are you both responsible for debt

They Left, Do I Have to Pay All The Bills?

Goldberg Jones Divorce, Finances, Goldberg Jones Radio Leave a Comment

Breakups and divorces lead to all kinds of upheaval in your life. In one fell swoop, nearly everything changes. Finances form a big part of this. Many people struggle to pay all the bills from a single paycheck for the first time in years.

So the question often comes up, if one person moves out, who is responsible for the bills, taxes, and the rest? Do both parties split the amount? Is the one who abandoned ship still on the hook or is the person who stays left holding the bag and out of luck?

Our founding partner, Rick Jones, makes regular appearances on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show on KZOK, where he answers family law questions from listeners. One recent caller finds herself in this exact situation and wonders what she can do.

Caller Question:

“I want to know, if a partner leaves the property, like moves out, is that person responsible for taxes and house insurance and stuff like that?”

Rick’s Answer

Rick:When you say a partner, are you talking a spouse, or a boyfriend/girlfriend?”

Caller: “My husband.”

Rick:The key there is the difference. Yeah, the two of you, even while  [one] moved out, still have this entity. You’re kind of like a business together.

“Unfortunately, you don’t have spouse-police running out there without the court’s awareness. So what you do need to do, if he’s not living up to what his obligations are, you need to get a case file so you can invite the state in on the disputes and allow them to rule here on a temporary basis and say what the two of you are responsible for.

“You’d ultimately work towards a permanent settlement in the divorce.”

Danny: “Okay, I get it, I don’t really have to behave for the spouse police. “

Related Reading: Who Has To Pay Legal Fees?

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