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How can I get my spouse to pay unpaid bills after the divorce is finalized? What happens if my spouse refuses to pay anything?

Delray Beach, FL |

My spouse is refusing to pay certain bills and the divorce is not even filed. I hear that all debt will be split 50/50, but if the spouse refuses the individual who applied for the credit is responsible for the amount. Is there a way to protect myself in this situation? What happens if my spouse refuses to pay anything back?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. "The divorce is not even filed". That is your problem. This is what I refer to as "legal limbo"--the worst possible place to be.

    Get the divorced file--if he won't then you should. There are advantages to being the plaintiff. Once the divorce is filed, the law enforces AUTOMATIC injunctions against both parties. Some basic items must remain in place-- health insurance, mortgage payments, etc. Additionally you can file a motion for temporary orders, after the divorce is filed. Therein you can ask for specific relief such as custody, child support and any other matter of concern to the plaintiff.

    You can address all of the issue that concern in your papers to the court.
    The things you discussed are common concerns of new divorcees.
    You have to retain a lawyer that will know how to present your case and argue it before the court.

    There are plenty of good FL divorce attorney who can explain to you the process and procedures. Use Find a Lawyer to search for local attorneys.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney

  2. Until the divorce is filed and you have a temporary order regarding who is going to be responsible for paying what, there is nothing that you can do to compel the other side to pay anything. That being said, if the other side is the "breadwinner" and has regularly been paying for things and the lack of payment is causing problems to you, the courts do not like to see that happening. The court prefers for the status quo to be maintained; however, as we do not have the automatic injunctions that the other attorney referred to, it is often very difficult to maintain the status quo.

    This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for your particular case nor is it intended as legal advice. I have not reviewed your case nor have I met with you and the answer to this question does not in any manner whatsoever establish an attorney/client relationship.

  3. I agree with Attorney Augen. Until you file for divorce and request temporary relief. No one can be made to pay any of the bills that the two of you have accumulated without a Court order. If you are getting divorced, you need to go ahead and get the papers filed. Good luck.

    B. Elaine Jones, Esq.

  4. Do you have an attorney? If the process hasn't even begun and your soon to be ex is already being difficult, you can bet he will get worse. You need to hire an aggressive attorney who will fight for your rights as well as your children, if any. If you have debt for which you are not responsible, you may not be liable, but you will need legal advice on that subject. You asked how to protect yourself? Hire an attorney! Regarding fees, don't worry...many times they are paid for by the higher earning spouse or taken from the marital estate. Again, please do not go through this need an advocate.

    You can reach the Law Office of Richard S. Chizever, P.A. at (305) 974-1580 or Richard S. Chizever, Esq. is a family law attorney licensed in the state of Florida. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Richard S. Chizever or the Law Office of Richard S. Chizever, P.A. and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.

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