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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29981
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I am in a situation and am unaware of the best course of

Customer Question

Hi there, I am in a situation and am unaware of the best course of action to take. I am married with a 4 yr old. I bought the house we are in two years ago and it is in my name. Her and i no longer get along and it is almost intolerable to get along. I
have asked for divorce but she does not blv me. Our marriage has crumbled for several reasons. Our financial situation has gone down the tubes. She does not pay any pf her bills and is negligent with her money causing my credit to crumble. Our sex life has
dwindled to nothing. We fight all the time. This is not good for my 4 yr old som. My questions to you are as follows;: Staying at my house is not good for my som. He does not need to witness our arguing. My fear is if i leave the house i will have to pay the
bills still. Leaving them to her. They wont get paid. I would prefer she leave because if i am going to pay the bills, i am going to stay in the house. But if she stays in the house i am afraid i will still be responsible for half the bills and they will not
get paid. Ideally, i would either like to stay in tje house and pay the bills or if she stays have the bills put in her name because if not my credit will be ruined. How does one do this when parties cannot agree on who leaves? How do bills get paid? I have
filed for divorce but she has not got notification from the court yet(how long does this take?). I did not have them delivered by the sheriff. I cannot be under the same roof as her while waiting for a court date. I am more concerned on the effect the hostileness
and fighting will have on my son. The last fight we got in she took my son, packed the bags, and told him that i had a new girlfriend and it was time to leave. She left for about three hours then returned? What suggestions do u have? What can i do to protect
myself financially and what can i do to protect my son? What happens when a spouse leaves the house because their is more damage being done at home? I just want out.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Because you're on the mortgage, if you don't pay the bills, your credit will be affected. If things like the cable and electric are in your name, your credit will be negatively affected if you stop paying (although there's no reason for you to pay for cable if you've moved out). A judge can order your wife to make the payments, but if she doesn't, you'll still have the negative consequences from the credit bureaus. She can be ordered to try to remortgage the house in her name, but a judge can't order a bank to get a loan, so if her credit is bad, it honestly might not be possible. If you wind up leaving for your mental health and your child's, you're not giving up your rights to a portion of the value of the house. You're still entitled to half the equity.

If the parties cannot agree on who gets the house, it usually goes to the spouse who can afford to pay for it. When there is a minor child involved, judges frequently give the house to the parent who gets primary custody, to avoid disrupting the child's life any more than necessary. What happens is, either of you can file a Motion for Exclusive Use and Possession of the Marital Home along with the divorce papers. Then the judge looks at who wants the house, who can afford the house, and he'll go from there. If someone files for a Temporary Custody Order at the same time, then the judge can also consider who is taking care of the child.

You need to have a process server or sheriff serve your wife with the divorce papers. That's the obligation of the party who files for divorce. If you don't have that done, she won't be notified. Once you ask the sheriff to deliver the papers, it usually only takes a few days. There is nothing in the law that prevents her from taking your son and leaving until you have a temporary custody order, so if you're concerned she'll do something like that again, you'll want to file a request for a temporary order.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you lucy. But what happens if i leave? Am i responsible for the bills still? I just do not think she will leave the house. But i cant live like this either. Are there negative consequences to my actions if i move out until the court date? Is she responsible for the bills in the house if i leave? At least until the court date? I cannot imagine staying in the house another day yet i also cannot afford to pay half the bills there and get my own place? What is your suggestion?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Your promise to pay the bills in your name: mortgage, taxes, water, heat, electric, etc. is legally binding. That promise has nothing to do with your relationship with your wife or your divorce. If your name is ***** ***** those bills, and you stop paying, those bill holders can sue you (or foreclose on the house). You seem concerned with protecting your credit, so I need to let you know that if you move out and stop paying everything, and those bills are in your name, your credit will be destroyed. You're required to pay because you made a promise to pay to those creditors. So, as far as the creditors are concerned, yes, you still have to pay. A judge can order your wife to pay instead, but that order isn't binding on the electric company or the mortgage company.

She will not be legally responsible for those bills if you leave if her name is ***** ***** them, until a judge says that she is. But if she doesn't pay, you're still vulnerable. You can still get sued. You'd have to have her held in contempt to get the m

You can ask the judge to make her leave. That's the purpose of filing the motion that I mentioned above.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok lucy. I totally understand. What about alimony? What constitutes alimony support?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Alimony is cash payments, usually monthly, that help the lower-earning spouse maintain the marital standard of living. Alimony is typically reserved for long-term marriages (at least 10 years). It is possible to agree that you'll pay the bills on the house as a form of alimony if you think you'd otherwise be required to pay her. Any agreement regarding alimony should be in writing so the spouse receiving it cannot contest the order later.

It is often to the benefit of the spouse paying alimony to set a limit on how long payments will be made (general rule is about half the duration of the marriage). If it's possible for the other spouse to get a job and become self-supporting within a couple of years, you could agree to pay her for only a couple of years. Keep in mind that with alimony, the judge is looking at earnings, not financial IQ. If she has a reasonable income and simply is horrible with paying her bills, that doesn't mean you have to support her.