I am filing for divorce in Cumberland ounty, PA. The only combined assett we have is our home. my qyestion is that if i move out now and get my own apartment and we agree that we are each still responsible for half the mtg payment, what is the procedure for utilities? Do I still need to contribute to this or just the mtg payment?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Get a divorce lawyer. I do not know what other assets there are, your age, if there are kids and a whole bunch of other factors and neither does anyone else here.
If you are moving out, great. If your spouse consents, you can be divorced in 90 days. The question is going to cover your property, your house etc. You both need to figure out what you are going to do with the house. Can one of your afford it and want to keep it? Then that person is going to have to refinance solely in his/her name (if it is not already). He/she will pay the other spouse for the share of the equity belonging to the other spouse and the paying spouse will solely own the property. The paying spouse who keeps the house pays for his/her own utility bills.
If you cannot afford the house and need to sell it and split any equity, then you need to see if your name is on the mortgage. If it is, then you technically should pay. You don't tell me whether both spouses work or how much each earns. Without knowing more information I cannot advise you to pay utilities.
If you are male and your wife has no income because she is disabled and cannot work, then maybe you could pay something for the utilities in lieu of spousal support. However, if your wife earns a million a year and you earn $25,000 then no, she should be paying you. These are extreme examples I have given so that you will understand. I know your situation is different but since I don't know, that is why you need to get a lawyer to draft a marital settlement agreement for you.
I agree with the previous post. You really should have an attorney. Since there is property to be divided (at least the home), then there should be a claim for equitable distribution. If you guys are able to agree on how to distribute assets, then a marital settlement agreement could be written and filed, but either way, this is certainly something you should have an attorney for.
It should be further noted that if a marital settlement agreement isn't filed or an equitable distribution claim is made prior to the divorce decree being entered, then you will be forever waiving any rights to make any sort of property distribution claim or any other financial claim.
If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me. Initial phone consultations are free.
Justin C. Gearty Jr., Esquire
Law Office of Justin C Gearty Jr
Email: [email protected]
Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.