Is one spouse is responsible for household bills or both?

Our daughter has been married for 4 years. Her husband moved into her rental unit and he proposed that she pay some of the bills and he pay for some of the bills. Three years ago they had a baby girl and they didn’t change the bill sharing responsibilities. Our daughter no longer earns enough money to pay all of “her” household bills. Her husband now earns about 4 times as much money as she does, but he refuses to help with the bills that she can no longer pay such as electric and gas. Is he also responsible for these household bills even though they are addressed just to her?.

Asked on June 29, 2009 under Family Law, Michigan


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

He isn't legally responsible for those bills.  But he is legally responsible to support his child and his wife, whose reduced income is, I'm sure, at least partly because of her time spent raising their daughter.

She isn't legally responsible to cook food for him or do his laundry, either.

I think it's time for your daughter to have a consultation with a divorce lawyer, so she can have an accurate understanding of her rights based on all of the facts, and the law of her state.  One place to find an attorney is our website,

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