Search Site

Who Pays the Bills Before the Divorce Gets Finalized?

Among the most heavily contested issues in divorce can be the division of marital assets and debts and the eligibility of either spouse for financial support. These issues are resolved as part of the final divorce settlement or decree. But while the divorce is pending, there is still a need to meet household expenses and other ongoing costs. How those bills get paid is often an important practical concern.

During the divorce process, which can take several months in most cases, there is usually no court order directing who pays the bills. This can leave either of the spouses at an economic disadvantage. The situation becomes more difficult if one of the spouses has vacated the home. Should that spouse continue to contribute to the household expenses, including mortgage or rent payments? And should the spouse who remains in the home assume a greater portion of those costs?

Certain debts are jointly undertaken by both spouses, who remain jointly responsible even if the marriage dissolves. These debts typically include mortgage loans, car loans, credit accounts and other financing in both spouses’ names. There also may be costs of children’s day care, health care and private education that both spouses may be obligated to pay. While these are legal duties, as a practical matter it may be difficult or impossible for a lower-earning spouse to pay a sizable portion of the debts as they come due while the divorce is pending.

In some cases, to help ensure the family’s financial status quo continues during a divorce, the court will enter an order of temporary support on behalf of one spouse. This requires a special application to a judge, supported by proof of what would be an appropriate amount.

The alternative is for the spouses to enter an agreement documenting who is responsible for which ongoing expenses. If you are in this situation, the best way to start is to separate the bills into yours, your spouse’s and “ours” categories. Some debts, like your mortgage, are clearly joint obligations. On the other hand, your spouse’s golf club membership, your gym membership and your respective student loans are individual debts. However, don’t let the “ours” expenses slide. Make sure that someone is going to pay them or specify how you will be splitting the cost.

Make sure any plan you agree to is in writing and have the court approve it. Doing this will give you leverage to have the court enforce the agreement if your spouse doesn’t comply. To do this correctly, you need a skilled family law attorney with extensive experience handling the financial issues relating to divorce.

At the Henry Law Firm P.A. in Overland Park, Kansas, we are experienced in working effectively with individuals seeking to maintain their financial stability during a divorce. Call us at 913-381-5020 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.

Video Library

Our firm is here to help guide you through difficult family law matters.

With 30 years of combined legal experience, the attorneys at The Henry Law Firm, P.A. have built a strong reputation for client service, professional conduct and successful results. Learn more about your family law matter by viewing one of our informational videos or call our office to schedule your appointment today. View Our Videos
Reviews & Ratings
  • google

    Divorce is a stressful event and during this time The Henry Law Firm, Overland Park, KS exceeded my expectations in terms of support and assistance. I usually do not write reviews, but I can not emphasize enough how grateful I am to Steve, Kyle and L...

    Read more

    ina bulina

  • google

    Steve Henry and his staff are some of the best! Steve automatically makes you feel at ease with his calm and yet firm disposition when handling your case. I can assure you that if you select The Henry Law Firm, you won’t get anything less than the ...

    Read more

    Crista Grimwood

  • google

    Mr. Henry was an absolutely lovely person to speak with. When dealing with something difficult it's important to find a lawyer that can not only speak truthfully but also understand compassion during stressful situations. He is incredibly knowledgeab...

    Read more

    Jordan Traxler

  • google

    Steve Henry was able to help me with my high conflict child custody case with the very first phone call I shared with him. He is kind, courteous, and honest. I found him to always know what the best approach is when dealing with family law and parent...

    Read more

    Christi Mook

  • google

    I highly recommend the Henry Law Firm (HLF), P.A., for their high professionalism and care in the most challenging life situations. Not only was I dealing with a divorce case, but I was also dealing with a protection from abuse (PFA) case. HLF took t...

    Read more

    Stephen Cesak

See all reviews
Attorneys & Staff
Memberships & Recognition
  • Client Champion
  • Top Divorce Lawyer In Overland Park KS
    Top Child Custody Lawyer in Overland Park KS
    AVVO Ratings
  • Steven Henry
Submit a Payment
  • Submit a payment through LawPay securely.
Contact us

Quick Contact Form