If both our names are on the lease, who is responsible for any possible damages or charges?


I am in the process of getting a divorce. My wife and I are both on the apartment lease, but she has moved out. If I end up having to break the lease, who is responsible for the charges that may occur? If I stay and finish out the lease, is she liable in any way since her name is on also on the lease?



First, let me preface my answer by stating that even though I am licensed to practice law in the state of Kentucky, I am unable to provide you with specific advice to your question, since I am not your attorney and I do not know all the facts, issues, and rulings of the Court that may affect your case.

This question is more about contracts then about domestic relations. As with any contract the parties that signed the contract are liable for the terms of that contract, in this situation the payment of the lease. However, the owner of the property is not limited as to how they are able to collect for unpaid rent. This means that if both parties break the lease, the owner can chose who to go after to collect the rent payments from; the owner does not have to try to collect from both parties.

You should try to talk to the owner of the property and explain your situation to see if the owner will release you from the lease.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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