Legal Question in Family Law in Iowa

My wife and I are both Iowa residents though she is not a US citizen. I told her I wanted a divorce close to two months ago. Afterward she opened up a checking account in her name only and started having her salary sent to that account. I did not realize this was happening because she had been taking our bills into our home office and I thought she was sending payments (which was her typical way). However, not only was she not making payments, but all of our payments come from a joint account which of course her paycheck was no longer being deposited to. My salary does not cover everything we have to pay every month, and she has refused to anything toward our mortgage, car payment, utilities, credit cards (which she was primarily responsible for the balances on), or anything else. In addition, she wrote checks against this account for our 4 year-old son's daycare. When I demanded that she pay the ~30% of everything that is her responsibility, she just smirked.

So my question is: can I legally demand that she leave this house, since she is now refusing to contribute anything toward the mortgage, utilities, and homeowners insurance? And do I have any legal recourse to recover what she has refused to pay for it and other expenses?

Asked on 7/18/13, 1:42 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Luedeman solo practitioner

The answer to your question is no. As long as there's no custody and support order or motion on temporary matters she's as entitled as you are as a co-owner.

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Answered on 7/18/13, 4:38 pm

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