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Do I Have to Pay the Bills during Divorce?

Brad Micklin-Do I Have to Pay the Bills during Divorce?

Most divorces are fraught with difficult issues and questions, especially where financial matters are involved. Perhaps no question is more troublesome to clients than who is responsible for paying the bills during the divorce. Your mortgage payment or rent, utilities, credit card payments, and bank and auto loans must all be paid on time despite the emotional turmoil you’re experiencing during the divorce process.

Many men wonder who is responsible for paying these bills once the couple has declared their intent to get divorced. Luckily, there are some pretty straightforward answers to these questions. 

How to Cover Joint Assets

For most men getting a divorce, the single largest and most valuable asset is their home. Their mortgage is likely their largest financial obligation. Regardless of who moved out of the home when a couple separates, both spouses remain responsible for paying it every month. This is because the bank or mortgage company required both of you to sign when the loan was granted.

Men often wonder whether this logic applies to other debts and obligations, such as auto loans or leases and credit cards. The answer is fairly straightforward: if your name appears on the bill, you are responsible for paying it on time. However, if both names are on the statement, then you both have a legal obligation to make the payment – regardless of what the loan or credit card was used for. Your spouse could be the only one to use that line of credit, but by refusing to pay the bill that comes in both of your names, you can damage your credit and your ability to get a new mortgage once your divorce is finalized.

Other Financial Considerations for Divorcing Men

Many men and fathers in New Jersey have been the primary breadwinner for years and see paying the bills as “the right thing to do.” But doing so is not always practical, nor is it in your best interest. For example, if a car loan is in your wife’s name and she’s the only one to drive the vehicle, your divorce lawyer for men may seek to ensure that she takes responsibility for the expense.

Other things such as school fees for your children, their medical expenses, clothes, and the other costs associated with raising a child will be negotiated as part of your child support arrangement. Since you both created the child, you both will be responsible for the cost of their upbringing. If you take on the majority of the child’s expenses during the divorce, that can be taken into consideration when discussing child support.

If you or somebody you know is contemplating a divorce and have questions about both the financial impact on you and your financial obligations, contact The Micklin Law Group’s family law attorneys for men and fathers in New Jersey. We’re here to help men protect their rights and their finances as they navigate the challenges of divorce.

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