Paying Bills During Separation

Mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

I need marriage separation advice on paying bills during the pendency of a divorce.

We have been separated for several months but neither of us have paid the other anything to help with rent, bills, child support, etc.

Should I be paying her anything during this separation period or should I wait until a court orders me to do so?

Answer:

In the state I practice in (Missouri), after a separation occurs, there is not a legal obligation to pay the rent or utilities of the other party unless the judge or a court issues an order for you to pay those items.

You mentioned that you have a child. Depending on how much time you have your child and your state’s laws concerning child support, you may have an ongoing obligation to pay child support.

In some states, if you wait to pay child support until the judge orders you to do so, the judge may find that you have an arrearage and that you owe past-due support for all the months that you failed to pay.  You may end up with a large arrearage amount but that depends on your state’s child support laws.

Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of your legal rights and legal advice on divorce, I urge you to contact a family law attorney immediately.

To set up an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Michelle Hughes, an Associate Attorney in the Jefferson County, Missouri office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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