Who is Responsible for Household Bills During Divorce?
Many of those who file for divorce feel inundated by what can seem like a never-ending list of tasks, including everything from talking to the kids about the divorce to finding a new place to live. These worries, on top of the emotional aspects that so often accompany divorce proceedings, can make ending a marriage a particularly difficult time for the parties involved. It can be easy, with so much going on, to forget about everyday responsibilities, like paying household bills. Ensuring that standard expenses are paid, however, is important, as divorces can take months or even years to resolve. If you have questions about who is responsible for which household expenses while your divorce is pending, it is important to speak with an experienced Largo divorce lawyer who can help you avoid falling behind on your payments.
Court Ordered Agreements
Legally ending a marriage is complex and requires couples to reevaluate a number of different aspects of their lives, including who will be responsible for which household expenses. Generally, until a marriage is actually terminated, both spouses will be held jointly responsible for upholding their financial commitments, a fact that won’t change without a court order or otherwise legally binding agreement. An informal agreement, on the other hand, while a good starting point, won’t be enforceable if one of the party’s ends up failing to uphold their end of the agreement.
Access to Marital Funds
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to reach an agreement on who will pay which bills during divorce. In these cases, the parties can use joint marital funds to pay joint expenses, like rent, mortgage payments, and utility bills, until a court steps in and issues a final ruling. In fact, if paying bills becomes impossible because one spouse changes the couple’s banking information, the wronged party can ask the court for a temporary order barring the other party from such actions and requiring the payment of necessary bills and expenses. Judges generally take these kinds of allegations seriously, as Florida law specifically states that divorcing couples should make every effort to keep the financial status quo until the entering of a final judgment. This includes using joint assets to pay customary and usual household expenses.
Finally, spouses who cannot pay their bills, either because they earn less income than their partner or because of conflict with a spouse, can file a motion requesting temporary support. Typically issued to lesser earning spouses while a divorce is pending, these agreements only remain in place to cover the cost of everyday expenses until a divorce is actually finalized, when the official court ordered settlement agreement will become enforceable.
Call Today for Help with Your Florida Divorce
If you have questions about who is responsible for your household bills and expenses while your divorce is pending, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced Largo divorce lawyers at Cairns Law to learn more about your rights and obligations under state law. To schedule a meeting with a member of our legal team, please call our office at 727-683-1472 today.