If one spouse moves out of a home that is co-owned in a marriage, are they still responsible to pay for half of the household bills after they leave?
There are two different considerations here: The first is the obligation to your creditors, and the second is the obligation for you or your spouse to continue paying the bills.
You are equally liable in the eyes of the creditors to see that the bills are paid unless you are able to transfer things like the utilities out of your name. Obviously, if your spouse does not make these payments and you are still technically liable, your credit will be harmed.
If you have no minor children in the home, then the court will most likely be more lenient in the event that you or your spouse are not contributing toward those expenses as the person who moves out must find an alternate residence.
However, if your case is one where alimony will be ordered, contributing toward those expenses can be considered alimony and can avoid or reduce any alleged alimony arrearages in the future.
I would seek out an attorney in your jurisdiction as soon as possible to discuss your state-specific statutes prior to taking any action if either you or your spouse are planning to move out of the home before a divorce is final.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”