Who is responsible for expenses before a divorce? 24 Answers as of August 17, 2011

The man is asking if he would still be responsible for all expenses if he moved out of the house and his wife continued to live there?

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Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
Assuming the house was acquired during the marriage, both husband and wife will be responsible for certain expenses (such as taxes and mortgage) even if only the wife continues to live there.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/17/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
That is really a discussion that the parties should have and if they cannot reach an agreement, a motion should be filed in court to address the issue. The court will have a family relations officer meet with the two of you to try to reach an agreement on this. If that meeting fails, the court will have to hear the evidence and testimony and make a decision.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/10/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
A motion called "Motion for temporary allowances" addresses the costs in the early stages of Divorce in Rhode Island. The Motion is usually filed by one of the parties at the beginning of the case to address the concerns you raise. There are also "Automatic Orders" that go into effect when a case is filed that effectively prohibit either party from incurring extraordinary expenses, alienating assets, and the like. These Automatic orders generally lock the parties into the status quo until the court has the opportunity to hear the motions.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/9/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
A court may determine as part of a temporary hearing in a divorce, who has access to what assets and which party should pay which debts. It is based on the nature of the debt and the each party's ability to pay in most cases.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/9/2011
Goolsby Law Office
Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
We recommend that he retain a divorce attorney ASAP concerning his rights, options, and responsibilities. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    That would be for a Court to determine based on the facts and circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    The husband will not be responsible for the wife's expenses if he moves out of the home. However if there is a matter where there is a disparity in income, the husband would likely be ordered to pay spousal support to the wife, particularly if she is unemployed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    It depends upon many facts including the length of the marriage, the amount of money each party earns, whether there are children, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    In Louisiana parties are both responsible for marital obligations. If the house is a home the parties have purchased, they are both obligated for the mortgage note. If it is a leased home, both are responsible for the lease. Usually utilities, etc. are in both names or in the name of the husband. When the divorce is filed, usually one party or the other will request the "use and occupancy" (to use and live) in the family home. Usually that is the party that can afford to pay for the home. If neither party wants to live there, they are still both responsible to pay the note until the home is sold. Parties (male or female) may seek temporary support from the other party if that party makes more money than they do, one party needs more money to live, and the other can afford to pay. The bottom line is that if the parties cannot agree on who will pay what expense, they will have to bring the matter to court to have the court help them decide who will be responsible during the period while the divorce is pending.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    It all depends on all the facts and circumstances of the marriage. He needs an in office consultation with an attorney to answer the question.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    In Alabama such a simple question, unfortunately does not have a simple answer. It depends on the debt (or expense), by whom it was made, when it was made and for what purpose . If a divorce is to be granted, payments of prior debts or expenses should be negotiated for the divorce agreement. The creditor or seller does not care he just wants payment and he will come after either or both parties. Warning: If the divorce is hostile, a grieved party could go out and run-up a high bill and stick it on the other spouse.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    This is something that can be negotiated. I encourage you to hire an attorney to represent you and protect you and your assets.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    He could be asked to contribute to the household expenses and/or pay alimony and/or child support.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    In Washington, the critical point in time is the time of separation. Debts and expenses incurred during the marriage and before the date of separation are community debts and expenses. Unless/until the court orders otherwise, both parties are responsible for these. After the date of separation, generally, debts and expenses are the separate debts and expenses of the person incurring them. Of course there are always exceptions. For example, debts and expenses incurred to protect a community asset are likely to be considered as community, even after the date of separation. Also, during the divorce, the court has the power to order one party to pay the other parties debts and expenses if the court believes it is appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    If he moved out, he would be responsible for paying those expenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    The term "expenses" is too broad for the purposes of addressing your concerns. As between the creditor (or other provider of the goods/service resulting in the expense) and the husband, the first determining factor is "who opened the account or established the promise to pay". Merely moving out won't change that obligation no matter what it is for. In Colorado each spouse has financial responsibility for support of the other spouse, but the details of that obligation are not clear. So, it becomes necessary to discuss each specific "expense" in the overall context of spousal obligations and each spouse's resources. Generally, if the husband has been the sole source of financial support, merely moving out is not likely to let him off the hook for anything that can be considered essential living expense. Once a divorce is filed, the judicial process will handle the issues of sorting out who is responsible for what.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you can't agree how the expenses would be handled, then the court would decide; the court's decision would be based on very specific facts of your situation, so you need to consult with a family law attorney regarding your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    Assuming you mean the cost of the mortgage, property taxes, and utilities of the marital residence - if one party moves out, it can be a muddy issue. If you can't work it out amongst yourselves, you will need to file for divorce and then file a motion to divide marital expenses. The judge would then decide who has to pay what expenses until the proceedings are concluded.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    She would be responsible for her own living expenses, unless the judge awarded some type of marital support.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    The man needs to talk to a divorce attorney. This is far more complicated that just this, and he can have huge problems if he is not careful. I can help with this. And I will tell you up front what it will cost to do this for you. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    Obligations need to be met until the divorce is final. Either party may seek temporary orders while the divorce is pending to ensure the obligations are being met.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/8/2011
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