While you may wish the world to pause as you go through the divorce process, it keeps spinning, nonetheless. Life goes on. Bills still need to be paid. Who, however, is responsible for paying bills during divorce proceedings? When it comes to the uncoupling of two people, the untangling of two lives brought together in so many ways, finances included, how are financial affairs, such as paying bills, handled in the midst of divorce? We’ll talk more about this here.
How are Bills Paid During the Divorce Process?
Divorce can take months or even years to be finalized. During this time, bills will still need to be paid. You and your spouse remain jointly responsible for paying household bills, even when you are in the midst of divorce. Florida family law dictates that parties to a divorce must continue to meet financial commitments created during the marriage. This means that the spouse who has paid certain household bills over the course of the marriage is most likely to be responsible for continuing to do so while divorce is pending.
While your divorce is pending and the court is in the process of dividing marital assets and liabilities, maintaining the status quo will most likely be expected and required. Meeting with your spouse and discussing who will pay household bills during the divorce will be important. Clearly establishing who will pay what can be a critical part of making sure all expenses continue to be paid. Remember, you and your spouse can both be held responsible for failure to make such timely payments.
Should you and your spouse be unable to reach an agreement as to who will pay what bills during the divorce process, or should your spouse refuse to pay bills at this time, you still have options. While it is often best to try and reach an agreement with your spouse, this is not always possible. Fortunately, there are still other options you can explore to help ensure you have the financial resources you need to make sure all bills get paid in a timely manner.
For instance, you may be able to get authorization to use joint marital funds to pay the bills. Florida law permits parties to a divorce to either use or sell marital assets to pay for household bills and expenses. Such authorization means that your spouse will be unable to argue that you were wrongfully dissipating or wasting marital assets while your divorce was pending. In the alternative, you may be able to petition for temporary or pendente lite support. This is a type of alimony that is granted to a lower-earning spouse while divorce is pending. Upon finalization of the divorce, pendente lite will end. In deciding whether or not to award pendente lite, the court will consider a party’s financial status, as well as the other spouse’s ability to make the payments and the need to pay for things such as household bills.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
There are many issues to address and that will continue to appear throughout the divorce process. Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou will be here to help you with all of them. Contact us today.