Legal Separation in Iowa
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Legal separation in Iowa is also known as marital separation or judgment of separation. After a legal separation is granted, the debts incurred or assets accumulated are no longer considered as a joint property. The status of the couple changes to "legally separated" from "legally married" and they cannot remarry unless they get a divorce.
It is granted in the form of a court order and a specific legal process is necessary for the couple to be legally separated. In Iowa, even if the couple is staying separate and apart for ages, it cannot be considered as legal separation as there hasn't been a legal action such as filing the petition, submitting the appeal and signing the legal separation agreement.
Definition of Legal Separation according to the Statute of Iowa:
According to the statute of Iowa, legal separation is defined as "a breakdown of the marital relationship to the extent that the legitimate objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved". This explains that Iowa is a no-fault divorce state and accepts the "irretrievable breakdown of marriage" as a sole reason to grant divorce or legal separation.
Residency Requirement for Legal Separation in Iowa:
The residency requirement for legal separation in the state of Iowa is at least one year. This means that either of the spouses should be a resident of Iowa for at least one year before the date of filing. The process is same as divorce and it also costs the same. It is better to opt for divorce due to the cost factor as in the end one is still married to the same person.
Separation Agreement in Iowa:
A separation agreement has to be submitted to the court, which addresses the issues such as child care, custody and visitation rights and schedule, division of property and assets along with the debts and responsibilities.
The issues addressed in this agreement are legally enforceable and binding by law to both the parties.
The separation agreement in Iowa addresses following issues:
Thus, legal separation in Iowa is a golden mean between an unwanted marriage and unattainable divorce.
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