of avoiding court time as much as possible, you would be wise to keep your expectations realistic when approaching your case.
Inventorying your assets
Undoubtedly, you do not want any important or valuable assets left on the table or going to your ex due to a lack of planning or knowledge. As a result, one smart step to take involves inventorying your property — both joint and separate — to determine what you have, what you own individually and what could end up divided. Some particulars you may want to consider include the following:
- Furniture and other household items
- The house itself
- Any vacation properties
- Any business assets
- Much more
The specifics of your inventory will hinge heavily on your specific circumstances, but it is important not to leave any stone unturned.
Other details to keep in mind
After doing an inventory of your assets, you may also want to look at your liabilities. It may come as a surprise to some, but divorce also results in the division of joint debt. Again, you do not want to find yourself in an unfair situation, so knowing the debt involved in your case could come in handy.
You may also find it necessary to determine how to divide your retirement savings as part of your case. This is not an unusual occurrence, but it does take additional legal steps to ensure that it takes place correctly. Fortunately, taking advantage of local legal resources could better ensure that you know what to expect from your high-asset case, whether you need to take additional action to divide or protect certain property, and information on how to best approach your case.