What Are Your Legal Responsibilities?
During divorce, interactions between the spouses can become hostile, angry, bitter, and spiteful. Add to that the uncertainty of a future financial outcome and the situation can quickly become a recipe for disaster. The attorneys of In Law We Trust, P.A. are frequently asked by our clients as to how to handle financial obligations during the divorce process – whether or not they have moved out of the house. Couples at the early stages of divorce often find it simplest to keep the status quo in terms of paying household bills – in other words, continue to share bills that were typically shared, and take care of ones that each spouse usually covered alone. However, barring an amicable agreement that seems to be working out for the both of you, here is a general overview as far as the legalities:
If your name is the only name on the bill, you should pay the bill as it is legally your responsibility. If the bills are not in your wife’s name, she has no legal responsibility to pay any portion of those.
Any joint accounts with both spouses’ names included will probably require negotiations between you and your spouse. If the mortgage is jointly held in both of your names, then you both have a legal responsibility to pay the mortgage note. The same is true for the utilities. Regardless of your marital situation, all jointly held liabilities must be paid in a timely manner.
If you do not know how your bills are titled, you should call the bank that issued your mortgage and the utility companies to confirm who has the liability. It is important that you make any liability payments on time so your credit will be preserved.
If you already have an idea of who will keep certain responsibilities and items after the divorce, (such as the car or house) you may want to start taking on the bills and expenses for those things.
We’re Here to Help and Guide You
The divorce lawyers of In Law We Trust, P.A. will help you navigate these and other complexities as you move through the divorce process. We will advise you about how to document the bills you are covering, preserve your credit, and avoid financial actions that may be construed negatively by the courts. We can also discuss how to open new, individual bank accounts and lines of credit to protect your finances after filing for divorce, and how to do that in a manner that is acceptable and transparent to the courts.
The attorney of In Law We Trust, P.A. will provide you with advice on what strategies to take for a fair distribution of bill payments and help you work out the terms that make the most sense. You will want to demonstrate that you have been acting responsibly, and making every effort to prevent further hardship. If you have been making bill payments for services that did not benefit you, this may be taken into account during any division of assets. While we understand every situation is unique – don’t stop paying your bills without talking to us first! We specialize in protecting the rights of men and our expertise will help you make the best decisions for moving ahead with your life.
Call The Family Law Experts Men Trust (813) 415-3510
In Law We Trust, P.A. is a premier firm of divorce lawyers representing men in family law proceedings. We are uniquely positioned to assist our clients with the challenges men face in Florida’s court system. Call us today and get the proper representation men need and deserve.