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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3917
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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My daughter is in a verbal abusive marriage in Chariton Iowa.

Customer Question

My daughter is in a verbal abusive marriage in Chariton Iowa. They bought a coffee shop and her husband had her quit her job and work in the shop, that he would pay all the bills.( He is a home improvement/carpenter). The shop is not making enough for my daughter to have a wage, and now her husband refuses to pay her bills, (car payment, etc). She has no money because he refuses to give her any so she can't afford to leave or file for divorce. She has two daughters and the girls pet dog chip. The girls are from a previous marriage. She is at her wits end. I am 65 years old and totally stressed. Is there anything she can do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

TexLawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

Is she willing to file for divorce, or does she want to stay married to him?

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

Divorce

TexLawyer :

She has no kids with him, correct?

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

Correct

TexLawyer :

Do they have any assets, cash or other property?

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

Just the coffee shop in Chariton. He keeps all the cash in an account with just his name.

TexLawyer :

OK, but there is cash that was acquired during the marriage, correct?

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

Yes, from his job. They have been married about 4 years.

TexLawyer :

OK. If she files for divorce, she can claim a larger percentage of the marital assets (in this case, mostly cash) because she gave up income in furtherance of the family business.

TexLawyer :

Of course, she will have to file for divorce in order to do so.

TexLawyer :

As far as the vehicle is concerned, a judge can order him to pay for the vehicle while the divorce is pending and give it to her as part of the divorce, but after the divorce is final, it is unlikely that a judge will order him to continue to make the payments.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

That is easier said than done. At one point he had $17,000.00 in an account. She received a bank statement, and thought it was for the business, so she opened it, and was shocked at the amount in there. When he found out she opened it, he was really angry, and stated she was not entitled to any of it, that he would hide it first.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

Is there somewhere she can go where a divorce is not so expensive, she has no money ?.

TexLawyer :

If she files for divorce, he will have to give an accounting of all his assets. If he were to lie about that to a judge, he could face serious penalties. That said, yes, sometimes people do hide assets during a divorce. She (or her lawyer) just has to do the best they can tracking them down.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

Iowa is a no fault state, is this advise also true for Iowa?

TexLawyer :

Yes, she can either to it herself or apply for pro bono or reduced cost. She can find more information on that here: http://www.probono.net/iowa/

TexLawyer :

Yes, this advice is accurate for Iowa.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

I will give her this info. Is she also entitled to alimony?

TexLawyer :

Potentially, yes. A judge looks at many different factors to determine if alimony is appropriate, and, if so, how much it should be. Here is an excellent resource explaining alimony in Iowa: http://www.freelegalaid.com/nav/iowa/divorce-and-family-law/article/iowa-alimony-laws

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

The lawyer she talked to ( he is a friend) stated that they were not married long enough for alimony.

TexLawyer :

That may be the case.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

Could he be made to pay for her rent during the divorce or pay her a wage for working at the shop?

TexLawyer :

He could be ordered to pay her rent, but it is not likely that a judge will order him to pay her while working.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

At least until she finds a job that pays her a wage.

TexLawyer :

Essentially, the judge will let her pay if he wants, or she can find another job. The judge is not likely to want to get involved in the business, at least in that way.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

What do you mean, ( the judge will let her pay if he wants)??

TexLawyer :

In other words, if he wants to keep her as an employee, he will allow her to stay and for him to pay her.

TexLawyer :

I'm assuming he will be the most likely to be awarded the business.

TexLawyer :

On that note, if they are joint owners, the judge can order that he buy her out. Of course, that amount depends on the value of the business.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

She has a car that belonged to her dad ( he passed away in 1997) that is part of the loan ( they are both on the loan for the business) it is in both their names. She is trying to get the car released, because we have a buyer for it. I am first owner on that car. She is waiting for the bank to get back to her on that. The total loan on the business was $20,000. They have had the business for a year and a half.

TexLawyer :

OK. The car that belonged to her dad is not part of the marital estate. In other words, it is not calculated into the divorce.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

I will advise her of your information, and also give her the web sight you gave me for her divorce. I do appreciate all your advise. Have a nice evening. God Bless.

TexLawyer :

You have a great evening, as well. I hope everything works out. I know this is a difficult situation for all of you.

TexLawyer :

If there isn't anything else I can do for you, please remember to "rate" my answer. Good luck to you and your daughter.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

I live in Council Bluffs, and Chariton is about 3 hours away. I am very stressed with her, my granddaughter, and my grandpuppy that far away. Thanks again.

TexLawyer :

I know this is a difficult situation. Things will get better.

JACUSTOMER-gs2udkqm- :

God Bless.

TexLawyer :

Same to you. Please remember to "rate" my answer before you go. Have a great evening.

TexLawyer :

Is there something else I can do for you?

Customer:

I didn't mention that the car she has was hers before the marriage. Does that change him having to pay payment till divorce is final?

Customer:

Since you are offline at this time will you please send me your answer via email at XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX thanks.

TexLawyer :

No, that doesn't change anything. In fact, it makes his argument that he should not have to pay even stronger, since she, at least at some point, could afford the payments.

TexLawyer :

If you have any follow up questions, don't hesitate to ask. If not, please remember to "rate" my answer. Have a good night.

Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3917
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
Chris T., JD and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So you are saying that he should be more liable to pay her payments, since she gave up her paying job to run the family business that they both own?

Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.
No, I'm saying that the fact that the vehicle was hers before the marriage gives him a stronger argument as to why he should not have to carry the payments. Keep in mind that the advice I can give you is speculative. Nearly all the important decisions are made by a judge, and I have no way of predicting what he or she will do, I can only give you advice based on my experience with the judges I've practiced with.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


ok thanks.

Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.
Glad to help. Have a great day.

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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD
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Experienced in both state and federal court.